Two firms have announced rebrands effective July 1. Herbert Geer & Rundle will now be known as Herbert Geer, while HopgoodGanim has taken a breath of fresh air quite literally, etching their logo in the sand for its marketing collateral.
Both firms have a strong Queensland presence, and will now share the abbreviated title HG. HopgoodGanim managing partner Bruce Humphrys ruled out any possibility of confusion between their brands.
"We're a true Queensland firm, so if you are to use the abbreviation HG up this way they will know immediately what you mean when you say HG - we've been HG for 30 years."
HopgoodGanim has removed the space between the names of its founding partners, but other than this small shift, the rebrand is more about consolidation than radical change, Humphrys explained.
"We're constantly being asked what it is that gives us the ability to retain our staff and produce good results for clients, so our rebrand was about going right back to the grass roots and in a very clear and succinct way telling the community what we are about."
At the other end of the spectrum, Herbert Geer's rebrand follows a year of rapid growth and expansion into the Queensland market, fuelled by the merger with Brisbane firm Nicol Robinson Halletts.
" I suppose the rebrand is reflecting the fact that right now is the time of major change for us," said managing director Bill Fazio.
"Because the firm is going to be growing by approximately 70 per cent in this period of time, we felt that it was a good time to look at our brand and to think about the image we were presenting," he said.
Fazio described the updated brand as a combination of red "for passion", and grey "because the designers said we needed a counterpoint - all red would have been a bit too much".
For the industry, the new-look Herbert Geer is certainly worth watching out for. The firm has one of the highest growth rates in the 2008 financial year. Fazio credits half of this to merger activity, and the other fifty per cent to a strong lateral recruitment drive.
"We've been doing quite a lot of hiring. We have Dan Brush in our Sydney office, Malcolm Davis and his team of industrial relation lawyers. We've got a bunch of people we can't announce yet that are on the cusp of making announcements back at their own places."
Integration of the former NRH partners has also added eight partners to the Brisbane office (see page 28 for full details on partnership appointments). Fazio says the decision to go forward under the banner of Herbert Geer was a mutual one.
"I think for them [NRH], this is as much a rebranding as a repositioning exercise. It's a bigger change for them to go from single state to multi-state than us, because we're already multi-state."
The next step towards integration is the official financial merger between the two firms, effective July 1. In August, the entire partnership will participate in a retreat as the firm moves into a process of consolidation of its newly acquired resources and talent.
- Laura MacIntyre