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Profile: Truman Hoyle in competition

Profile: Truman Hoyle in competition

In The New Lawyer's inaugural profile series, Kate Gibbs speaks to Truman Hoyle partner Kathryn Edghill, who launched a new competition practice at the firm this year.

In The New Lawyer's inaugural profile series, Kate Gibbs speaks to Truman Hoyle partner Kathryn Edghill, who launched a new competition practice at the firm this year.

Truman Hoyle scooped yourself and partner Graham Maher, with your competition team, from Addisons in February this year. What happened and why?

The group comprises myself, another partner Graham Maher, senior associate Jimmy McLean, and a junior lawyer and another lawyer is about to start. We moved the entire practice at the beginning of March, and really prompting the move was that Truman Hoyle were really looking for a trade practices, competition practice that would fill out the suite of other services they were able to provide to their clients. I had been in partnership with [Truman Hoyle managing partner] Shane Barber at PwC Legal, and we were aware of each others practices. There was a degree of knowledge and it was really mutual timing that suited both of us.

What was in it for Truman Hoyle?

We were able to bring over our existing clients, which include clients such as Microsoft and Frucor Beverages. Since we've been here we've been able to assist in developing other areas of the firm. For example the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll out, we've been able to assist in submissions in relation to what we think should be the regulatory regime for the new roll out. We've been able to open up areas of law for a number of the firms' telco-based clients that the firm had previously not been reaching. The firms really fits with what [Maher] and I see as the focus on the practice.

Isn't it a risky environment in which to open up a new practice?

Everyone thinks about that. We brought our existing practice with us, and brought our existing clients, so we were able to bring a practice that could benefit form a number of services being supplied by the firm. For example employment law. So it was a mutual thing in that respect. We brought a practice but they also had a need. In this environment, a lot of it relates to how strong your following is. We've been very lucky to have a good client base. We were happy to move here because of the reputation of the firm.

How did other lawyers and partners in your group feel about the move?

We've all seen it as a really good place for our type of practice. It's very interactive, it suits the sorts of clients that we have. It's small but can still service the clients' needs.

And how is the practice going so far?

One of the things that is good in terms of timing is that a lot is happening in competition. We've got the criminalisation of cartel conduct which is just coming in. There is a lot of activity on that front, so it brings the work we are doing to the forefront of people's minds. There has been a lot of activity by the ACCC in the telecommunications industry and we'll see more of that.

Which law firms is your practice competing with?

There are lots of other competition practice, predominantly in the big firms. Because we had a big firm background, having come from Corrs [Chambers Westgarth], through Addisons, to here. Your competitors are really the big firms, but we offer a safe pair of hands because we often rely on big firm referrals. We are not really a threat to them because they will have individual directors or otherwise of their clients, or there will be conflicts where they need to know they are sending their clients to a safe pair of hands. That is a big boon for us as well.

Kathryn Edghill has more than 19 years' experience acting for some of Australia's top corporations. She has been recognised as a leading practitioner in Chambers Global as well as PLC Which Lawyer.

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