Here are the top six Australian law firms based on revenue

Ready to find out the top six law firms in Australia, based on revenue?

Here are the top six Australian law firms based on revenue

Ready to find out the top six law firms in Australia, based on revenue? 

According to the 2018 National Profile of Solicitors published by the Law Society of NSW, there were 18,748 private law firms operating across Australia. The profile also revealed that as of October 2018, there were 76,303 practising solicitors in Australia.  

This list consists of the top-tier law firms in Australia as of 2019, as reported by Millner & Knight, an Australian fully integrated claims management company. These firms are reportedly the largest by revenue, as they raked in $2.8 billion combined.  In alphabetical order, the largest Australian firms are: 

  • Allens 
    Allens is a leading international law firm, and is one of the largest law firms in the Asia Pacific Region. Allen’s was founded in 1822, and has been in an international alliance with Linklaters since 1 May, 2012. 

No. Of Offices: 
Allens has offices located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Additionally, the firm has 40 offices in 28 locations around the world. 

Practice Areas: 
As stated in their LinkedIn page, the firm specialises in corporate law. 

In addition, as related on their website, Allens Linklaters also offers their legal services a variety of practice areas. These include mining, oil & gas, power and utilities, real estate and technology, media & telecommunications, among others. 

Key People: 

Latest News: Last 28 January 2020, Australasian Lawyer reported  that Allens helped sell 49% of the assumed largest wind farm in Australia. The firm advised Goldwind to sell a stake in the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm to Qatar’s Nebras Power Investment Management. 

While the financial details were not officially disclosed yet, the deal was earlier reported to have cost $700m. An Allens representative stated that the deal is “one of the largest in the renewable energy sector in recent years.” 

  • Ashurst Australia 
    Ashurst Australia is the Australian partnership of the global law firm. Headquartered in Sydney, the firm was previously known as Blake Dawson and merged with UK-giant Ashurst on 1 March 2012. 

Blake Dawson was founded in Melbourne in 1841 by James Hunter Ross. 

No. Of Offices:  
Ashurst has 6 offices in Australia – two in Brisbane, and one each in Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.  Around the world, it has offices in 16 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. 

Total Revenue (for the year ended 30 April 2019): 
Ashurst said its revenue as of 30 April 2019 was £641m (approximately $1.25bn), a 14% increase from the previous year’s £564m (approximately $1.1bn). Profit per equity partner for 2019 is £972,000 (approximately $1.9m), which increased by 31% from the prior year’s £743,000 (approximately $1.45m). 

Practice Areas: Ashurst provides a variety of legal services, and has expertise in various sectors including dispute resolution, employment, financial regulation, insurance and reinsurance and intellectual property, among others. 

Key People: 

  • Ben Tidswell – Chairman; 
  • Paul Jenkins – Global managing partner; 

Latest News: As reported on 10 January 2020, Ashurst counselled Sydney Metro on its contracts with the consortium created by the Waterloo Metro Quarter’s tenderers, John Holland and Mirvac. Ashurst advised Sydney Metro on both the contracts for the Waterloo metro station and the precinct development. The report said that the contract is worth $299m, and that the whole development of the integrated station is expected to reach $800m. 

Ashurt’s lead partner Olivia Lau said that the team is very proud to be involved in a “transformational” project.  

  • Clayton Utz 
    Clayton Utz is an independent law firm founded in 1833. The firm takes pride in their pro bono services, and has reached 42,871 pro bono hours as of 2019. 

No. Of Offices:  
Clayton Utz is one of the largest Australian law firms, with six offices across Australia. The firm is headquartered in Sydney, but also has offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne and Perth. 

Total Revenue:

Clayton Utz grew its revenue to $517.2m in fiscal year 2019 from $507.8m the prior year.

Practice Areas:  
Clayton Utz specialises in law, banking & finance, workplace, tax, insurance & risk, competition, commercial litigation, construction & major projects, intellectual property, corporate/m&a, tmt, energy & resources, restructuring and insolvency, environment and planning, real estate, and forensic services, per the firm’s LinkedIn profile 

Key people:  
The following are members of Clayton Utz’ senior leadership team: 

  • Robert Cutler – Chief executive partner; 
  • Bruce Cooper – Chief executive partner-elect; and 
  • Graeme Johnson – Chief financial officer and chief operating officer 

Latest News: A 10 January 2020 report revealed that Clayton Utz was the legal counsel that advised Acciona, a Spanish conglomerate, in acquiring the engineering business of Lendlease for $180m.  As it is still subject to conditions and regulatory approvals, the acquisition is anticipated to close in the first half of the year.  

  • Herbert Smith Freehills 
    Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is one of the biggest international law firms, with several headquarters in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. The firm was incorporated when UK-based law firm Herbert Smith and Australian firm Freehills merged on 1 October 2012. 

