The office was established in 1990 on the back of client demand but faced many challenges, including restrictive state-based practising regulations and a looming recession.
Brisbane managing partner Michael Back was seconded from Sydney to establish the new office and has remained there ever since.
“After a rocky start, the office expanded and gained momentum and the client base grew. A quarter of a century on we have grown from four partners to 22, with a total headcount of around 220 people,” Mr Back said.
“This makes us the sixth largest office in the global Herbert Smith Freehills network and about the same size as Herbert Smith Freehills’ Paris office.”
Over the years, resources, real estate, energy, the government sector and dispute resolution have become the key areas of work for the office and many clients have remained with them since the beginning, according to Mr Back.
“Brisbane is also integral to the firm’s strong Asia-Pacific presence, acting as a key pathway into Australia for Asian businesses and investors, especially in the real estate and real estate funds sectors,” Mr Back said.
“Our expertise in advising Asian investors has also created opportunities for Herbert Smith Freehills globally.”
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