ALTHOUGH SPREADING from Melbourne to Sydney has been difficult for some, Arnold Bloch Leibler says success can still be found by what its senior partner calls a “quintessential Melbourne law firm”.
“We refused to accept the Sydney/Melbourne transactional/relationship dichotomy, and perhaps as a point-of-difference, have succeeded by applying that same relationship-based approach here in Sydney,” Mark Leibler of ABL said at the launch of the new Sydney offices.
“Over the past few years, a number of well-regarded Melbourne firms have opened Sydney offices. For some, the gamble did not pay off, and they were forced to retreat. Others succeeded by merging with established Sydney firms,” he said.
“However, when we did it, we did it alone and we did it the Arnold Bloch Leibler way.”
Also speaking at the launch, ex-barrister and present Treasurer, Peter Costello, said that “[ABL] has not only done so well first of all in Victoria, but also here in Sydney, which is a great testament to the drive and the vision of the partners”.
Costello said he had been briefed by ABL numerous times in the past, a time he considers to be a very proud association. “The firm has a very strong commercial practice, and I’ve seen [ABL’s] litigation practice from both sides of the equation — sometimes in support of causes that I’ve been involved in, and sometimes not,” he said.
That association continued into his career in politics, Costello praising Mark Leibler for his extensive tax practice, including posts as chairman of the taxation committee of the Law Council of Australia, and member of the Commissioner of Taxation’s advisory panel and national tax liaison group.
“I think it is fair to say, [Leibler], you have not always seen eye-to-eye with the Commissioner of Taxation, but you have been a respected member of the profession and somebody who has thought not only about individual transactions, but also certainly about tax policy generally,” he said.
The Treasurer also noted ABL’s commitment to charitable work, through its public interest law practice, particularly with regard to reconciliation and indigenous issues.