find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Boutique with expansion plans unfazed by mining downturn

Boutique with expansion plans unfazed by mining downturn

David Kearney

Despite shaky economic conditions in Western Australia, insurance firm Wotton + Kearney believes its new Perth office will be impervious to the mining slowdown.

Wotton + Kearney, which currently has offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, previously announced plans to open a Perth branch in November this year.

Chief executive partner David Kearney told Lawyers Weekly he was not concerned by economic instability in Western Australia.

“Most of what we do is dispute-resolution based, as against front-end transactional work,” he said.

“Even though the bottom has come out of the mining market, it doesn't impact on our strategy to go to Perth…The work our clients are getting us involved in will be there with the mining industry rising or falling.”

Wotton + Kearney has pursued a steady expansion strategy since opening in Sydney 13 years ago, with a Melbourne office opening in 2008 and a Brisbane office in 2013.

“We never wanted to get ahead of ourselves – it made sense to open one office at a time and focus on that particular office,” Mr Kearney said. “Having bedded down the east coast, Melbourne and then Brisbane, we still had a number of clients saying they had claims nationally.”

He emphasised the Perth expansion comes on the back of client demand, with existing clients asking for on-the-ground representation on the west coast.

The size of the Perth office will ultimately also be determined by their client base, he suggested.

“We left DLA Piper many years ago with a view to creating a targeted, focused law firm,” he said. “It was never about growth for growth's sake – it was about growing to service our clients. Whether we're a five-lawyer or a 10-lawyer or 20-lawyer operation in Perth will depend on our clients' needs.”

The Perth office will be headed up by Sparke Helmore partner Riaan Piek, who Mr Kearney described as the “right person who's the right cultural fit”.

“We've grown from six lawyers to 100 lawyers on the back of what in my view is picking the right people. [Riaan Piek] also comes with a strong understanding of the insurance market and the clients for whom we do work.”

Mr Kearney said the firm would be looking to recruit “first-class legal talent”, citing the opportunity to engage Western Australian lawyers as a key benefit of opening an office.

In addition, he suggested a presence in Perth would allow the firm to build face-to-face relationships with corporate clients and gain a greater understanding of the west coast insurance market.


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

Boutique with expansion plans unfazed by mining downturn
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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'...
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...
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 & ...