find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Under the same roof, but not an MDP

Under the same roof, but not an MDP

WHEN FOUR partners left Nicol Robinson Halletts (NRH) recently, the firm made the best of a tricky situation — that of too much office space. By signing a deal which brought their own…

WHEN FOUR partners left Nicol Robinson Halletts (NRH) recently, the firm made the best of a tricky situation — that of too much office space. By signing a deal which brought their own chartered accountants under the same roof, the firm finds itself enjoying the benefits of a multidisciplinary practice, without constraints and audit-independence issues.

A co-location with NRH’s accountants, Hayes Knight, sprung out of some empty seats in the firm’s Brisbane office. The end of a lease for the accounting firm was just good timing and, both on the market at the same time, the two firms saw an opportunity to co-inhabit.

Business opportunities are the best part of the new arrangement, according to NRH managing partner Robert Gallagher. The move has increased practicality and immediacy, he said.

“We can see clients together. The accountants might say, ‘Fred is here now, bring in the lawyer’, and we can be there.

“Being under the same roof will make it more compelling to do work together. We can work together in insolvency, family law, consulting from them to us, and taxation,” he said.

But the new arrangement does not represent a merger between the firms, Gallagher said. Both firms will refer work to each other, “but there is no exclusive relationship”.

Pressed as to whether he would recommend such a close relationship to other law firms, Gallagher said “a lot of people have toyed with the idea over the years, a few MDPs have sprung up, for example”. But he said he did not think firms would rush in to develop similar situations. “You would have to have a very comfortable working relationship.”

“You wouldn’t want to do it as an MDP, after recent events. You would want to stand alone, but wheel the other one in when you wanted to.” Being in the same office was sufficient, he said.

The move was only one step forward, and did not symbolise a step towards an MDP, Gallagher stressed. “I would never be an advocate of merging the businesses.” In their current situation, “you have the convenience and ability to work together out of the desire to do it rather than a binding obligation”.

The move will take place at the beginning of May.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Under the same roof, but not an MDP
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...