MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON Lawyers has boosted its practice with the appointment of two of Australia’s most senior corporate lawyers.
Jim Peterson and Michael Wynter have left their partnerships at Blake Dawson Waldron to join the Queensland firm. “Apart from the intellectual grunt that both bring, they are long-term players and have a very strong client base,” chairman of McCullough Robertson, Brett Heading said.
“We expect that a number of clients will follow them.” Heading said Wynter and Peterson operated in a different area, with a different style of client, to other lawyers in the firm’s corporate division.
If companies like Mitsui, a large client of Wynter’s, followed them to the firm, it would provide a “wonderful opportunity for us to look after a client of that calibre”, Heading said. He was also confident that the appointments would attract new clients to the firm.
“They could have gone to any firm in Australia, but they have chosen to come to McCullough Robertson in Queensland. I am quite optimistic about the knock on effects that we might have from this.”
Heading said the firm was not simply following the trend of attaining first class lawyers from other firms, but had been listening to its clients and keeping its finger on the economic pulse while building a “fantastically talented” legal team. Clients were willing to pay for top quality lawyers and the firm had to provide them, he said. These appointments provided an opportunity to keep the firm’s skill-set up.
Peterson, who was with BDW’s Brisbane office, has more than 25 years experience with government, blue chip organisations and leading private clients and Wynter has high-end directorship expertise with transnational public companies, as well as mining and Asian business experience. Wynter will remain based in Sydney but will spend a significant amount of time in Sydney.
Heading said Peterson’s client base of both private and public companies had influenced his decision to join McCullough Robertson. “Unlike some of the major firms we are still happy to do private client work.”
As an independent firm, lawyers at McCullough Robertson also do not “suffer the plight” of being told what to do by colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne.
“We understand the market here and look after the market,” Heading said.
“You need a different business model for the Brisbane market compared to Sydney.”