LEGAL GIANT Phillips Fox opened a fully integrated office in Perth last week. For almost seven years the firm operated in Western Australia as a franchise, but the Friendly City now joins seven other fully-fledged offices in major cities across Australia and New Zealand.
The new office brings six partners, twenty other fee-earning lawyers and twenty support staff into the Phillips Fox mix. The move indicates that the franchise solution had run to the end of its usefulness, the firm suggested last week.
“We believe that an arms-length franchise agreement is not the best approach to meeting all our clients’ needs,” said chief executive Tony Crawford. “For local clients, integration means access to a larger pool of legal knowledge and know-how. And for our national clients, it means a seamless and efficient relationship with us, regardless of their location or ours.”
Local practitioners, several of whom have already contacted Phillips Fox with a view to joining, have welcomed the opening of the new office. But the firm is not going to be hasty. “The culture of the firm is important to us and our clients, and we are looking to recruit only those who are committed to the firm’s business objectives and share our values,” said Crawford.