Barry.Nilsson. completes national expansion with Perth office opening
Monday, 25 September 2017
For more than 50 years, Barry.Nilsson was a Queensland law firm but demand from the insurance and health sector has propelled it to have a national presence.
Today, the multi award-winning law firm will make history when it opens its doors in Perth with highly regarded local insurance partner Toby Barrie; special counsel Belinda Randall and senior associate Jason Hart at the helm.
Barry.Nilsson. managing partner Don Leembruggen said the Perth office opening was ‘the icing on the cake’ for the firm’s national expansion plans and he looked forward to the ability to better service Barry.Nilsson’s existing national clients.
“Our Perth office realises our vision of being the leading Australian law firm in our core practice areas,” said Mr Leembruggen.
“We have long been recognised for our outstanding level of industry support, thought leadership, hard work and dedication and our new national expansion will allow us to build on those successes.”
Established in 1963, Barry.Nilsson has built an enviable reputation for leadership in the areas of insurance and health, family law and property and commercial.
In January 2014 the firm opened its first interstate office in Sydney’s CBD followed closely in 2015 and 2016 with offices in Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart, leaving Perth the only capital city left to target.
According to Mr Leembruggen the national expansion has seen the firm’s turnover double and its headcount grow 72 per cent.
"Our strategy has not just been about growth for the sake of growth," he said.
“We had strong persistent demand from our insurance and health clients and put simply, we wanted to increase the scale and depth of our offering to deliver better outcomes to our growing national client base.
“The national network will strengthen relationships with our clients Australia-wide and allow us to better service them.”
Mr Leembruggen said the biggest challenge over the past few years had been finding the right people to join the growing firm.
“At Barry.Nilsson. we invest heavily in our staff because we believe that in order to build long-term trusted relationships with our clients, we need to deliver strong and stable leadership,” he said.
“Our staff retention levels are remarkably high - on average our partners have been with us for 23 years and we see many of our junior lawyers advance to senior associates.
“It’s vitally important to us that our values align and our staff are with us long-term.”
Despite the expanded footprint, Mr Leembruggen confirmed there were no plans to diversify into other practice areas.
“I’m a big believer in doing what you do well and building on it,” he said.
“More than 70 per cent of the work of Barry.Nilsson’s lawyers is in insurance and health.
“It’s what we’re known for and it’s what we excel at.
“We have an enormous amount of expertise across the firm which we are keen to channel and leverage and that will be our immediate focus.
“In the past 12 months our national insurance leader Rhett Kennedy was bestowed the Australian Insurance Law Association’s prestigious Life Membership for his commitment to the insurance law profession.
“Last month, Barry.Nilsson was named Professional Services Firm of the Year at the prestigious 2017 Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) awards for the second consecutive year.
“Eighteen insurance lawyers attracted Doyle’s Guide recognition and as a team we received 12 listings in four states across six insurance categories.”
Barry.Nilsson. Chief Operating Officer Andrew Price said the national expansion would allow an excellent platform to apply some of the latest technologies to better service the firm’s clients.
“The move allows us to automate processes and expedite more effective and efficient claims solutions to minimise client costs which we now plan to replicate in all our offices around Australia,” said Mr Price.
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