Australian law firms healthy despite persistent competition and disruption

Australian law firms healthy despite persistent competition and disruption

A new study into Australian law firms has revealed the Australian legal sector is healthy despite persistent problems. The seventh annual ALPMA Crowe Horwath Financial Performance Benchmarking Study indicated law firm profitability remains strong despite increasing disruption and a more competitive market. Profit margins remain strong...

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Class action against Retail Food Group expanded to help franchisees

Class action against Retail Food Group expanded to help franchisees

THE situation for Retail Food Group (ASX: RFG) continues to go from bad to worse with the potenital class action against them now expanding to assist franchisees. In December 2017, Bannister Law announced investigations for a potential shareholder class action into Retail Food Group over possible contraventions of the Corporations Act. ...

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Corporate Counsel president talks the future of the industry

Corporate Counsel president talks the future of the industry

FOR the newly elected president of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Australia, Karen Grumley, the future of the legal industry is a world of opportunity. While news surrounding the legal profession often reads 'doom and gloom' with the rise of smart technology and artificial intelligence, Grumley sees these kinds of adva...

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FORMER MINTERELLISON PARTNER LEAVES TO OPEN NEW LAW AND BUSINESS FIRM

FORMER MINTERELLISON PARTNER LEAVES TO OPEN NEW LAW AND BUSINESS FIRM

FORMER MinterEllison partner, Adam Merlehan, has left the multinational to establish a 'full service' multidisciplinary business and law practice. Merlehan Group, which will have offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, will offer business strategy advice for growth or business optimisation. Merlehan's team will assist w...

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HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR HELIX LEGAL FOUNDERS

HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR HELIX LEGAL FOUNDERS

THE blood, sweat, and tears that has gone into creating Helix Legal have finally paid off for Director and Partner Janelle Kerrisk. The law firm, still in its infancy relative to other Queensland law firms, has gone from strength to strength since its inception. Recently, Kerrisk was awarded a National Association of Women in Construc...

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SLATER & GORDON MOVES ON MASSIVE DEBT TO PREVENT INSOLVENCY

SLATER & GORDON MOVES ON MASSIVE DEBT TO PREVENT INSOLVENCY

EMBATTLED law firm Slater & Gordon (ASX: SGH) has called on its shareholders to vote in favour of a recapitalisation of its "unsustainable debt levels" otherwise it will become insolvent.

Slater & Gordon says it owes a total of $761 million, as of 30 June 2017, which it cannot pay down and the debt level is greater than the ...

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AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS CLOCK NEARLY 3 MILLION PRO BONO HOURS OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS

AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS CLOCK NEARLY 3 MILLION PRO BONO HOURS OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS

OVER the past ten years Australian lawyers have contributed nearly 3 million pro bono hours of legal work. The Australian Pro Bono Centre's 10th Annual Performance Report shows Australian lawyers gave 2.86 million pro bono hours to the community over the last 10 years. 420,195 of those hours were contributed during the last financ...

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'CANCER BLOGGER' BELLE GIBSON GIVEN MASSIVE FINE OVER SCAM

'CANCER BLOGGER' BELLE GIBSON GIVEN MASSIVE FINE OVER SCAM

HEALTH and wellness blogger and convicted fraudster, Belle Gibson, has been handed a $410,000 fine for falsely claiming her brain cancer was cured through alternative remedies. Gibson profited off these claims through her best-selling app and cookbook called 'The Whole Pantry', which suggested she cured herself of cancer using alt...

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THE TECHNOLOGY THAT'S SET TO DISRUPT A PROFESSION AS OLD AS THE LAW ITSELF

THE TECHNOLOGY THAT'S SET TO DISRUPT A PROFESSION AS OLD AS THE LAW ITSELF

THE role of a barrister clerk might not be as glamourous as the role of the barrister but rest assured it is just as important. For those unfamiliar, a barrister clerk is the matchmaker between solicitors and barristers, and as such they're the trusted advisor and facilitator of connections to ensure the right barrister can be matched...

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CITY PACIFIC EXECS FACE $70M CLAIM AFTER LOSING APPEAL

CITY PACIFIC EXECS FACE $70M CLAIM AFTER LOSING APPEAL

TRILOGY Funds has won the right to recover $70 million from former City Pacific chief executive Phil Sullivan and other unsuccessful defendants. Two years after the original judgment against Sullivan and other senior executives, their appeal in the Federal Court was thrown out. Since the collapse of City Pacific in 2009, the Pacific F...

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VOCUS MAY FACE LARGE CLASS ACTION FROM SHAREHOLDERS

VOCUS MAY FACE LARGE CLASS ACTION FROM SHAREHOLDERS

LAW firm Slater & Gordon (ASX: SGH) is investigating a class action claim against telecommunications provider Vocus Group Limited (ASX: VOC). The claim, backed by litigation funder Investor Claim Partner, alleges that Vocus had no reasonable grounds for its original 2017 financial guidance, issued in November 2016 which was downgraded...

