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HDY numbers take another hit

Henry Davis York has lost a real estate partner and two senior associates to McCullough Robertson.

user iconDigital 06 June 2014 The Bar
HDY numbers take another hit
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On Monday (2 June), Sydney-based HDY partner Justin Madden and senior associates Fiona Mudie and Emma Smythies started new roles at McCullough Robertson.

McCullough Robertson, a Queensland-based firm, expanded into Sydney in 2010. Madden and his team have joined one of the foundational partners of the Sydney office, real estate partner Brett Hawkins.

Madden has acted for a string of multinational companies, including the big banks, finance companies and supermarkets. He has also advised public sector organisations.


He was promoted to the HDY partnership in 2011.

McCullough Robertson managing partner Guy Humble (pictured) said that Madden’s recruitment was part of a process to support the Hawkins’ practice.

“Stage one of the firm’s growth strategy into NSW in real estate was appointing Brett Hawkins a partner, relocating him from Brisbane to Sydney,” said Humble (pictured). “Brett has built a great team around him and an enviable reputation in the NSW real estate market. Stage two of our strategy was to attract an additional partner to the Sydney team, with Justin’s appointment that can be ticked off the list as well.”

Madden’s departure is the latest development in what has been an eventful year at HDY.

Corporate partner James Lonie, who spent 16 years in the HDY partnership, defected to Holding Redlich this week (3 June). The firm also lost financial services group head Liz Gray, who joined K&L Gates in February.

Lawyers Weekly also exclusively revealed that HDY will have a new leader in 2015, with Sharon Cook standing down as the firm’s managing partner at the end of the year.

Cook also indicated to Lawyers Weekly that HDY was seeking to specialise in the twin areas of financial services and government work.

Lawyers Weekly understands this has caused some tension within the firm in other practice groups.

Just weeks prior to Cook’s revelation, HDY laid off 13 staff in its Sydney office.

McCullough Robertson has six partners and 18 lawyers in Sydney.

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