AFTER some delays, a UK-based law firm has opened an office in Perth.
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has announced the opening of its third Australian office, in Perth, headed by new recruit Julian Sher, an established commercial litigation partner in Perth, who moves over from Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
The firm was due to open the new office in early April, but just opened its doors this month.
Sher, who joins as a partner, has more than 25 years experience as a commercial litigation lawyer in Perth, advising on banking and international documentary credits, securities enforcement, insolvency, company law, trade practices and insurance.
He will be joined in Perth by foundation partners Hazel Brewer and James Donoghue.
Brewer has over 20 years experience in international shipping and trade litigation. Prior to joining HFW's Dubai office in 2006, she was a partner of a niche shipping and trade practice in London where she specialised in carriage and related sale contract issues arising from offshore oil and gas projects.
Donoghue has been involved in the energy and natural resources sector for more than 20 years, the last 6 of those in Asia. His areas of practice include the acquisition, development, joint venturing and sale of mining, oil & gas and power projects in Australia and abroad.
Before joining HFW in 2010, Donoghue was a partner at Blake Dawson, based in the Jakarta office.
The new office will harness HFW's growing presence in the energy and natural resources sector, the firm said in a statement.
The new office will provide a base to service clients operating not only in the West Australian offshore oil and gas and mining industries, but also in related markets such as shipping, ports and terminals, commodities, (re)insurance, corporate, projects and finance.
Gavin Vallely, managing partner of HFW's Australian offices, said the Perth office has long been on the agenda for the law firm.
Because of the growth of offshore natural resources and the global movement of high volumes of freight, "taking this important step was a natural choice:, he said.
Senior partner Richard Crump said that since opening the Melbourne office in 2006, the law firm has viewed Australia as integral to its international strategy.
"The growth of our Australian practice, from four partners and six associates to today's 14 partners and 30 associates, and including the opening of our Sydney office at the end of 2009, emphasises the desire of our clients to have legal advisers they can trust in the markets in which they operate."