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Hart pumped about firm’s future



Medium-sized law firms had generally outperformed major firms in both profitability and revenue over the past few years and had a bright future, according to Dibbs Abbott Stillman’s (DAS) new managing partner in Melbourne, Duncan Hart.

Mr Hart’s appointment to the new position of managing partner in Melbourne reflects the success the firm has enjoyed in recent years.

“This firm has been a quiet achiever – it has got a good story to tell and I think it needs to tell it,” Mr Hart told the LIJ.

“It has had double-digit growth in the last 12 months and our budgetary expectation for the current financial year (08/09) is double-digit in both profit and revenue.”

Mr Hart said he had been appointed to help the firm capitalise on this growth.

“Management by committee gets a firm so far but the challenge for mid-sized firms is to capitalise on the growth they have enjoyed and continue that trajectory – and that’s not easy at all.”

Mr Hart said mid-sized law firms had done well because large corporate clients had become more sophisticated in their buying practices, and were buying from a wide range of legal providers.

“There is a huge and far more common range of work that firms our size can do capably and much more cheaply and efficiently than our large competitors,” he said.

DAS is a commercial law firm with more than 520 staff nationally, including 74 partners, and offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

Mr Hart was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 1973, and practised as a solicitor and barrister for more than 25 years.

He was regional managing director of DLA Phillips Fox in Melbourne before starting his own full-time management consultancy business, which involved advising legal, engineering, medical, accounting and patent attorney firms.


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