22 Mar 2018

DibbsBarker to close its doors after 17 partners head for Dentons

The Australian law firm has suffered a string of departures as Dentons acquires 17 partners.


Australian mid-tier law firm DibbsBarker is to close down following the decision of 17 partners to join global outfit Dentons.  The 130-year old law firm will shut its doors on 30 April. The Dentons’ acquisition of the Dibbs staff is said to have taken place after a partner vote at its office on Friday last week. While 17 agreed to move to Dentons, a further eight partners are not part of the deal. One of those not joining Dentons is DibbsBarker managing partner, Stephen Purcell. He said of the decision:'We are delighted that our partners, along with other team members, are joining a leading global firm with a strong local presence. With client, practice and cultural synergies between the two firms, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with Dentons. They are an excellent firm where our partners will continue to deliver high quality legal services. Being part of a firm with global reach and an innovative approach to legal solutions will further enable our partners to amplify their offering for clients into the future.'

Strategic growth strategy

The new partners will join Dentons’ financial services, real estate and corporate practices. The agreement will see Dentons add ten new partners in Sydney, two new partners in Melbourne and five new partners in Brisbane on 1 May 2018. Commenting, Dentons CEO Australia, Ian Dardis, said that the addition of the DibbsBarker partners reflects the firm’s strategic growth strategy in Australia. 'This acquisition will add further depth to our already significant financial services, real estate and corporate practices. Through this agreement with a firm recently recognised as the Best Law Firm (under $50m revenue) in the 2018 Client Choice Awards, we will significantly grow our east coast presence and enhance our ability to provide clients with seamless integrated national solutions.'

Earlier departures

DibbsBarker lost a 20 strong team to Hall & Wilcox recently, as reported in The Global Legal Post.