find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Boutique mergers make hot property

Boutique mergers make hot property

BOUTIQUE FIRM mergers and job-based billing will become increasingly popular in the Sydney property industry according to one advocate of both initiatives.Chris Shaw, who merged his firm Shaw…

BOUTIQUE FIRM mergers and job-based billing will become increasingly popular in the Sydney property industry according to one advocate of both initiatives.

Chris Shaw, who merged his firm Shaw Reynolds with Bowen & Gerathy at the beginning of the month, sees the move as a necessary way of providing all the talent required by current and future clients.

“Particularly in the property industry, they are looking for lawyers with expertise who have looked at projects like the projects they’re doing, and can do them efficiently,” Shaw told Lawyers Weekly.

“That really requires then, a level of expertise. And the smaller boutique firms in my opinion are recognising this, and collecting together lawyers with complimentary skills, to be able to service their client base — and a growing client base — within the property industry.”

In an ongoing effort to properly service clients, Shaw expects more boutique firms will join forces in the immediate future, although this is not necessarily due to pressure being applied from large-scale firms.

“A lot of the very large players in the property industry, who have traditionally used the larger firms, are now recognising that there are very experienced lawyers in the smaller boutique firms,” he said.

“And in fact, so many of them have come from the larger firms and decided that there is a different way of doing things, and in that light they are engaging the boutique firms to do a lot of their projects.”

A prime example of a different approach to servicing property clients is the boutique firm’s flexibility when it comes to time-based billing.

“One of the main things that I believe in is trying to ensure that clients have some certainty in their projects, and that goes down to being able to budget for legal fees,” Shaw said.

“A number of my clients in the property industry … would say to me: ‘We know exactly what it costs to do a 10 storey building. But when we go through the legal process … we find that all lawyers are charging us on an hourly rate. We want the same certainty that we get from all of our other contractors on a job’.”

Shaw has found that a boutique firm can more easily provide this certainty, as opposed to larger firms he has worked with in the past, such as DLA Phillips Fox, Anderson Legal and Allen, Allen & Hemsley.

“I see no difficulties in doing that, particularly where the lawyer is experienced, has done many of the projects before, knows what to expect, and can properly scope out what it is going to cost.”

And to date, Shaw’s clients have been thrilled with an alternative to time-based billing. “They’re able to go to their financiers and say, ‘These are the unknowns, and these are the knowns, and as much as possible, legal fees can be scoped out and known’. So they’ve been very, very receptive.

“It’s something that, in the large firms, I can see there are great difficulties in actually doing that. [It] was … one of the main reasons why I thought, ‘let me give this a go, and see whether it really works. Clients are asking for it, let me deliver it to them and see how it goes’,” he said. “And it’s gone very well.”

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Boutique mergers make hot property
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
Jan 24 2018
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
The Victorian Bar has become the latest to go on record condemning recent political attacks on the V...
Michelle Quigley QC
Jan 24 2018
Vic Barrister who helped stop major heritage redevelopment joins Supreme Court
Michelle Quigley QC, who assisted a coalition to oppose the redevelopment of St Heliers villa estate...
Building, construction
Jan 24 2018
Building finish for NSW coroner’s complex slated for early 2019
Efforts to relocate the state coroner’s facilities from Glebe to Lidcombe are on track, according ...
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 & ...