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Australian Family Lawyers CEO resigns

The chief executive of ASX-listed law firm Australian Family Lawyers has resigned from the national practice to explore other opportunities.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 18 April 2023 Big Law
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Stace Boardman, the chief executive of AF Legal Group (ASX: AFL, also known as Australian Family Lawyers), has resigned from her position.

In a market announcement posted yesterday (17 April), AFL noted that Ms Boardman had advised that she “wishes to explore other opportunities”.

She will remain as a consultant with AFL until the end of July so as to ensure an orderly transition for the listed law firm.


Grant Dearlove, who is AFL’s legal practice director and former executive chairman, as well as current chief operating officer and chief financial officer Chris McFadden, will assume Ms Boardman’s role so as to continue the execution of the firm’s “3.0 strategy”.  

The news follows a February update on AFL’s acquisitions of Watts McCray and Kordos Lawyers, noting that the firm had signed deeds of variation with those two boutiques to pay the firms in cash rather than in shares.  

It also follows the opening of AFL’s 20th national office in Brisbane’s Bayside in December, as well as its expansion into the Gold Coast (its 19th office) in August 2022, expansion into Wollongong in NSW last June (its 18th office), and acquisition of a Darwin-based practice in late 2021, a move which resulted in the listed firm having a presence in seven Australian jurisdictions.

The firm also unveiled a “first-of-its-kind” partnership model last August, before announcing to the market that its proposed merger with GTC Legal Group — which was supposed to be a “seminal moment for the personal legal services industry” — was being terminated in November.

Following a mammoth 2022 — and a “record” financial performance — for the firm, Mr Dearlove spoke to Lawyers Weekly about AFL’s priorities moving into 2023 and revealed some of the issues smaller firms may face.

In the listed firm’s market announcement, AFL chair Rick Dennis thanked Ms Boardman for her contribution to AFL, both as chief executive and as COO.

“Her many achievements post the listing of AFL have included creating a national operating platform and a model for integrating acquisitions, both of which have aided our growth,” he said.

Ms Boardman added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the AFL Group during our early and important period of growth.

“I look forward to now assisting the new leadership team in my transition and wish the group every success with AFL 3.0.”

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