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Exclusive: Real estate partner latest DLA defection
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Exclusive: Real estate partner latest DLA defection

A long-serving partner at DLA Piper’s Sydney office has jumped ship to Johnson Winter & Slattery.

Carrie Follas (pictured) joined JWS this week (4 August) along with DLA senior associate Rosemary Tedesco.

New Zealand-born Follas has been a commercial real estate lawyer for more than 25 years. She also specialises in forestry law and is regarded as one of the region’s leading practitioners in this area.

Follas was at DLA for 15 years. Prior to that, she held roles at Bell Gully in Auckland and Eversheds in London.

Follas is the third partner to leave DLA’s Sydney office in recent months. In June, corporate partner Adrian Smith was poached by McCullough Robertson and insurance partner Robert Crittenden defected to Meridian Lawyers.

DLA’s Melbourne office has suffered an even greater blow to partner numbers.

Over the past year the Melbourne partnership has contracted from 37 to 24 partners.

Key departing figures include senior corporate partners Steven Casper and Richard Moshinsky, who joined Melbourne boutique SBA Law; the former head of the firm’s Melbourne office Peter Monk, who founded ‘virtual firm’ Hive Legal with fellow DLA partner Simon Davidson; and former Australian managing partner Tony Holland, who joined Gilbert + Tobin late last year along with infrastructure partner Damian McNair.

Andrew Darwin, the Australian managing partner and global chief operating officer of DLA, said he was not “embarrassed or ashamed or concerned” about the defections when speaking with Lawyers Weekly in June.

DLA has made lateral hires in 2014, including cross-border insolvency expert Kon Tsiakis in Melbourne, dispute resolution partner Liam Prescott in Brisbane and Sydney-based partner Peter Jones, who was previously the head of technology, media and telecommunications at Gilbert + Tobin.

Follas is JWS’s second lateral hire in Sydney in the space of week. Former Corrs Chambers Westgarth partner David Beckett joined JWS’s debt finance practice at the end of July.

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