Top independent firms merge to challenge Australia’s status quo

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HWL Ebsworth and TressCox Lawyers are to combine next month, boosting what is already Australia’s largest legal partnership.

The majority of the partners and staff of TressCox will join HWL Ebsworth on 5 February. The merger will result in the retirement of the TressCox brand, the firms have confirmed.

Both HWL Ebsworth and TressCox share a number of core areas of expertise. However, they also have strength in differing areas, which inspired the merger.

“This move is driven by a desire to offer domestic and international clients the most comprehensive suite of technically outstanding legal services of any law firm in Australia. The aggregated capability of HWL Ebsworth and TressCox will enable the firm to offer market leading expertise across a number of industries including health and aged care, property, and media,” the firms’ joint statement said.

The new fully integrated national firm will have more than 1,150 staff, including about 230 partners, 610 other legal practitioners, and 340 support staff. The combined firm will have offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Norwest (North West Sydney), Perth, and Sydney.

“I have been highly impressed by the energy and commitment to clients demonstrated by the TressCox team. Culturally, the two firms operate in a very similar way, and I am confident that our practitioners will come together as one team seamlessly,” said Juan Martinez, HWL Ebsworth managing partner. “I am proud to be leading a firm with the courage and capability to challenge the status quo within Australia's legal industry. This combination will only enhance our ability to deliver unrivalled value for money without compromising quality or service.”

"The new venture with Australia’s largest legal partnership offers our clients access to a significantly improved national footprint with greater depth and breadth of expertise, and gives our people more varied career and professional development opportunities,” said Scott Chapman, TressCox executive chairman. “I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as one firm.”

The merger of HWL Ebsworth and TressCox Lawyers comes hot on the heels of another major merger between Norton Rose Fulbright and legacy Henry Davis York. The new combined firm launched at the start of December.




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