Lovegrove Solicitors has promoted Stephen Smith to managing partner.
Smith, who has 23 years experience practicing at the Victorian Bar, replaces Kim Lovegrove, who has been with the firm for over 20 years.
"I bring a lot of core advocacy experience to the firm ... It seemed to be an appropriate decision by Kim, not just from an administrative level but also from an advocacy point of view in providing a one stop legal product," Smith told Lawyers Weekly, adding that Lovegrove would remain heavily involved in the practice.
Prior to becoming managing partner this month, Smith headed up the litigation and advocacy division of the firm, which he is planning to "add significantly to".
Lovegroves is based in Melbourne, with offices in Sydney and Wellington, and Smith said he and Lovegrove are "looking significantly to develop [the] trans-Tasman practice" of the firm.
"I'll be getting a practicing certificate for New Zealand shortly," said Smith, who added that his 23 years at the Bar have prepared him well for his new role.
"Being a barrister, one has to meet time deadlines and fulfil strict time requirements that the courts impose, so when you're at the Bar you're really at the cutting edge and the decisions that you make are usually very crucial ones," he said.
"That gives me good experience in handling deadline issues and people and management issues."