Barber stands down after 10 years in the managing partner’s chair at Truman Hoyle, a boutique competition and technology firm that employs 35 lawyers.
In taking over the reins of the firm, Seaton paid tribute to Barber’s leadership.
“Shane was a fantastic managing partner,” said Seaton (pictured). “He was responsible for building the firm up from being a small Sydney-based CBD firm to being a leading Australian technology and media practice.”
Under Barber’s stewardship, Truman Hoyle established a ‘best friends’ relationship with Paris-based competition law firm Vogel & Vogel, as well as establishing a referral network with Gilbert + Tobin, Norton Rose and Clifford Chance.
Truman Hoyle is currently looking to expand its ‘best friends’ network to include firms in Singapore, New Zealand, the USA and the UK, rather than take the global law firm merger route.
However, Seaton told Lawyers Weekly that a merger with a global firm is not totally out of the question in the long-term.
“We have had around half-a-dozen approaches from global law firms and, while we are always happy to sit down with them, we are happy with our existing relationships with overseas firms,” said Seaton, “but that is not to say that we wouldn’t listen to a merger proposal with the right firm.”
Barber stood down from the managing partner position voluntarily and will remain with the firm as a partner. Seaton was unanimously endorsed as his replacement, with his initial term being for two years.
Seaton said that Truman Hoyle would be looking to expand its practice into the competition and M&A space, and that discussions with partners at other firms were continuing to boost its capabilities in those practice groups.
High-profile clients currently on the books of Truman Hoyle include Vodafone, Microsoft and NBN Co.