22 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 535 (2009)
Slater &(and) Gordon: The Listing Experience

handle is hein.journals/geojlege22 and id is 537 raw text is: Slater & Gordon: The Listing Experience

ANDREw GRECH* & KIRSTEN MORRISON**
On May 21, 2007, Slater & Gordon became the first law firm in the world to
list its entire practice on the Australian Stock Exchange. As this case study will
illustrate, the process of listing raised significant ethical and practical issues that
had to be considered. The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (New
South Wales, Australia) worked together with Slater & Gordon throughout each
stage of the listing process to ensure that all of the ethical and practical issues
were raised and dealt with appropriately.
Established in 1935, Slater & Gordon is a consumer law practice employing
more than 600 staff members' across 30 locations throughout Australia. Among
Slater & Gordon's primary practices are: personal injury litigation, industrial and
employment law, private client services (including family law, wills, estates,
planning, conveyancing, and estate litigation), business law, and commercial
litigation and project litigation (including consumer and securities class actions).2
Most personal injury litigation is conducted on a conditional fee basis (No Win
No FeeTM) with a strong track record of successful outcomes for clients. The
practice has strong historical and contemporary links with the trade union
movement in Australia.
I. MOVE TO A CORPORATE BusiNEss STRUCTURE IN 2001
Slater & Gordon incorporated as Slater & Gordon Pty. Ltd. on June 27, 2001.
Formerly, Slater & Gordon operated as a partnership. This move was driven by
internal business considerations which coincided with the introduction of a
proposed set of uniform national provisions (model laws) governing the legal
profession that allowed incorporated legal practices to operate nationally. The
* Andrew Grech is Managing Director of Slater & Gordon.
** Kirsten Morrison is General Counsel and Company Secretary of Slater & Gordon.
1. The staff of Slater & Gordon is comprised of approximately 220 lawyers and 400 non-legally qualified
staff.
2. Around seventy-five percent of revenue comes from personal injury work with most of that performed on
a No Win No Fee'Tm basis where fees are paid on the successful conclusion of the client's matter.
3. Some examples of landmark cases where Slater & Gordon achieved successful outcomes for clients
include: the Wittenoom mine asbestos cases of 1988 and 1989, resulting in the first group settlement in
Australia; the first mass breast implant settlement against Dow Coming achieved worldwide in 2002; and
representing the Australian Council of Trade Unions and asbestos victim support groups in the James Hardie
Inquiry in 2004, which resulted in the establishment of a trust in 2006 to meet asbestos claims. For a further
discussion of Slater & Gordon's case work, see Slater & Gordon's homepage, available at www.slatergordon.
com.au (last visited Mar. 5, 2009).

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