ACCREDITED FAMILY law specialists, Barry Berger and Bill Kordos, have decided to step out on their own and form a new firm — and they have taken the entire family law department from Home Wilkinson Lowry with them.
Both were partners with the Melbourne firm, but will now head up Berger Kordos Lawyers, which will provide clients, including other legal practitioners, with advice exclusively on family law matters. Berger said the move of Home Wilkinson Lowry’s entire family law team proved that “dignity could prevail in even the most complicated of divorces”.
Both he and Kordos believe family law is about finding a solution rather than winning a battle. “[It] is not about winning or losing but helping people reach a just and manageable solution to the complex issues that arise when family relationships break down,” Berger said.
Kordos said the decision to establish the firm had been an “evolutionary” one. The partners believed a boutique firm would enable them to serve their “vision” and meet their clients’ demands better than they could as part of a national commercial firm. “We believe [the boutique firm] will be the most effective form of service delivery for people undergoing relationship issues,” Kordos said.
“You can be partially successful in a national commercial law firm, but I don’t believe you can attain the ultimate vision within a structure that doesn’t necessarily have the same values and goals.”
Former Family Court Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson launched the new firm, which boasts 10 staff including five legal professionals, last Saturday, 22 October, at the Melbourne Immigration Museum. Nicholson congratulated the partners on their approach to the venture, saying that he knew both men and was sure they would always put the integrity of the law before the interests of business.
Berger said he was “moved and humbled” that the former Chief Justice “would publicly endorse the vision we have for Berger Kordos Lawyers”.
Opening the boutique firm had already opened up new opportunities, Kordos said, and the partners had been approached to examine issues such as the value family lawyers add to succession planning and estate planning issues.
He said the firm’s “dedicated team ofproven legal and administrative professionals” shared the partners’ commitment to providing a level of support that “enables people to move forward with confidence at a critical stage in their lives”.