Only days after the announcement that global firm Squire Sanders will be establishing a Perth office with 15 Minter Ellison partners, one of those partners has announced her decision to join a boutique firm instead.
Insurance and corporate risk partner Deborah Templeman, who has been with Minter Ellison for 20 years, will be starting up the Perth office of specialist insurance firm Gilchrist Connell, along with senior associate Justine Siavelis, associate Bradley Baker and several lawyers and support staff.
Gilchrist Connell managing principal Richard Wood told Lawyers Weekly he has been in talks with Templeman for around three months, following the commencement of discussions between Minter Ellison and Squire Sanders.
Wood said he believes Squire Sanders decided that an insurance practice was not a part of the firm's long-term plans.
"Deborah was looking for a home and had a couple of approaches and found us, and we have been working on it since then," he said.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Templeman said that while she was supportive of the partnership's move to Squire Sanders, it did not suit her particular practice.
"My clients wouldn't know Squire Sanders and wouldn't see the logic," she said. "It also enables us to have lower overheads ... The model suits us."
Minter Ellison chief executive partner John Weber said he had no knowledge of Templeman's move to the boutique firm, and had assumed she would be joining Squire Sanders.
Gilchrist Connell already has offices in Sydney and Adelaide and, since parting ways with Thomsons Lawyers in 2008, has grown its practice by 50 per cent.
Templeman and her team plan to join Gilchrist Connell at the same time as the 14 other partners make the move to Squire Sanders, which is expected to be sometime in September or October. "We want it to be a very smooth transition," she said.