ALLENS ARTHUR ROBINSON bolted from the gate last week by announcing its partnership appointments to take effect on 1 July.
The firm has made six new partners across its offices, with Perth claiming two of the promotions for Stephen McComish and Kim Reid.
McComish, who joined Allens with theboutique Perth firm Hollingdales’ construction practice last year, is a specialist in back end construction, and Reid will join the litigation and dispute resolution practice to meet increased demand there. Chairman Jim Thynne said the appointments reflected the areas where the firm was seeing growth in the Western capital, and that he was pleased about the geographical diversity of the appointments across the Asia-Pacific region. “This reflects the strength of our national and international networks.”
Victoria Poole made partner in the Sydney office’s corporate and commercial group, where she focuses on the growing funds management practice, and Matthew Skinner was made a partner in the Sydney litigation and dispute resolution practice.
“Oscar Shub, the star of that group, is at the stage where he wants to start easing back from that practice, so [Skinner’s appointment] is part of the transition to a new generation, but also the fact that area of practice has been expanding exponentially over the last couple of years,” Thynne said.
Ben Zillman, a resources and native title specialist, was made partner in the Brisbane office and Robert Clarke was appointed to partnership in the Singapore office. Thynne was pleased to see the placement of another permanent partner in Singapore.
However, he acknowledged that the more obvious choice might have been to place a partner in the Hong Kong office, in light of the demand created there by regional, local and China-related work.
He said the firm simply didn’t have somebody who would fit the Hong Kong partnership slot at the moment.
“I suspect what’s going to happen, but it has not been decided, is that we will end up taking a partner in Hong Kong, but they are probably going to come from somewhere else in the firm. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing are all areas where I would expect to see additional partners being made over the next couple of years.”
Thynne said he would have liked to have seen “at least one more woman” among the partnership appointments. “But you can’t always achieve that. Last year we had two of the six, this year only one, but we hope to increase that in the years to come.”
He said the firm had enjoyed a good year, with growth across the board. The appointments take the Allens partnership to a total of 186, as of 1 July.