find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Freehills' OH&S loss a mid-tier gain

Freehills' OH&S loss a mid-tier gain

A team of occupational health and safety lawyers has left the Melbourne office of Freehills and joined mid-tier firm Hall & Wilcox in a major coup for the smaller firm.

AN occupational health and safety team has left the Melbourne office of Freehills and joined mid-tier firm Hall & Wilcox in a major coup for the smaller firm. 


Penny Stevens, who headed the move, has joined as partner at Hall & Wilcox. It's likely she was lured by the promise of partnership, having been a senior associate at Freehills. 


But upon departure she left the door swinging for a number of other Freehills OH&S lawyers, including special counsel Nicole Fauvrelle and lawyer Kim Grady. 


It is understood that no other OH&S lawyers will be departing the Freehills team, despite the upheaval. 


But while Freehills says the drop in numbers will have little impact on the  OH&S team in that office, for Hall & Wilcox it's a sign on new beginnings in the practice area. 


Freehills still has partner Barry Sherriff, who has acted for the like of the Victorian Congress of Employer Association.


Hall & Wilcox, meanwhile, says Stevens and the rest of the departing team are highly regarded in the OH&S space. Stevens herself said the team is thrilled to be moving across, and she highlighted the reputation of the firm, "its values and its vision for the future as the main motivators behind the decision to move".


“We share similar values around the importance of client relationships and a commitment to excellence. We are really looking forward to building a strong practice at Hall & Wilcox, allowing the team to flourish and grow," she said. 


Hall & Wilcox was recently awarded the Best Law Firm (revenue under $50m) nationally, at the BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 as well as the Law Firm of the Year in 2009 by Australasian Legal Business magazine. 


Health and safety lawyers are increasingly sought after as firms prepare for the Rudd government's plans to introduce national workplace health and safety laws. 


A draft of the proposed laws are expected this month, but it is understood firms are readying themselves for an upswing in work in this area. 


Freehills partner and practice group head for employee relations, Graeme Smith said: “Although regrettable, the departing solicitors are below partner level and Freehills has a deep national bench of talent in this area. 


“We have a number of partners, together with senior solicitors who have already picked up the business of the departing solicitors’ existing clients. 


“The impact of these departures will be minimal and we do not expect to lose any significant clients," he said.  


The laws have been modelled on the Queensland and Victorian systems, and it is understood NSW clients could face major changes to their health and safety regime.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Freehills' OH&S loss a mid-tier gain
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Dec 14 2017
Punishing offenders twice pointless, politicians warned
The president of the Law Society of NSW has warned legislators from other states about adopting cont...
Dec 13 2017
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...