Big firm aids expansion and grabs top government specialist

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DLA Piper has announced the appointment of Dr Rebecca French as a consultant in its Melbourne office.

She joins the firm from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), where she worked primarily in the civil, human rights, review and regulation, real property and retail tenancies lists.
Prior to that she was general counsel at the Victorian Government Solicitors Office, and before then worked for the Administrative Law Branch at VGSO and in private practice for Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons).
French told Australasian Lawyer that she’s made the move because she wanted to return to her previous government law focus, and DLA Piper “is expanding their strong national government team”.
She says she has big plans at the firm.

“[I want to provide] good, practical, timely service to clients operating in or interacting with government, and [help] it to further grow its reputation as an excellent legal service provider in the government sphere.”
French, who is from a family of lawyers, says the trend towards specialisation of legal expertise needs to be linked to an understanding of the way in which different areas of law interact.

“This is a particular challenge for firms operating in a very competitive market which demands high levels of expertise,” she says. “Law firms are also operating in an environment where clients are increasingly knowledgeable and demand value for money.”          
DLA Piper Melbourne office managing partner, Jane Hider is delighted to be able to snap up French for the firm.
"Given her strong government focus, she will also work closely with our Canberra office and our national government practice,” she says.
In 2009, French was named as a finalist for ACLA's Australian Government Lawyer of the Year.