Sparke Helmore Lawyers has announced it will merge with Newcastle firm Laycock Burke Castaldi (LBC), which will welcome three new Partners to the partnership.
The Partners, Julien Castaldi, Seamus Burke and Andrew Knight are highly experienced lawyers who have worked with a broad mix of clients throughout their respective careers.
The three come to Spark Helmore with formidable reputations in the Newcastle market.
Sparke Helmore’s National Managing Partner, Phillip Salem said, it was great to have the opportunity to merge with such a great Newcastle based firm, which will expand their market and the service on offer for clients in the region.
“Newcastle is and always will be the traditional home of Sparke Helmore – and it is deep in the roots of LBC, too,” Phillip said.
“To have the opportunity to join with a firm of the reputation and calibre of LBC is yet another critical step in enhancing the legal expertise we provide to our clients in the Hunter region and nationally.”
One of the Partners joining the team is Julien Castaldi, who is well-known for specialising in all aspects of commercial dispute resolution, insolvency and commercial law.
His experience encompasses matters relating to company law, competition and consumer law, contract, intellectual property, professional negligence, insurance law, land law, insolvency and defamation.
As well as providing advice and representation in the traditional role of solicitor, Julien has substantial experience acting in the role of advocate in contested proceedings and representing clients in mediation and arbitration.
Julien said that combining Sparke Helmore and LBC’s expertise in the field was a no-brainer. Combined with their amazing client base, he believes the partnership will provide remarkable opportunities for clients in the region.
“Sparke Helmore and LBC are both proudly Australian firms. We immediately saw the synergies with our strategies, our culture and values as well as our commitment to exceptional client service,” Julien said.
“The two firms joining forces demonstrates Sparke Helmore’s recognition of the importance of the Hunter region to its business.”
Seamus, another Partner, joining the team has a wealth of expertise in employment law, industrial relations and work health and safety.
He acts for employers in a wide range of industries, in all aspects of employment law, industrial relations and discrimination laws.
As well as behind the scenes advice, Seamus also gets involved in litigation in the employment and discrimination tribunals (including the Fair Work Commission, ADB and AHRC), the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Andrew, the third Partner addition, is highly regarded for his expertise in facets of commercial law, property law and estate planning, with specific expertise and interest in trusts, and complex wills, including drafting provisions featuring testamentary trusts and protective trusts for disabled beneficiaries.
He has unparalleled experience in property law including entering into and enforcement of securities, real estate
Julien said that the partnership has seen a lot of clients waiting eagerly with anticipation.
“Our clients are excited by the opportunities this merger presents, as evidenced by the feedback we have received.”
Director of Shaw Gidley, James Shaw, is among the list of clients excited to see the opportunities this will bring to Spark Helmore’s services.
“Shaw Gidley has worked with and referred clients to the Directors and Lawyers at LBC since the firm started in 2014,” he said.
“The merger with Sparke Helmore represents a great opportunity to combine a modern and vital legal practice with one of Newcastle’s oldest and most respected law firms. We are confident that the result will be a success, with both firms renowned for personal and high-quality service.”
Furthermore, Director Corporate Services at LINX Cargo Care Group, Eliza Anning said she is eager to see the innovation of the combined teams and how this will translate across into client services.
“The team at LBC understands our approach to doing business and provides us with advice that not only meets our approach, but also challenges our thinking to achieve a better outcome,” she said.
“The merger with Sparke Helmore represents an opportunity for this tailored approach to be delivered across a broader range of legal services and we look forward to continuing to work with a strong team, offering more diversified legal services following the merger.”
The merger between the two firms took effect on Wednesday 1 July 2020.
IMAGE | LBC Partner, Julien Castaldi and Local Managing Partner of Spark Helmore (Newcastle), Alan McKelvey.