May 25, 2024
Doyle's Guide

Editorial Commentary – WA Property, 2015

 Market Overview

Western Australia’s property lawyers have been handed a mixed bag of market activity in recent times.   Retail generally and inner metropolitan residential projects have delivered the states lawyers their fair share of work however the downturn in the resources sector has seen work relating to these areas all but dry up and commercial property sales/acquisition and leasing have been phenomenally quiet.

Within this market framework there’s upward movement in our 2015 rankings for some firms and a continued trend towards positioning at the lower end of our rankings for a number of national firms whose efforts on resourcing property related work in WA is largely driven via Sydney and Melbourne.

Making Effort

Large firms HWL Ebsworth and Norton Rose Fulbright have both made strong efforts to improve their presence in teh WA property market in recent times.  HWL’s late 2013 hire of former Freehills Partner Paul Wilson and the formal bedding down of the firm’s merger related property practice has yielded strong results.  Similarly Norton Rose Fulbright’s long and aspirant to big things in the WA property market but somehow just falling short, may well have found the solution with hire of former Ashurst Partner Andrea Rezos in February 2015.

Strong Specialists

Across other practice areas and states typically tougher times sees the smaller/specialist firms struggle in our rankings and many drop of the radar completely.  Not so in the WA property market with Borello Legal, Warren Syminton Ralph and Young & Connell all performing strongly in our rankings.The big mover her is Borello Legal whose local focus and youthful aggression appear to have made an impact that competitors and the market generally taking notice.

All About Frank

Herbert Smith Freehills Frank Poeta sits clearly as our 2015 Market Leader having polled over twice as many votes as any other lawyer.  Poeta”s and Herbert Smith Freehills’ presence alone at the top of the market when compared to other traditional @top-tier@ firms surely must put into question the decision of other firms to scale back their commitment to the WA property market.



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