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Clayton Utz suffers further partner losses

Clayton Utz suffers further partner losses

Clayton Utz endured and survived the departure of 14 partners to Allen & Overy, which launched new Australian offices last month, but the firm is still facing further losses.

CLAYTON Utz endured the loss of 14 partners to Allen & Overy, which announced plans to launch new Australian offices last month, but partners are still leaving the firm in drips.

Today its competition, law firm Middletons, announced the appointment of Joanne Daniels to it corporate group. She moves from Clayton Utz as the firm has faced significant other partner losses in recent months.

However, Clayton Utz did announce six new partners this month. Filling any gaps in its top ranks is not going to be a problem for the major firm. It has scooped some major and important deals in recent months, including Southern Cross Media’s recent management internalisation initiative.

The firm almost immediately announced six top replacements, fast-tracking partnership announcements that were already in the pipeline.

While all 14 departures to Allen & Overy have not yet been accounted for with new partners, the firm said it would make further announcements regarding promotions in the coming months.

The six new partners include Matthew Daley in financial services in Sydney, Rohan Mishra in corporate advisory in Perth, Rory Moriarty in energy and resources in Sydney, Steven Power in government services in Canberra, Toby Ryston-Pratt in M&A in Sydney, and Alexander Schlosser in financial services in Sydney.

But today’s announcement from Middletons is likely to have have hurt more than it otherwise would have at Clayton Utz.

Daniels herself practises in corporate law, specialising in the areas of competition law and trade practices.

Middletons’ national managing partner, Nick Nichola, said the appointment "marks the continued growth of the firm, particularly in the area of competition and regulatory”.

Middletons, like Clayton Utz, has taken on some major deals in this area. It had a year of significant panel appointments, including Westpac, National Foods, North West Iron Ore Alliance, and the Victorian Government's Commercial Projects Panel.

When asked how the firm was able to attract such talent, Nichola said the firm’s “straight talking” approach appealed to potential recruits.

And access to partnership might also appeal, he said.

“Middletons also prides itself on offering clients a higher level of partner access; we are simply better able to work collaboratively with clients. This results in more cost effective, tailored legal solutions.”

Middletons’ corporate group head, Chris Nikou, meanwhile labelled Daniels a “remarkably talented lawyer”.


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