Sydney, Australia.


Australian firm Thomson Geer has agreed to acquire Sydney-based banking and finance-focused firm Kemp Strang.

The deal, which is scheduled to go live Oct. 29, will see 13 of Kemp Strang’s 16 partners join Thomson Geer, raising the latter firm’s total number of partners to 110 across offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Insolvency and disputes partner Glen Williams, who has joined Sydney-based Colin Biggers & Paisley, is among the three partners who decided not to make the move.

Founded in 1974, the 70-lawyer Kemp Strang also has offices in Melbourne and Brisbane, both of which opened in 2014. In a statement, Thomson Geer, which will have about 380 lawyers following the combination, said the acquisition aimed both to bolster its finance capability and its existing corporate, property and projects practices, as well as to expand the firm’s insolvency, restructuring and recoveries offerings to balance cyclical shifts in the Australian economy.

“This is a very carefully crafted consolidation move by Thomson Geer and Kemp Strang,” Thomson Geer’s chief executive partner Adrian Tembel said in the statement, adding that the deal will preserve Kemp Strang’s strengths in the banking and finance space.

Other Australian firms that recently joined larger firms include legacy Henry Davis York, which merged with Norton Rose Fulbright in December 2017, although about two dozen partners have left the firm since the deal was announced. And most of legacy DibbsBarker was absorbed by Dentons in March 2018. In late 2016, Gaden’s Sydney, Perth and Port Moresby offices broke off and merged into Dentons.

Thomson Geer itself is the product of two mid-sized Australian firms — Thomsons Lawyers and Herbert Geer — joining forces in 2014.

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