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Boutiques targeted as large law expands in Perth

One of Australia's top law firms is hiring from within the ranks of boutique firms to boost its burgeoning Perth office.

user iconThe New Lawyer 14 April 2010 The Bar
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ONE of Australia’s top law firms is hiring from within the ranks of boutique firms to boost its burgeoning Perth office.

As Perth becomes one of the fastest growing legal markets in Australia, law firm Allens Arthur Robinson is looking for a string of high profile people with specific skills to fill gaps in the Perth office.


Today it announced the appointment of Perth resources and native title practitioner Marshall McKenna, who has filled a vacancy in the Perth office. McKenna joins from boutique Perth law firm Hunt & Humphry, where he has been a partner since 2000.

Allens Perth practice leader, Andrew Pascoe, said the firm is not rushing to make a series of appointments, but is being very slective about hiring.

McKenna focuses on commercial litigation, mining litigation, native title litigation, land access agreements, negotiating compensation, heritage and intellectual property.

McKenna has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including acting as counsel for the pastoral interests in the Miriuwung Gajerrong native title claim (Ward v Western Australia), the first contested claim to be heard by the Federal Court, and in the Full Federal Court and the High Court appeals in that matter.

More recently he was counsel for the successful party in the landmark land access decision of the National Native Title Tribunal in the Holocene case.

Perth litigation partner Jenny Thornton said that while there has been a lot of talk about the energy and resources law in Western Australia, the growing demands as pressuring firms like Allens to hire to deal with the increase.

“Growing demands and complexity of resources agreements, along with often fierce competition for positioning around resource assets and infrastructure, has meant that we've seen a significant upsurge both in disputes and clients seeking advice on how to avoid them,” said Thornton.

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