Thomson Geer to acquire Kemp Strang

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In a deal that changes the landscape of Australia’s largest independent law firms, Thomson Geer has confirmed that it will be acquiring Kemp Strang.

The national firm told Australasian Lawyer that the acquisition will expand the partnership from 98 to 110, with 13 of Kemp Strang’s 16 partners moving to the firm on 29 October.

“This is a very carefully crafted consolidation move by Thomson Geer and Kemp Strang. It will preserve Kemp Strang's strengths in the banking and finance space and provide our mutual clients with deeper and broader solutions at Thomson Geer,” said Adrian Tembel, Thomson Geer’s chief executive partner.

Thomson Geer said that its investment was driven by its commitment to building its finance capability to complement its transactional strengths in corporate, property, and projects, as well as its desire to expand its insolvency, restructuring, and recoveries service offering to cover off any cyclical shifts in the Australian economy.

The deal, which will see Thomson Geer acquiring all of the assets of Kemp Strang, includes 74 professionals and support staff, boosting Thomson Geer’s numbers by 19% to 550 people.

It creates Australia’s fifth largest independent law firm and 10th largest law firm overall by number of partners.

“After 43 successful years as an independent banking and finance focussed firm, it is now time for Kemp Strang to evolve as part of a larger more diverse Australian law firm,” said Michael Joseph, Kemp Strang’s executive chairman.

Kemp Strang is the last remaining independent mid-market law firm specialised in banking and finance, Thomson Geer said. The deal comes after Dentons combined with the Sydney, Perth, and Papua New Guinea offices of Gadens in December 2016; Norton Rose Fulbright merged with Henry Davis York in December 2017; and Dentons acquired the bulk of DibbsBarker in April.

This year has also featured the acquisition of much of TressCox Lawyers by HWL Ebsworth and the combination of McCabes Lawyers and Curwoods Lawyers.