Holman opens third Australia base with Perth office launch

Holman Fenwick Willan has launched an office in Perth, marking the firm’s third presence in Australia.

The office, which opened today (1 May), will focus on the energy and natural resources sectors. It will be headed by Julian Sher, who joins from Perth’s Francis Burt Chambers. Sher, a commercial litigator, was formerly partner-in-charge of Australian firm’s Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s local base.

He will be joined at the new office by Hazel Brewer, who has been made up to the partnership from her former role as consultant, and partner James Donoghue, who is relocating from Singapore.

The office will provide a base for the firm to serve its West Australian offshore oil and gas and mining industry clients, and will also cover related markets such as shipping, ports and terminals, commodities, insurance, corporate, projects and finance.

Senior partner Richard Crump commented: “Since opening our office in Melbourne in 2006, we have viewed Australia as integral to our international strategy.

“The growth of our Australian practice, from four partners and six associates to today’s 14 partners and 30 associates, and including the opening of our Sydney office at the end of 2009, emphasises the desire of our clients to have legal advisers they can trust in the markets in which they operate.”

Australia managing partner Gavin Vallely added: “Since I joined Holman in 2006, opening a Perth office has been part of our strategy for the Asia-Pacific region. We have served clients in Perth and Western Australia for many years and as we continue to see growth in on and offshore natural resources and the global movement of high volumes of freight, taking this important step was a natural choice.”

Holman Fenwick has additional Australia offices in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as global bases in London, Paris, Rouen, Brussels, Geneva, Piraeus, Dubai, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.