No. Of Offices:  
HSF has six offices across Australia (Melbourne, Melbourne (Alt), Sydney, Sydney – Macquarie Park and Perth), plus 20 other offices globally. 

Total Revenue (for the year ended 30 April 2019):  
HSF’s revenues reached $965.7m, gaining 4% from last year’s $277.2m, as posted on the firm’s website  HSF also earned $306.7m in profit, up 11% from previous financial year’s $277.2m. 

Practice Areas: 
HSF specialises in anti-trust and competition, capital markets, compliance and regulatory, dispute resolution, projects and infrastructure, real estate and tax, employment, pensions and incentives, environment and planning, finance, intellectual property, investigations and m&a, as noted in their LinkedIn page

Key People: 
The following are members of HSF’s Australia senior leadership team: 

  • Mark Rigotti – CEO and partner; 
  • Nicole Bamforth – COO, Sydney; 
  • Alan Peckham – Chief administrative officer, Melbourne; 
  • Chele Dore – Chief business development officer, Sydney; 
  • John McKenna – Chief risk officer, Melbourne 

Latest News: HSF was among the 35 organisations lauded by the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) as inclusive employers in its latest [email protected]  This is the first time that HSF has made the list, which was based on a survey of 3,000 Australian workers.  

  • King & Wood Mallesons 
    King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is an international law firm with a main office in Hong Hong Kong. As stated on their website, the firm, which is one of the “world’s most innovative law firms,” helps clients take on unexplored opportunities in the Asian market. 

Chinese firm King & Wood PRC Lawyers and Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques combined on 1 March 2012 to create KWM. KWM is the first global law firm headquartered in Asia. 

No. Of Offices:  
KWM has offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.  In addition, they have 28 locations across the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and North America. 

Practice Areas:  
KWM offers broad experience and deep insight on the following sectors: agribusiness and food; automotive; consumer and retail; financial institutions; government and public; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; industrials; private equity; projects; energy and resources; real estate and construction; and telecommunications, media, entertainment & technology, according to their LinkedIn page 

Key People:  

  • Wang Junfeng – Global chairman; 
  • Tim Finlayson – COO, Sydney; 
  • Rupert Li – Global COO; 
  • Sue Kench – Global chief executive 

Latest News: KWM acted as the lead deal and documentation counsel on PrimeCredit’s first term securitisation issuance. This is the first public term securitisation in the Hong Kong market in more than ten years. 

  • MinterEllison 
    MinterEllison is an international law firm, which was regarded as one of the premier law firms in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm, which was founded in 1827 in Sydney, has since expanded into more non-traditional consulting services like infrastructure consulting, risk & regulatory, tax and technology. 

No. Of Offices:  
MinterEllison operates globally through a number of affiliated offices.  

MinterEllison has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin, as well as Shanghai and Beijing. In addition, the firm’s network comprises the offices of MinterEllison LLP in Hong Kong and Mongolia, Minter Ellison (London) and offices under the MinterEllison Legal Group. 

MinterEllison said it earned $627m of revenue globally in 2019, an 11% increase on FY2018. 

Additionally, the firm has given $11.4m in pro bono support in 2019. 

Practice Areas:  
MinterEllison specialises in the following practice areas: competition and market regulation; construction; corporate; employment; environment and planning; equity capital markets; finance; funds management; insurance; intellectual property; litigation and disputes; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; real estate; reconstruction; tax and technology, as declared on their LinkedIn page

Key People:  

The following are members of MinterEllison’s executive leadership team: 

  • Annette Kimmitt – CEO and managing partner; 
  • Stuart Johnson – Managing partner capital markets and corporate; 
  • Michelle Power – Managing partner, markets; 
  • Ross Freeman – Managing partner, disputes, competition and insurance; 
  • Virginia Briggs – Managing partner, infrastructure, construction & property; 
  • Andrew Cunningham – Managing partner, consulting solutions and innovation 
  • David Rawling – COO; 
  • Jeremy Blackshaw – International managing partner. 

Latest News: A 7 January 2020 report confirmed MinterEllison’s role on the extension of the Sydney Metro Northwest Line. The firm advised MTR Corporation and Metro Trains Sydney (MTS). 

The $3.7bn contract will include a $1.7bn component for the metro trains and core rail systems, as well as a $2bn component for lines’ operations and maintenance until 2034. 

Rodney Chen, MTR’s principal legal adviser for projects and international business, said, “MinterEllison provided, from the get-go, a focussed and dedicated team supporting the MTR and MTS teams through all stages of review and analysis, negotiation and finalisation of the large suite of highly complex documentation throughout various levels of the contracting chain.” 

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