Partner, 150 staff depart Gadens Brisbane to launch new firm

A former senior banking partner at Gadens Brisbane is launching a dedicated mortgage lending firm with a team of 150 staff of lawyers, paralegals, and support personnel as the BigLaw player looks ahead to combining its independent partnerships across the country.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 19 June 2024 Big Law
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Green Mortgage Lawyers

In mid-2013, MacGillivrays Solicitors merged with Gadens Brisbane, bringing across 34 staff, including managing partner Craig Green. Now, 11 years later, he is de-merging his mortgage lending practice from the BigLaw player to launch Green Mortgage Lawyers.

Green and a team of 150 staff of lawyers, paralegals, and support personnel are departing Gadens, with the new firm’s launch happening on 1 July – when Green marks four decades in the mortgage lending industry.

Of the 150 staff departing to join the new firm, it is understood that approximately 50 are based in Brisbane, with the balance located offshore in Manila.

“I am excited to launch this new firm with its rich heritage. No longer constrained by the shadow of a larger, multi-focused practice, at Green Mortgage Lawyers, we can now dedicate all our resources, people, and investment entirely to delivering exceptional service and customer-centric solutions in legal mortgage lending,” Green said.

“Our journey isn’t just about turning a new page – it’s not about going out with the old and in with the new. It’s about evolution and redefining how we support mortgage lenders and brokers as specialist legal advisors.”

The transition from Gadens Brisbane to an independent firm, Green continued, “allows us as a business to really [home] in on what matters most: our clients and their brokers and borrowers”.

“Unlike being part of a large, diversified partnership, at Green Mortgage Lawyers, all our decisions will have our clients’ interests at the heart of everything we do,” he said.

“Being independent is key for us – it means we can embrace the latest technologies and tailor our services precisely to what our clients need. Without the red tape of bigger firms, we’re nimble and quick, always staying ahead of the game. This agility means we handle matters faster, closing loans more efficiently.”

Gadens Brisbane

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly and its sister brand, Mortgage Business, a Gadens spokesperson said that the firm remains “very committed” to continuing to serve clients both in Queensland and nationally.

Existing clients of Gadens’ Brisbane office will continue to be serviced by the Gadens national firm, “with the exception of those in the mortgage industry”, as Green Mortgage Lawyers will service the national mortgage finance sector moving forward.

Gadens and Green Mortgage Lawyers will, the spokesperson advised, “work together to ensure a smooth transition for clients in the mortgage finance sector, and that they continue to receive the calibre of quality service for which our firms are known”.

Gadens’ plans moving forward

The spokesperson went on to say that, more than 12 months ago, the two independent Gadens partnerships (in Adelaide-Brisbane, and Melbourne-Sydney) commenced discussions to merge their practices into one nationally integrated firm.

This merger will be effective as of 1 July, with the merged entity continuing to trade as Gadens.

Once merged, Gadens will comprise a firm with around 100 partners (over 40 per cent of whom are female, the spokesperson added), more than 350 legal practitioners, and over 600 total staff across offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Mark Pistilli, who will serve as the chief executive of the merged Gadens firm, said: “The two separate, legal firms that currently comprise the Gadens network have a longstanding association dating back to 1999 when the Gadens National Joint Venture was formed.”

“This is a very exciting time for Gadens, and this merger is the logical next step in the evolution of our firms, and it will create a leading, modern law firm that brings a greater depth of service to clients, opportunities to our people and support for the community.”

The news also follows Gadens’ appointment of an IP and defamation partner back in March, its hiring of five new partners as reported in December, and its promotion of seven lawyers to partner in June of last year.