find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
New Pipers head withdraws from Adelaide

New Pipers head withdraws from Adelaide

Piper Alderman’s managing partner-elect, Tony Britten-Jones, intends to focus his energy on growing the firm’s Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane practices.

Piper Alderman’s managing partner-elect, Tony Britten-Jones (pictured), intends to focus his energy on growing the firm’s Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane practices.

Britten-Jones, previously based in Adelaide as deputy managing partner and head of the national property and projects division, will start in the role of national managing partner on 1 January 2015.

“I am very much looking forward to the challenge [of leading Pipers]. We are a firm with a great foundation and I am very lucky to be entrusted with this role,” Britten-Jones told Lawyers Weekly.

He added that he would be moving to Melbourne with his partner to start the new role. Britten-Jones replaces Tony Phelps, who held the position of managing partner for four and a half years.

Explaining his decision to direct more attention to the east coast offices, Britten-Jones said, “We are pretty solid in Adelaide at the moment, but the market here is pretty flat. We’ve recently promoted Tim O'Callaghan as head of the Adelaide office so I feel that things are in pretty good hands.”

Britten-Jones was not overly optimistic that the Adelaide market would pick up in the short to medium term, but said the firm was not planning any future redundancies.

“If anything, we probably trimmed too much and are leaner than we would like to be. It is very hard to get that balance right. We will be, if anything, expanding slightly,” he said.

Pipers made seven Adelaide staff, including three senior associates, redundant in February.

In contrast, Britten-Jones said the firm was feeling confident about the Brisbane market and was keen to grow the Brisbane office.

Pipers is not trying to compete on the international stage, said Britten-Jones who ruled out any global mergers for the foreseeable future. He added, however, that Pipers might consider merging with smaller firms but that nothing major was planned at the moment.

Dissenters in the ranks

Pipers has seen a number of partner defections over the past year. This week, Sydney office head Frazer Hunt moved to Mills Oakley with a team of lawyers.

Last week, IP and technology partner Richard Chew left Pipers to join Sparke Helmore’s Sydney office. In March, Pipers partner Robert Speirs left to launch a boutique firm with senior associate James Ryan.

Britten-Jones said a vast majority of the departures were by partners in practice areas that the firm is moving away from.

“It is fairly natural that the lawyers in the lower level insurance litigation markets and other civil litigation areas would feel less comfortable with the direction of the firm because the reality is that we are not focusing on that,” he said.

Gordon Greive has been appointed temporary head of the Sydney office and Britten-Jones said he will be talking to the Sydney partners over the next month with the view to making a permanent appointment next year.

The Sydney office has grown recently with the addition of a new corporate partner, Tania Zordan, in October. Zordan previously worked at boutique firm Zorgan Legal and Kemp Strang Lawyers. 

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

New Pipers head withdraws from Adelaide
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
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 & ...