THE ENTIRE transport and trade groups of both Blake Dawson Waldron’s and Middletons’ Melbourne offices are set to join professional staff from the UK in March to establish UK-based Holman Fenwick & Willan’s first Australian office.
Key maritime and trade partners Gavin Vallely, David Roylance and Robert Springall from Middletons and Chris Quennell from Blakes will form the core of a team of about 15 professional staff.
Holman Fenwick & Willan said in a statement the firm has “identified the establishment of a strong presence in Australia as a logical step to enhance the firm’s capability” to provide regional legal services in its core practice areas of shipping and transport, trade and energy, commercial law, and insurance and reinsurance.
The 1 March opening of the Melbourne office, along with another in Dubai, brings Holman’s international network to 10 offices. All Holman lawyers are members of the international firm, while Vallely will take on the role of resident partner for Australian matters. The UK partners joining the team will be resident as Australian-registered foreign lawyers.
The Australians practise across a range of international transport and trade areas. Vallely concentrates on dry and liquid bulk shipping operations and specialises in Australian commercial shipping projects and related regulatory, operational and taxation issues, sale and purchase of bulk commodities, and marine pollution and occupational health prosecutions.
Roylance also specialises in maritime transport and trade law, including ship sale and purchase/conversion contracts and offshore oil and gas projects.
Springall’s expertise includes P&I risks, industrial disputes involving boycott activity, disputes arising from commercial shipping and agency contracts and immigration.
As well as maritime disputes, Blakes’ Quennell specialises in international bulk commodities contracts and related regulatory issues. He also advises on international trade issues, including UN actions involving Australian exporter interests.