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REBEL WILSON RECEIVES MILLIONS IN DAMAGES FROM BAUER MEDIA

REBEL WILSON RECEIVES MILLIONS IN DAMAGES FROM BAUER MEDIA

BAUER Media has been ordered to pay more than $4.5 million in damages to Australian actress Rebel Wilson. The Hollywood actress and comedian sued the German-owned magazine company for publishing a series of defamatory stories in 2015. In June, a six-person jury found that Wilson was defamed by Bauer Media in eight articles because the...

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SLATER & GORDON BEGINS JOB CUTS AS MAJOR STRUCTURAL CHANGES ARE ANNOUNCED

SLATER & GORDON BEGINS JOB CUTS AS MAJOR STRUCTURAL CHANGES ARE ANNOUNCED

EMBATTLED law firm Slater & Gordon (ASX: SGH) will cut around seven per cent of its workforce as it aims to reduce costs and make structural changes in the face of heavy losses and legal dramas.

The firm released a preliminary strategic and operational review and announced it has begun consulting with "impacted" employees a...

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JAMES PACKER'S CROWN AND ARISTOCRAT FACING LANDMARK LEGAL CASE OVER POKIES 'ADDICTION'

JAMES PACKER'S CROWN AND ARISTOCRAT FACING LANDMARK LEGAL CASE OVER POKIES 'ADDICTION'

A LANDMARK pro-bono legal test which promises to highlight the "deceptive and misleading behaviour" of pokies manufacturers and venues will begin in the Federal Court with Aristocrat and James Packer's Crown Resorts as defendants in the case. The first-of-its-kind case will focus on the design of poker machines contributing ...

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SLATER AND GORDON TO SETTLE CLASS ACTION FOR $36M

SLATER AND GORDON TO SETTLE CLASS ACTION FOR $36M

Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has agreed to settle one of the class actions brought against it by angry shareholders which is expected to cost the firm $36.5 million.

The law firm says the Federal Court will mediate a settlement with thousands of shareholders led by investor Matthew Hall.

Slater and Gordon released a statement on Tue...

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SLATER AND GORDON SHARES IN TRADING HALT AHEAD OF CRITICAL UPDATES

SLATER AND GORDON SHARES IN TRADING HALT AHEAD OF CRITICAL UPDATES

EMBATTLED law firm Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has placed its shares in a trading halt ahead of an update on its legal dramas and a restructure proposal.

The company's shareholders are chasing compensation for the massive drop in the firm's value following its disastrous $1.3 billion acquisition of British professional services firm ...

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AGED CARE OPERATOR AVEO MAY FACE CLASS ACTION FROM RESIDENTS

AGED CARE OPERATOR AVEO MAY FACE CLASS ACTION FROM RESIDENTS

MADDENS Lawyers is considering a class action against retirement village operator Aveo after a Four Corners-Fairfax investigation revealed its complicated contracts and exorbitant fees.

The law firm issued a statement late on Thursday calling on residents at Aveo facilities to get in touch with them if they feel they have been financially dis...

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LENDERS TAKE CONTROL OF SLATER AND GORDON AS MD ANDREW GRECH STEPS DOWN

LENDERS TAKE CONTROL OF SLATER AND GORDON AS MD ANDREW GRECH STEPS DOWN

SLATER and Gordon boss Andrew Grech has stepped down and a board cleanout is underway as part of a major restructuring process that gives control to its lenders. Under a binding recapitalisation agreement, Slater and Gordon's (ASX: SGH) lenders will gain approximately 95 per cent of the company's equity, enabling them to appoint a...

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HOPGOODGANIM INVESTS IN EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE

HOPGOODGANIM INVESTS IN EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE

BRISBANE law firm HopgoodGanim has engaged Australia's largest governance advisory practice, Effective Governance, to complement the firm's traditional practice by providing clients with more than just legal advice.

HopgoodGanim clients will have access to an integrated suite of corporate governance solutions, from board and governanc...

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IMF BRACES FOR BIG LOSS FOLLOWING WITHDRAWAL FROM SPOTLESS CLASS ACTION

IMF BRACES FOR BIG LOSS FOLLOWING WITHDRAWAL FROM SPOTLESS CLASS ACTION

LITIGATION fund IMF Bentham (ASX: IMF) is set to lose as much as half a million dollars after it ceases funding one of the major shareholder class actions it has been backing since February.

Pending the court's approval, IMF announced it will withdraw its funding of William Roberts Lawyers' class action against Spotless Group (ASX: SP...

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WAGERING GIANTS TABCORP AND TATTS GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR $11B MERGER

WAGERING GIANTS TABCORP AND TATTS GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR $11B MERGER

THE Competition Tribunal has approved Tabcorp's (ASX: TAH) $11bn takeover bid for Tatts (ASX: TTS) on the condition that it must divest its Odyssey gaming business in Queensland.

