JUST AS the media is immobilised by new laws that prevent it from writing about lawyers who do personal injury work, Maurice Blackburn Cashman merged this week with Sydney firm Charlton Shearman, boosting an area of practice the firm has labelled “medical legal services”.
The new firm strengthens “what we already have”, said Maurice Blackburn Cashman (MBC) CEO Greg Tucker. Traditionally, the firm has acted for injured workers, and this area of law is still in the firm’s “heartland”, he said. But the firm is now “deepening” its traditional areas, including class actions, which it has been doing for about seven years.
Tucker acknowledged recent tort law reform had placed pressure on many firms. In acting for both defendants and plaintiffs, the firm has found its way through the changes, and Tucker said things will change to be favourable for the firm.
MBC is also acting for investors, Tucker said, and has broadened this base over the past five to seven years and will continue to build on it.
The new merger is the latest in a string of mergers for the firm. Earlier this year MBC merged with Gill Kane & Brophy and late last year with industrial and employment firm Whyburns Legal.
Its “medical legal strength” will now be reinforced. “Under the leadership of Kathryn Booth in Victoria we already hold a formidable reputation for winning complex and major medical negligence cases, particularly those involving birth injuries,” Tucker said.
Charlton Shearman has 18 years’ experience in professional negligence litigation. “Bringing the combined experience of the two firms together makes good sense in what is a growing area of our practice,” Tucker said.
The firm will take opportunities as they arise, he added, and is “always looking to deepen areas of practice and move into complementary areas”.