Lander & Rogers' poaching of senior litigators Craig Higginbotham and Genevieve Staff from Thomson Playford Cutler has been met with approval by the pair's former clients, with their full client roster shifting across to the new firm.
As reported in Lawyers Weekly on Wednesday, the newest members of the Landers partnership will play a key role in the Melbourne-based firm's plan to establish a strong commercial litigation practice in Sydney.
The response from the duo's clients has been unanimously positive, with a 100 per cent retention rate, Higginbotham told Lawyers Weekly.
"... in fact most people had heard of Lander's reputation and we were very pleased to say that 100 per cent of our clients have come across. It's been a very good result, all told," he said.
Higginbotham said the pair approached Landers with the proposal, identifying the firm as one of the few established Sydney firms without a litigation practice.
"Gen and I were looking for a challenge, and what we discussed was building a larger team and moving into unexplored territory, in the sense of being able to do a start-up [litigation practice] in Sydney in an established firm," he said.
Greg McKenzie, Chairman of the Lander's Board and head of the commercial litigation practice, said the appointments were part of a long-term growth strategy for the firm's Sydney operations.
"We've spoken to a series of people over the last 12 months or so [and] we were looking for the right people in terms of fit for culture, who have the ability to step in as the founding partners in the Sydney commercial litigation practice and grow that practice the way that we want to. That's something that both Craig and Genevieve had done before."
Lander's chief executive partner, David Fitch, said the strong reputation of the team and their respective experience would raise the firm's profile in NSW, while strengthening the firm's national litigation team.
"The commercial litigation group in Sydney works closely with the broader group in Melbourne - it's really a national group, so there's a Sydney focus but there's also potentially a lot of synergies with the clients we have in that area," he told Lawyers Weekly.
- Laura MacIntyre
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