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The most read stories of 2016

With the year all but over, Lawyers Weekly has compiled a list of the top 10 most popular stories for 2016.

user iconEmma Musgrave 30 December 2016 Corporate Counsel
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In case you missed them, or are looking for a recap before the the New Year hits, here are the 10 most read stories over the past 12 months.

10. Practice area to see influx of law graduates

Readers were captivated when a national law firm revealed which practice area tomorrow’s lawyers would be flocking.


Lander & Rogers’ family and relationship team co-head Mark Parker said the number of graduates wanting to work in family law had increased substantially.

He offered his opinion on why this career path had become more attractive over the years, getting some mixed reactions from readers who were not sold on the family law proposition.

9. Law dean slams JDs as ‘problematic’

An outpour of debate circulated around this story, with readers filling up the comment section to have their say.

It all started as a result of reading this article, which explained Swinburne University of Technology’s dean of law Professor Dan Hunter’s frank view on why he is opposed to juris doctor law degrees, and therefore why he is not offering them at his law school.

He told Lawyers Weekly he wasn’t “a fan” and labelled them as problematic.

8. What do law firms look for in a lawyer?

With legal professionals constantly looking for ways to up their game, an article/video on just this got the attention of many.

Minter Ellison Sydney partner Kristy Edser sat down with Lawyers Weekly, to discuss how graduates and partners looking for a sea change can stand out from the crowd.

7. Exclusive: HSF global CEO unfazed by loss to White & Case

After US-giant White & Case confirmed it would be coming to the Australian market and poaching 10 Herbert Smith Freehills partners, HSF joint global CEO Mark Rigotti explained why it “wouldn’t have a dire impact on the firm”.

Readers were keen to know how HSF was going to combat the loss, which included heavyweight partners that had been at the firm for years.

All in all, Mr Rigotti explained his firm was so big now that it wouldn’t impact on revenue generation, and would “dilute” the impact of the departing partners.

6. Shine Lawyers in trading halt

Shine Lawyers announced a trading halt earlier this year after realising its earnings guidance was likely to be reduced.

Despite signalling to shareholders that its EBITDA would be between $52 million and $56 million a few months prior, the firm confirmed that its earnings would actually be much lower than anticipated.

As a result, Shine Lawyers closed up shop for a review.

5. Two firms press ahead with class action suits against Slater and Gordon

Another class action suit nabbed the attention of readers across the country this year.

In October, both Maurice Blackburn and ACA Lawyers went after Slater and Gordon, issuing separate class action suits to the ASX-listed giant.

The issuance from Maurice Blackburn was classified as the largest shareholder class action suit in Australian history, making it unsurprising that it got a firm spot on this list.

4. Principal lawyer disqualified by ASIC

Readers went wild over reports that a Sydney director and principal lawyer at Block Strata Lawyers had been disqualified from managing corporations for five years.

The regulatory body, ASIC, disqualified Michael John Teys until 2021, after it found he breached his duties as a director, including failing to comply with financial services laws.

Mr Teys’ disqualification follows his involvement in the failure of three companies, including ACN, formerly known as Teys Lawyers.

Mr Teys was also the director of TPFL and TPL Holdings. All three businesses were placed into liquidation between 2010 and 2014.

3. Firms respond to rumoured merger

Eyes were buzzing after Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York responded to a rumoured merger plaguing the legal profession.

While multiple sources told Lawyers Weekly that discussions had been in full force, both firms denied the rumours with each saying they had no plans to undertake a merger.

Instead, NRF said it was focusing on building out its newly developed Papua New Guinea practice. HDY, on the other hand, was more coy and said it “as should any law firm in the Australian legal market, talks to other firms all the time on a range of subjects”.

2. Top 25 Attraction Firms

Each year, the results of the Top 25 Attraction Firms ranking gets the clicks, and it was no different in 2016.

Taking out the top spot was Herbert Smith Freehills, followed by King & Wood Mallesons, Allens, MinterEllison and Ashurst.

The report was conducted between 27 June and 18 July 2016, recording the views of over 700 respondents – an increase of 22 per cent on 2015.

1. US giant prepares to land in Aus

It was a blockbuster year for US-headquartered firm White & Case.

In August, Lawyers Weekly heard from a trusted source that the firm was gearing up for an entrance into the Australian market.

The source revealed White & Case was going to poach up to 14 partners, with a combined revenue of approximately $60 million, from a top-tier global firm that already has a large and long-standing operation in Australia.

The question of “will they or won’t they?” got readers ticking, with this story taking out the number one spot for 2016.

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