find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Boutiques on top

Boutiques on top

While the big law firms and legal forecasters are painting a gloomy picture of the state of the Australian market, some boutique firms are raking in record revenues.

KellyHazellQuill Lawyers, a boutique firm based in Melbourne, claimed to be 132 per cent over budget as a firm during the same period that Allen & Overy recorded a decline in revenue of 2.7 per cent and the demand for legal services fell for two consecutive quarters, according to the Peer Monitor Index.

The director of KellyHazellQuill, Chris Gianatti (pictured), told Lawyers Weekly that the increase in work is a by-product of the pressure faced by in-house counsel to cut costs.

“This is definitely a trend and the reason why the big firms are reporting a drop-off in work while boutique firms like ours are increasing their market share and workflows,” he said.

“We’re getting a larger share of a smaller pie.”

KellyHazellQuill is ahead of budget in almost all practice areas, revealed Gianatti, with litigation & dispute resolution (115%), media (112%) and commercial property & development (118%) among the firm’s top performers.

KellyHazellQuill’s budgets appear to contradict statements by Allens’ managing partner Michael Rose that the industry as a whole had experienced its worst start to a new financial year in five-to-six years, reported The Australian. Clayton Utz managing partner Daryl McDonough’s outlook was similarly bleak; he argued the legal sector was in uncertain times.

Gianatti attributes his firm’s uptick in work to the ability of boutiques to compete with the big end of town on corporate panels.

“We share panels with a lot of the top tiers and the big boys and girls ... and [in-house counsel] realise that just because you’ve got a brand doesn’t mean that person is the right person for the job,” he said.

The firm has scored work with a number of ASX-listed companies this way. Having sat on the opposite side of the panel when he was an in-house lawyer for Telstra, Gianatti believes that flexible fee arrangements play an increasingly critical role in securing work with big corporates.

“Clients are seeking a flexible approach to fees, including a mix of retainers, fixed-fee work and agreed hourly rates,” he said.

But competitive costing is just one factor that has contributed to his firm’s positive revenue figures, Gianatti claimed. Personalised service, he claimed, can sway a client to ditch the “big boys” whose portfolios are too large to give some in-house lawyers the level of attention they’re looking for.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Boutiques on top
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...