Major firm set to close Canberra office

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Global firm Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has confirmed that it will be shutting its Canberra office doors by the end of this year.

The move comes after the announcement that the sole remaining partner in the office, Vince Sharma, will be leaving.

In a statement provided to Australasian Lawyer, NRF’s managing partner in Australia, Wayne Spanner, says the Canberra office has seen reduced work for some time.

“Since late last year we have been servicing a large proportion of our Canberra-based work from our bases in Sydney and Melbourne, where we have considerable depth and experience,” he says.

The move to close the office follows a series of redundancies made late last year, when the firm acknowledged that close to 30 legal and non-legal staff had been cut, many of whom were in the Canberra office.

It appears partner Sharma’s looming departure has been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“As a result we have made the decision in Australia to close our office in Canberra by the end of the year. We are discussing with the five remaining staff the opportunity to pursue comparable roles in other offices and offering them support through this transition period,” says Spanner.

He adds that the work NRF does for the Federal Government will continue as usual, and there has been no reduction in work flow.

Indeed, of late the firm has been investing in recruiting staff across its other Australian offices.

In July, Australasian Lawyer reported that it had secured two more partners for its Melbourne and Perth offices, bringing the total number of partner appointments to seven this year, including four lateral hires. 

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