Johnson Winter & Slattery has poached a partner from Mallesons and an ex-Freehills partner to open an office in Brisbane.
Infrastructure specialist and former Mallesons partner David Colenso and ex- Freehills partner and banking and finance specialist Paul Kasmer will join senior JWS partner Gordon Radford at the firm's new office.
Both Colenso and Kasmer are Brisbane based, while Radford, who has many clients from the Australian wine industry, has relocated from Adelaide.
"The relatively rapid development of the LNG sector in Queensland is what prompted us initially consider opening a Brisbane office," JWS managing partner Peter Slattery told Lawyers Weekly.
"The Brisbane office will also provide [JWS with] an entrée into some general energy and infrastructure project work emanating from Queensland."
Radford, Colenso and Kramer, who joined as a special counsel, are the firm's only lawyers on the ground in Brisbane at this stage. Peter Slattery said that the office has been opened as a "beachhead" and that discussions with other lawyers continue as the firm looks to increase its numbers in Brisbane.
"We would expect to have 10-12 lawyers in the Brisbane office around this time next year," he said.
Originally an Adelaide firm, JWS now has five Australian offices.