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Hall & Wilcox adds team of 5 senior lawyers for Newcastle office

BigLaw firm Hall & Wilcox has appointed a partner, two special counsel, a senior associate and a lawyer from a mid-tier firm to bolster its offering in Newcastle and the Hunter Region in NSW.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 03 March 2023 Big Law
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Hall & Wilcox has moved to grow its commercial presence and offering in Newcastle with the appointment of a partner and her team of senior lawyers from Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors (ABLA), which has moved, in the past year, to close its corporate and commercial practice. 

Partner Suzie Leask, special counsel Erin Brown and Candice de Bressac, senior associate Kurt Wicklund and lawyer Madeline Tait have all joined the BigLaw firm.

The news follows recent appointments of teams across the Australian legal services marketplace, including: Wotton + Kearney taking a team from Corrs in mid-January and then a team from MinterEllison the following week, K&L Gates taking three partners from HWL Ebsworth in early December and then another team from the same firm the next month, and also Bartier Perry taking four partners from Coleman Greig in February.


One month ago, Lawyers Weekly explored how and why taking teams is all the rage right now.

Hall & Wilcox managing partner Tony Macvean said that the firm “already had a strong presence” in the Hunter Region and that the addition of the new team of five senior lawyers is an “exciting” development for growth.

“We see great opportunities in the Hunter Region. We have a superb Newcastle office and practice. We started in 2015 with an insurance offering headed by Daniel Stoddart. We then built our commercial capability by our merger with Harris Wheeler in 2018, which led to Matt Smith, Katrina Reye and their team joining us. Suzie and her team joining us will be a fantastic next step in our growth and evolution,” he outlined.

“Suzie will play a leadership role in growing our corporate and commercial practice in the region, with a real focus on building our brand and reputation. Suzie will also add capability and depth to our commercial practice in NSW and nationally.”

Ms Leask added: “I’m delighted to be joining as a partner in Hall & Wilcox’s leading national corporate and commercial practice, and to be joined by my talented team.

“It’s an excellent fit, both in terms of the depth and quality of full-service legal expertise, which will benefit our clients, and also people — with culture and collaboration being something that Hall & Wilcox is renowned for.

“The Newcastle office and the region generally is thriving. We are looking forward to being part of the firm’s continued growth and supporting businesses in the Hunter and nationally.”

Hall & Wilcox recently added a finance partner from Baker McKenzie and promoted a special counsel to partner in its financial lines and professional indemnity products practice.

The firm also recently appointed its first female chair, who spoke with Lawyers Weekly about the need for progressive policies, while Mr Macvean told Lawyers Weekly what is coming next for the BigLaw firm.