MADDOCKS HAS doubled its construction and major projects division by absorbing a team of nine from Henry Davis York (HDY) into its Sydney office.
Chief among the team are partners Mal Fielding and Peter Meades, who worked closely together during their time at HDY and are both respected names in the industry.
“Both [Fielding] and [Meades] have an excellent reputation … [which] was known to us as well,” Greg Campbell, head of construction and major projects at Maddocks, said.
The lateral transfer was very quick in the making, representing for Campbell and the firm an opportunity too good to pass up.
“It was a timing thing — it just happened to be a subject that came up in discussion, and it seemed that, given the good fit that we thought we both had, it was the right thing to do at the time,” Campbell said.
“It didn’t take very long for the two partners and us to come to a view that this was going to be a good match. And then we looked at the team.”
Maddocks is eager not only to make big moves in the construction and infrastructure market with new appointments, but to do so with staff who conform with the firm culture.
“There’s been a lot of press about public private partnership projects, and other social infrastructure projects,” Campbell said. “And they’re the kinds of projects that the team will be targeting.
“Our clear aim is to be a premier construction and major projects practice nationally, so we’ll be wanting to compete with the other significant firms in all the major construction and engineering projects.”
Maddocks believes this aim will be strongly aided by the new clients that the HDY team can attract.
“Certainly the clients that the new team are bringing across complement our existing clients in the construction and major projects group, and we’ll be able to build from that,” Campbell said.
When asked about the move, managing partner of HDY, Stephen Purcell, said “Michael Bampton continues to lead [HDY’s] construction practice”.
“The firm retains both front-end and back-end capability at partner level,” he said.
And according to Fielding, “there was nothing compelling [Meades] and I to leave HDY”.
“A move to Maddocks presented us with a unique opportunity to join forces with [Campbell] and Josh Marchant who share our vision to build a first-rate Australian construction group,” he said.
“We were attracted by the people at Maddocks and their genuine desire to grow their construction and major projects capability and the client synergies in Melbourne and Sydney.”
Before starting at HDY at the beginning of 2005, Fielding had previously worked for Clayton Utz, along with a stint as a private consultant.
“The move gives us greater depth and capacity to service our clients,” Fielding said. “For our clients, it is business as usual.”
The new appointments bring the total of partners and lawyers working in construction and major projects in Sydney and Melbourne to 19, five of whom are partners.
The rest of the HDY team to move across includes Margaret Pavey, special counsel; Sarah Horton, senior associate; Mark Paige, senior associate; Alison Cripps, lawyer; Katrina Umlauff, lawyer; Julianne Le Bas, paralegal; and Ngaire Wooldridge, administrative assistant.