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Mills Oakley to open in Adelaide

National law firm Mills Oakley is expanding its presence across Australia with a new office in Adelaide, to be led by a partner formerly of MinterEllison.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 15 December 2022 Big Law
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Mills Oakley is expanding its national footprint with the launch of an office in Adelaide, which will open in January.

The news follows Mills Oakley’s recent acquisition of two boutique law firms (here and here) in recent months, which it spoke to Lawyers Weekly about here. It also follows the firm’s promotion of 48 lawyers in June.

The firm already has several lawyers based in the city, but with the addition of real estate partner Stephen Hill, formerly of MinterEllison, Mills Oakley is now in a position to establish a permanent office, which it expects to have 15 lawyers and staff at the time of launch.


Initially, the firm’s Adelaide office will have capabilities in property, insurance and litigation and insolvency, and intends to actively recruit talent across all practice areas.

Speaking about the launch of the Adelaide office, Mills Oakley chief executive John Nerurker (pictured) said that the firm’s feedback from local clients was that other national firms were taking the Adelaide market for granted.

“In Stephen, we have a respected practitioner with deep roots in the business community who understands what is needed to maintain trust and deliver value,” he said.

Mr Nerurker added that Adelaide had been on the firm’s radar for many years.

“Our view was that we had to find the right talent and the right moment. When Stephen was first introduced to us, we realised that the planets had finally aligned,” he proclaimed.

“There is no exact science to expansion, only the art of securing people who share the firm’s vision and values.”

Mr Hill — whom the firm described as a “pre-eminent property expert advising on the full range of commercial property transactions with significant experience in major project work, property development, acquisitions and disposals, and commercial leasing” — said that doing business in Adelaide requires an appreciation of the commercial drivers and the values of the local market.

“From the outset, it was clear that Mills Oakley offered the culture and synergies which would best allow my clients to achieve their objectives,” he said.

“I am honoured to be the foundation partner for the Adelaide office and to play my part in delivering the firm’s vision for a formidable full-service presence and a new value proposition for Adelaide.”

The firm said that it is currently exploring tenancies and will announce further details on its Adelaide office in the new year.