The downturn means that incorporation may no longer be a priority for top-tier law firms, but Freehills and Mallesons told Lawyers Weekly this week that with the right amount of change, it could still be on the cards.
Mallesons managing partner Robert Milliner said today that tax laws were still an impediment to incorporation, but that the firm retains an open mind on the issue, even in the current economic climate.
"We continue to keep open our options in terms of the firm's operating structure," he said.
"With regard to incorporation, tax laws currently remain an impediment, particularly around stamp duty in some jurisdictions and also capital gains."
Milliner added that the economic crisis could further inspire the move to incorporation across the legal fraternity. "The current market environment is possibly going to require a wider review of what appropriate law firm models are, and, therefore, incorporation will be recast in light of that," he said.
Last week, Freehills managing partner Gavin Bell told Lawyers Weekly that due to tax laws he couldn't see incorporation happening in the next 24 months, but that it was "something that's there for the medium term".
See this week's edition of Lawyers Weekly for more on incorporation
- Angela Priestley