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National firm reaches 50 partner-level lawyers

A national mid-tier practice that pays out 70 per cent of a lawyer’s collected billings now boasts 50 partnership equivalent across Australia, after just seven years of operation in the country.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 28 April 2021 SME Law
Warren Kalinko
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Keypoint Law – which provides services across 23 areas of law in its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra offices – has reached a milestone of 50 senior lawyers on its books. The firm’s growth in Australia mirrors that of its UK-based sister firm, Keystone Law, which currently has over 350 senior lawyers after 20 years of operations.

The firm, whose size had climbed to 45 partner-level lawyers this time last year, has had a busy start to 2021, adding consulting principals in the areas of wills and estates, commercial and property, privacy, family law and government

A resonant model

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Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Keypoint chief executive Warren Kalinko said that the firm is growing fast because its model “resonates strongly” with senior legal professionals.

“They’re attracted to our firm because they receive: ‘A law firm + freedom + 70 per cent’,” he said, pointing to the “complete absence” of billable hour targets, time sheets and financial micromanagement.

Moreover, he added, the firm pays out 70 per cent of a lawyer’s collected billings.

“By bringing together the elements of a law firm which people value, and eliminating those parts which people do not, we’ve created a progressive firm which offers a healthy and rewarding way to work,” Mr Kalinko said.

According to Keypoint general counsel and director of corporate development Kim Adey, the firm’s model sees clients provided with a personal, partner-level service.

“This differs to the traditional firm, which is structured like a pyramid, with partners passing work down the chain to junior lawyers. We’ve flipped tradition upside down, increasing the number of senior lawyers and stripping out the middle layers,” she detailed.

“For a client, this means that the senior lawyer you choose to instruct is the one who does your work – with all the efficiency and quality that brings to bear.”

Culture of referrals

Ms Adey noted that an essential ingredient in the firm’s growth trajectory has been its culture – being “genuinely connected and collegiate” has helped breed an environment whereby referrals are bountiful.

“Our people know each other well, work in teams, and lots of work is referred around the firm,” she espoused.

“There’s a distinct absence of internal competition which makes for a positive and supportive environment.”

Mr Kalinko added that one metric by which integration within a firm can be measured is how much work is shared across the firm. More than one-fifth (22 per cent) of the firm’s revenue last financial year, he said, was referred work.

“Whilst we think we can improve this number markedly, it speaks volumes for how connected and collegiate our people are, only seven years into our journey,” he proclaimed.

Continued growth

Looking ahead, Keypoint will continue to recruit leading senior lawyers. It intends, it said, to “cement its status” as a strong national mid-tier practice.

“Keypoint offers a de-leveraged, partner-level service, which resonates with clients for most types of work.  Clients like the efficiency and quality which comes with a partner-level service. In essence, we’re a value model built on undiluted access to leading practitioners,” Ms Adey said.

When asked how other mid-tier firms can bolster their own offerings and expand in similar ways, Keypoint said that the post-pandemic world opens a window for “genuine innovation” across the legal profession.

“Firms are focused not only on how to improve their delivery of legal services to clients, they’re also focused on how the law firm itself can change so as to offer improved ways of working for lawyers,” it said. 

“A number of emerging mid-tiers – with an eye on both metrics – are taking market share and talent from traditional firms. The opportunity is significant, and we expect to see considerable change in the mid-tier over coming years.”

“Keypoint has established itself as a fast-growing mid-tier firm with an unwavering client focus, innovative approach, and commitment to wellbeing in the law,” Mr Kalinko concluded.

“We’re delighted to have achieved this milestone, and express our sincere gratitude to our clients for their support and custom over the past seven years. We’re encouraged by our firm’s successes to date, and look forward to the next exciting chapter in our journey.”

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is the editor of Lawyers Weekly. A former lawyer, he has worked at Momentum Media as a journalist on Lawyers Weekly since February 2018, and has served as editor since March 2022. He is also the host of all five shows under The Lawyers Weekly Podcast Network, and has overseen the brand's audio medium growth from 4,000 downloads per month to over 60,000 downloads per month, making The Lawyers Weekly Show the most popular industry-specific podcast in Australia. Jerome is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines book series, an admitted solicitor in NSW, and a board director of Minds Count.

You can email Jerome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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