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Hamilton Locke expands into NZ

National commercial law firm Hamilton Locke has expanded its operations into New Zealand, marking the first international expansion move for the HPX Group.

user iconLauren Croft 09 November 2022 Big Law
Hamilton Locke expands into NZ
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The establishment of Hamilton Locke New Zealand comes with the appointment of new partners and lawyers from boutique commercial law firm Anderson Creagh Lai (ACL), who will join the Hamilton Locke New Zealand practice. 

The launch of Hamilton Locke in New Zealand, with effect from late January, is the first international expansion for HPX Group, which owns Hamilton Locke in Australia.

This news follows a year of strategic growth for the firm, following the launch of an office in Perth with four foundation partners earlier this year, three of whom were partners and one of whom was a special counsel at global firm HWL Ebsworth.

 
 

This came after Hamilton Locke’s acquisition of The Fold Legal and expansion into Brisbane in June and July of 2021, respectively, and the absorption of the Melbourne office of McMahon Clarke in 2019.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly in March, Hamilton Locke founder and managing partner Nick Humphrey said that the firm “will continue to grow”. Then, earlier this month, the firm’s parent company HPX Group revealed an extensive rebrand, with the group revealing further plans to list on the ASX in the near future.

Hamilton Locke New Zealand, incorporating the ACL team, which has been operating in Auckland since 2006, will continue to advise on both New Zealand and cross-border transactions. Hamilton Locke in Australia and Hamilton Locke in New Zealand will work collaboratively across the region, bringing together experts from local New Zealand and international firms.

The firm’s New Zealand practice will initially comprise a team of 21, with six directors and 11 lawyers, with plans to grow significantly, as Hamilton Locke has done in Australia, according to Mr Humphrey.

“The launch of the Hamilton Locke brand in New Zealand with our like-minded colleagues from ACL is a tremendously exciting step in our growth journey, allowing us to offer services to our clients across New Zealand under the Hamilton Locke umbrella and expanding on our existing offering in Australia,” he said.

“It allows the ACL team to do the same for clients doing business in Australia and to access the resources of Hamilton Locke in Australia. The ACL team is strategically and culturally aligned with our business, in particular the focus on collaboration and transforming the approach to providing legal services that break the mould of traditional law firms.  

“We are excited to extend Hamilton Locke’s existing service offering, while continuing to focus on providing the best possible environment for people to thrive, which in turn provides the best possible experience for clients.”

Founding directors of ACL Phil Creagh and Jeffrey Lai added that Hamilton Locke’s “business model and culture” was in “direct alignment” with their firm.

“We are delighted to join forces to offer services across New Zealand and Australia. We pride ourselves on delivering practical, commercial advice and providing a different experience to the old ways of lawyering,” they said.   

“This neatly aligns with Hamilton Locke and its focus on evolving the legal sector, and we are thrilled to join together and support its commitment to creating a vibrant culture where our people can continue to grow.”