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 (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Mid tier partner fires salvo at top tier

Mid tier partner fires salvo at top tier

A former Freehills executive counsel who has moved across to TressCox as a partner believes the mid tier is “where the action is going to be”.

A former Freehills executive counsel who has moved across to TressCox as a partner believes the mid tier is “where the action is going to be”.

Andrea Wookey joined TressCox’s Melbourne-based banking & financial services group as a partner on 23 January.
 

After beginning her legal career at Freehills and remaining there for 13 years, working across the firm’s Perth, Vietnam, Sydney and Singapore offices, Wookey said she wanted the flexibility to grow her own practice.

“I wanted to use [my] skills in a more unique way; to grow a practice along the style that I wanted,” she said, adding that the mid tier was more suited to accommodate that because it offers more flexibility.

“With all firms in the top tier at the moment, the client base is very settled. There’s a particular kind of work, matter and client that the top tier are focused on.

To some extent in the top tier, a lot of the work is becoming increasing commoditised … Another thing that’s really nice about the mid tier is the pricing flexibility around jobs that actually allows you greater freedom to go after things that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to justify in the top tier.”

Drawing on her exposure to banking and cross-border finance work in the Asian market, Wookey said she wants to develop an Asian investment fund client base, and she believes there is plenty of work out there.

“I saw that there’s so much overseas interest, from Asian property funds and Asian banks in Australia. It’s seen as a really good market,” she said, adding that having been in Asia for some time, she has developed quite a good cultural understanding.

Although Wookey did not comment on whether her decision to depart Freehills was due to the firm being on the lookout for a merger partner, she said that due to “all the top-tier mergers which are happening”, the market is opening up.

“There’s a lot of work that’s going to shake out of the top to the mid tier ... which is a great thing,” said Wookey

“I will be forever grateful to Freehills for my experience, but I think the mid tier is where the action is going to be for a while.”

Wookey’s main areas of practice are corporate, acquisitions, projects and property finance. Her clients have included all of Australia's big four banks, multilateral lenders like International Finance Corporation and Asian Development Bank, offshore lenders and Asian private investment funds.
She will not, however, be bringing any of her former clients across to TressCox.

To date, TressCox has not had much banking and finance expertise in Melbourne, but Wookey said it has a strong base in the area.

“They’re looking now to offer a more full service,” she said. “TressCox has made four very strategic partner appointments in the last six months, and three of them are women, which is nice.”

Wookey said her move had nothing to do with wanting greater work/life balance, as she expects to “work harder than ever” while attempting to grow her own practice.
 

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

Mid tier partner fires salvo at top tier
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
07:04
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 & ...