find the latest legal job
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Brisbane boutique to take on top tiers

Brisbane boutique to take on top tiers

A new boutique law firm has “hit the ground running” in Brisbane to challenge top-tier firms for work in the energy & resources and construction & infrastructure areas.

Blackston Lawyers started operating on 1 July; the boutique practice currently has two partners: Gerard Batt (pictured right) and Victor Borzillo (pictured below).

“The current market is tough,” admitted Borzillo, “[But] we’re in a very interesting space in that we’re getting the high-end and top-tier work and, because of our boutique structure, we can offer really competitive prices and we’re getting a lot of work because of that.”

Batt added that he has received positive feedback about the firm’s boutique structure from clients, including in-house counsel at large mining companies: “One of the things they like about what we do is we don’t delegate the work right down the line and the partners, because we are smaller and boutique, are able to offer that closer management of the legal work.”

The firm, which is already acting for national and international clients, is made up of a senior associate, two associates, two solicitors, two paralegals and a practice manager, as well as Borzillo and Batt, and the duo plans to grow the firm substantially over the next couple of years, including taking on more partners.

“What we want to do is stay true to our roots in relation to our practice areas,” said Batt. “We want to grow our two core areas of energy & resources and construction & infrastructure ... we expect almost a doubling of our practice size in the next 12 to 24 months.

“Opportunities are arising already in relation to some of the southern states and there’s also an opportunity that’s arisen internationally, but we’re just taking that very slowly at the moment because we want to concentrate on our Brisbane office.”

Business backgrounds

Batt most recently practised at his own law firm, Gerard Batt Lawyers, while Borzillo, who started out his career as a commercial litigator, most recently worked in an in-house projects legal role.

“Having that [business] knowledge gives you a different level of understanding of what you do and that understanding we find is really appreciated ... and that’s where we get the advantage,” said Borzillo.

He added that other staff in the firm have diverse backgrounds in areas including environmental management, IT, property development and construction.

Batt previously worked as a surveyor in the mining and construction industries before coming to the law in 1994: “[That] gives me not only a historical perspective but a lot of contacts within the industry; people I dealt with 20 years ago are now in management positions and able to refer the work back to us.”

Batt added that the nature of his work, with large mining companies that plan their infrastructure spend several years in advance, means “we don’t sort of ride an up-and-down mining boom; it’s really about business development of mines”.

The current economic climate is a concern for Blackston, as it is for all law firms, but the firm partners are confident about the future.

“For the type of work and quality of work that we do we are extremely competitive in the market,” said Borzillo.

Like this story? Read more:

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Brisbane boutique to take on top tiers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Crowd
06:05
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
06:00
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
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 & ...