DWF closes three Australia offices

The firm will maintain only its Brisbane branch and Connected Services ops

DWF closes three Australia offices

DWF has announced its decision to trim down its operations in Australia, cutting three of its offices in the country.

“These changes will enable a leaner Australian business to focus on institutional clients and core sectors, such as insurance, which have a stronger strategic fit for the group and offer the best opportunity for sustainable and profitable growth, by integrating other products and services provided by Mindcrest and Connected Services,” the firm said in a media release on Monday.

This follows DWF’s decision to shut its doors in Brussels and Singapore last year.

Australia managing director Damien van Brunschot will remain at the helm of DWF Australia’s operations. However, the cutting of the offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle is expected to cost about 85 employees their jobs and result in the departure of 14 principal lawyers, subject to the findings of a formal consultation.

“It is never easy making decisions like this, but rationalising our Australian operations is about focusing our investment resources on areas aligned to group strategy and priority sectors and clients, something that we have done very successfully in Dubai and elsewhere. I am confident that we will continue to grow our global operations in the future,” CEO Sir Nigel Knowles said.

The sole DWF office in Australia will be located in Brisbane.

The firm said that the expected loss for FY2021 as incurred by the Australian operations is estimated to be in the £3-4m range. Thus, the trimming of the operations is anticipated to strengthen DWF’s earnings.

“As we approach our FY21 year end in April, we remain confident in our performance and have seen strong activity levels in our third quarter ending in January, and are enjoying a busy start to our fourth quarter. We therefore continue to view the future with confidence,” Knowles said.

He said that the firm remained committed to the Australia market, despite the closures.

“Whilst we will part company with valued friends and colleagues in some locations, we retain a strong and respected team in Brisbane, with a renewed emphasis on our insurance practice,” Knowles said. “We also retain Connected Services in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and will continue to bring our Mindcrest offering to this market. We remain committed to the Australian market, and wish our departing colleagues well as they transition their practices.”

Van Brunschot is set to join the DWF Group executive board on 1 May.

Related stories

Free newsletter

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter service and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest breaking news, cutting edge opinion, and expert analysis affecting both your business and the industry as whole.

Please enter your email address below and click on Sign Up for daily newsletters from Australasian Lawyer.

Recent articles & video

"Stay in Sydney" – NSW hit by "very serious" outbreak

KWM bolsters partnership with 10 promotions

Baker McKenzie advises HSBC on billion-dollar sustainability-linked loan

UK Bar Council voices support for trans-inclusivity in the legal profession

Australasian Lawyer opens entries for its Fast Firms 2021 report

Money no longer the biggest drawing card for New York’s legal talent, study finds

Most Read Articles

New CEO steps up at MinterEllison

Sydney trademark law star named NRF’s new global IP head

Australasian Law Awards 2021 crowns the winners of the industry and firm categories

‘Being a commercial lawyer is about more than just the law,’ Lander & Rogers partner says