The announcement was made this morning after weeks of hearings and was delivered by Federal Court judge John Middleton.

Tabcorp applied to the tribunal for ap...

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CLASS ACTION TO BE LAUNCHED AGAINST MCMILLAN SHAKESPEARE OVER 'WORTHLESS' VEHICLE WARRANTIES

CLASS ACTION TO BE LAUNCHED AGAINST MCMILLAN SHAKESPEARE OVER 'WORTHLESS' VEHICLE WARRANTIES

AN $80 million class action will be launched against McMillan Shakespeare Group (ASX: MMS) over claims it issued "worthless" warranties to tens of thousands of customers who bought used cars and trucks from the company.

Global litigation funder Vannin Capital has engaged leading law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan to file t...

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CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST SURFSTITCH AFTER ANOTHER EARNINGS WIPEOUT

CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST SURFSTITCH AFTER ANOTHER EARNINGS WIPEOUT

AS ONLINE retailer SurfStitch (ASX: SRF) battles for survival following another negative earnings forecast, a $100 million class action has been filed in the Supreme Court of Queensland on behalf of aggrieved shareholders.

On Monday, the Gold Coast-based company announced its losses will double to as much as $11.5 million this year, sending i...

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COMMUNITY LAWYERS ON FUNDING CRISIS: BUDGET WAS A DECENT START, BUT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE

COMMUNITY LAWYERS ON FUNDING CRISIS: BUDGET WAS A DECENT START, BUT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE

While the Federal Budget may have reversed its initial plans to cut funding from community legal services nationwide, peak groups are saying more needs to be done to end the current justice funding crisis.

Organisations including the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) and the National Family Violence Prevention Legal...

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BRISBANE LAWYERS TAKE PATENTED ANIMAL PAINKILLER TO THE WORLD

BRISBANE LAWYERS TAKE PATENTED ANIMAL PAINKILLER TO THE WORLD

BRISBANE law firm Bennet & Philip Lawyers has contracted a multi-million-dollar deal to help take a unique Aussie painkiller for animals to the global market.

Bennet & Philip's Michael Bigg and Lance Pollard contracted a deal between Australian company Animal Ethics and UK-based Dechra Pharmaceuticals to launch Animal Ethics&...

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QUEENSLAND FIRMS ANNOUNCE MERGER

QUEENSLAND FIRMS ANNOUNCE MERGER

SAJEN Legal and Ferguson Cannon Lawyers have announced that their firms have officially joined forces in Queensland.

The firms, which both have offices in Brisbane, officially merged on May 2 under the combined brand of Sajen Legal which has retained all existing directors from both firms.

Comprising the new board is Kyle Kimball, Glenn Fe...

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LEGAL PROCUREMENT DISRUPTOR SECURES $500,000 FUNDING BOOST

LEGAL PROCUREMENT DISRUPTOR SECURES $500,000 FUNDING BOOST

IT'S ONLY been two years since Warwick Walsh left a career in private practice to establish Lawcadia, a tech-based legal procurement company that has already drawn serious attention from the industry, not to mention serious funding.

The entrepreneur noticed a gap in the market around the way that companies procure and manage legal service...

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FAMILY LAWYER DISPELS THE LEGAL PROFESSION'S UNHAPPINESS COMPLEX

FAMILY LAWYER DISPELS THE LEGAL PROFESSION'S UNHAPPINESS COMPLEX

WHEN it comes to finding happiness in the legal profession, Brisbane Family Law Centre director Clarissa Rayward is among the top authorities. Often required to deal with unpleasant situations and hard life scenarios as a family lawyer, Rayward has spent years unlocking the secrets to staying happy amid the daily turmoil that comes with t...

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MCCARTHY DURIE ACQUIRES BOUTIQUE ARANA HILLS FIRM

MCCARTHY DURIE ACQUIRES BOUTIQUE ARANA HILLS FIRM

IN A move to boost its commercial and corporate business transactions team, McCarthy Durie has acquired boutique firm Eaton Lawyers based in Arana Hills. The acquisition marks almost exactly a year since McCarthy Durie took over Toogoods Lawyers and merged its entire workforce into the firm's corporate fold. Through these two deal...

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EXCLUSIVE Q&A: CORPORATE LAW EXPAT PARTNER RETURNS TO BRISBANE

EXCLUSIVE Q&A: CORPORATE LAW EXPAT PARTNER RETURNS TO BRISBANE

FOR nine years, corporate specialist Andrew Clark (pictured) called London home while he worked as a partner at Reed Smith LLP, one of the world's largest law firms. Resolving complex multinational matters became a speciality for Clark. In the morning, he would negotiate joint ventures with Kazakhstan, at lunch he would do business de...

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