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Brisbane SME merges with Sydney boutique in ‘obvious’ move

A Brisbane-based SME firm has merged with Sydney boutique House Counsel, further strengthening its offering for clients on the east coast.

user iconLauren Croft 26 October 2023 SME Law
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Corney & Lind Lawyers has bolstered its offering in Sydney with the addition of boutique firm House Counsel to its ranks.

According to the firms, the merger has been in place “for some time” but will officially settle on 1 November. The combined outfit will continue to offer legal services in commercial, not-for-profit, charity, schools and education and dispute resolution among retail offerings for legal services that include personal injury and compensation, family, estate, elder and employment and discrimination.

Over the next few months, the combined firms will rebrand – but for the immediate future, will continue as Corney & Lind Lawyers, according to managing director Alistair Macpherson.

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“Our team is growing, and with the expanded team in Sydney, we are positioning ourselves to better deliver on our values to our clients of excellence, care and service,” he said.

House Counsel principal director and incoming Corney & Lind director Timothy Whincop said the merger came at a time when the charity and not-for-profit sector is facing increased regulatory scrutiny and proposed legislative reform.

“From the moment we launched, we determined our values would be to seek just outcomes for our clients by empowering resilience and seeking to deliver practical solutions. The values of both firms [were] so closely aligned that joining together just made sense. We are excited to join with Corney & Lind to continue to seek just redemptive outcomes for our clients,” he said.

“Charity and Not-for-profit organisations need support at the best of times. If the intent is to increase transparency of regulatory activity in the sector, providing timely and efficient advice is key – particularly in ensuring resilience is proactively built within organisations. Rather than being reactive, the combined firm will be better positioned to assist organisations in their proactive advice requirements to ensure compliance prior to regulatory involvement.”

In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, Mr Whincop said the merger was a “no-brainer”.

“The merger really does increase our capacity for all of our clients across the east coast. With such a heavy focus on schools, charity and not-for-profit support, Sydney was the logical next step for a Brisbane firm and expanding for a Sydney start-up law firm was also a no-brainer,” he said.

“Having a stronger position in NSW is key to assisting all of our clients – particularly in the independent schooling sector with concerns around interpretation of section 83C of the Education Act, and ongoing requirements to ensure all not-for-profits and charities operate for the public and not private benefit.

“Over time, the Sydney office will also deliver similar services as the Brisbane office, with offerings in family law, personal injury and employment law to individuals and will be able to draw upon the expertise and resources of the Brisbane office to ensure our clients in these areas are served well.”

Further, Mr Whincop said that the newly established firm would build on the long history Corney & Lind Lawyers holds in Brisbane.

“The firms both want to empower resilience in communities and ensure we operate with the highest levels of integrity through care, service and excellence,” he added.

“To join together was obvious. To combine skills of both teams and centralise administration function, the firms will be able to offer even greater value to clients and provide a truly strong presence in NSW, building on the long 40-year heritage of the firm in Brisbane.”

Lauren Croft

Lauren Croft

Lauren is a journalist at Lawyers Weekly and graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from Macleay College. Prior to joining Lawyers Weekly, she worked as a trade journalist for media and travel industry publications and Travel Weekly. Originally born in England, Lauren enjoys trying new bars and restaurants, attending music festivals and travelling. She is also a keen snowboarder and pre-pandemic, spent a season living in a French ski resort.

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