Thomson Lawyers has set itself an ambitious target to create a national firm and grow 40% at its new Brisbane office in the next 12 to 24 months.
The Adelaide-founded firm surprised the market when it announced 10 DLA Phillips Fox partners would be joining it in the new Brisbane office in March this year and has successfully lured around 60 staff from the DLA office, including 29 lawyers and 20 support staff. “We had a target in mind when we set about creating this, and we have hit it on the nose,” said Thomsons Lawyers chief executive partner, Adrian Tembel. The firm had been servicing clients out of the Brisbane market through other firms for some time.
The firm, which now boasts more than 40 partners and more than 400 staff nationally, is set to hit the A$75m mark in revenues this financial year, and has strong expectations it will hit the A$100m revenue in the following financial year, on the back of the Brisbane office’s growth. “In the next 12 to 24 months we expect the [Brisbane] office to grow to about 85 staff,” said Tembel, adding that this represented an ambitious 40% increase.
Thomsons went through a significant growth spurt in 2008/2009 and even after this latest expansion, Tembel says the firm is not done. “We have national ambitions,” said Temble. “We are not yet in Perth, but there is not an immediate need for us to be there just yet,” he added. Tembel says the firm analysed the Brisbane market carefully before proceeding with the new office. “We think we are entering the market at a stable time,” said Tembel. “Previous firms have entered the Queensland market without much luck. I think they entered at the end of the boom – but we believe we are entering in a low risk period.”
Despite the momentum around international firms, Tembel says the firm has no interest in going global. “We enjoy our continued independence. As we evolve into a national firm that independence will be our strength,” he said. “I don’t think there is going to be any shortage of global/international legal offerings in the Australian market – we will focus on being a strong national firm.”
Along with growing the Brisbane office, Tembel says the firm is eager to add some “critical mass” to the Melbourne office. “I imagine in the next year we will do something in Melbourne,” he added.
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