WA firm McAuliffe Williams & Partners (MWP) has been received with open-armed welcomes by Dibbs Barker Gosling’s (DBG’s) Perth office. Taking effect on day one this year, the merger between the two firms highlights DBG’s commitment to the Western Australian market.
DBG’s Perth resources now stand at four partners, 15 professional staff and an additional 15 support staff, compared to five in total previously. The additions bring the firm’s national resources to 61 partners and more than 350 lawyers and support staff.
National chairman Rob Sauer stressed DBG’s interest in expanding within the WA market. “Our firm is committed to the Western Australian market. We have been looking for an opportunity for some time to expand our Perth practice. We are delighted to have found the right fit in McAuliffe Williams & Partners,” he said.
With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, and strong affiliations with firms in Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart and New Zealand, DBG already has a strong national presence. It previously sought to expand on a national level in December 2001 by merging with Brisbane firm Barwicks.
New partner Mark McAuliffe, with more than 23 years experience in insurance litigation, mining law and dispute resolution, explained that both firms had aspirations to round out the service they delivered to their national clients.
McAuliffe detailed the expansion process in the newly formulated office, referring to hiring and growth. “We are recruiting in the commercial area,” he said. Pressed on exactly how many new lawyers, partners and support staff he expected, he responded: “however many we need”.
“We need staff with skills to service our national clients,” he added.
McAuliffe also explained some of the aims of DBG’s commitment to the WA market. For some time, he said DBG had been looking for a suitable firm in the area with a similar culture and an emphasis on building strong relationships. “Also, they were looking to service their national clientele,” he added.
For DBG the merger also had more practical benefits. Expansion meant more room was needed and they had long been looking for space to expand. “[DBG] needed more resources and a bigger office,” he said.
Further national expansion was likely to be on the agenda: “We are headed for significant growth over the next year on a national level.”