Sparke Helmore has announced the appointment of four Clayton Utz lawyers - including partner Richard Morrison - to its Canberra office, just 24 hours after Clayton Utz revealed it had lost 14 partners to UK firm Allen & Overy.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today, Morrison denied that his decision to leave Clayton Utz was related to the other resignations and said it was Sparke Helmore's reputation that lured him away.
"Sparke's reputation and position is built on two really strong things: it has a fantastic team culture as a place to work, and I think that is known elsewhere in the market, and ... there is a real focus on delivering excellent service to clients," he said.
Morrison also said that so far the move from top-tier to mid-tier is proving to be a satisfying experience.
"It is all pretty similar, but one of the most satisfying things is that [prior to joining Sparkes], I got a real sense that the culture is fantastic, and that is definitely demonstrating itself to be true. It's a really positive thing," he said.
The new recruits also include special counsel Holly McAdam and lawyers Diana Navarro and Elizabeth Skelly who, with Morrison, will form a Government Services team that will significantly increase Sparke Helmore's capacity to provide services to the Commonwealth.
"We are delighted to have joined Sparke Helmore. Of all the firms in this market, I believe that Sparke Helmore is best placed to provide the level of excellence demanded by the Commonwealth, across the range of legal services that government requires," said Morrison.