Ex-Maurice Blackburn lawyers launch national firm first

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Bill Shorten officially launched Australia’s first firm solely dealing with superannuation, insurance and financial disputes for consumers last Wednesday.

Started by four ex-Maurice Blackburn lawyers, Berrill & Watson was born out of a desire to deal directly with clients and work on policy.

“When you are in bigger organisations, you can get distracted,” principal John Berrill told Australasian Lawyer.

“It’s a really dynamic area at the moment and we wanted to be ahead of the curve and I think we are.”

Berrill has been in the financial services industry for 25 years and is on the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal Advisory Council as well as the Consumer Action Law Centre.

With a number of reviews and enquiries in the sectors at the moment, Berrill said firm has been busy and is growing rapidly.

“One of the beauties of the areas we work in is that they are all national,” he said.

“Superannuation is a natural product, insurance policies are national products, financial advice is across the nation, banking practices are across the nation.

“It’s not limited to one area.”

The firm has opened offices in just Melbourne and in Brisbane, but Berrill said many of the firm’s clients are in the Northern Territory.

“We’ve got a visiting office in Adelaide and we’ve got people on the road in Victoria and New South Wales and Tasmania as well,” he said.

“There’s a lot of consumer stress and a lot of consumer misinformation and the need to assist and help people.”