Continuing its steady growth of the last few years, Gilchrist Connell has increased its number of lawyers from 53 to 62 in the last year, and the partnership from 14 to 19. The firm’s founding principals launched Gilchrist Connell after breaking away from the insurance practice of Thomson Geer in 2008, when it had around 30 lawyers in Sydney and Adelaide. In 2015, Gilchrist Connell opened a Brisbane office, becoming the only Australian law firm specialising purely in insurance law with an office in every mainland state – a lofty goal the firm managed to achieve in just seven years.
“When we set up the firm we embarked on a strategy to position ourselves to be able to provide our specialist insurance law services to clients nationally,” says managing principal Richard Wood.
“A large part of our revenue increase was the fact that our Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane offices all hit the ground running and gained real client support.
“Our Sydney office also grew in terms of revenue. In terms of turnover we’ve increased significantly year-onyear since we started in 2008.” Employment practices liability has been a major growth area for the firm, which has established a dedicated national EPL team led by an accredited employment law specialist. Financial lines and construction-related professional indemnity have also been significant growth areas.
“From our time in the industry we can safely say that our work is countercyclical and that, as an extreme generalisation, litigation picks up when the economy get a bit harder,” Wood says.
The firm has a strong track record for being a flexible workplace with a large proportion of part-time fee earners, keeping it a magnet for talent.