Illawarra law firm, Kells, has acquired the practice of Kiama firm Martin & Holmes Legal.
As of 1 April, it will become the sixth office in the Kells network, alongside those in Thiroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Shellharbour and Sydney.
Kiama local and Kells partner, Michael Hatfield, will be in charge of the Kiama operation, in addition to the Shellharbour office.
“Our partners have had a strategic plan for a number of years to grow our practice and footprint, and an opportunity presented here with Peter Martin and Peter Holmes looking for a succession plan,” he says.
“A lot of things pointed to Kiama being the next place where we should be.
“We don’t intend to change things too much, as it is working really well already – predominately doing property work.
“The beauty of our firm for existing and new clients is we will be able to deliver pretty much any legal service that people need, without them having to travel.
“Kells has a number of Law Society accredited specialists – in property, litigation, employment law, personal injury law and family law – who will be able to come to our Kiama office as required.”
All of the Martin & Holmes staff are staying.
“We are lucky that we have got to acquire not just a good business but some really good people,” says Mr Hatfield.
He started with Kells 25 years ago, and in 2010 became its youngest partner at 33. Apart from heading the firm’s property team, he also does small business transactional work.
Originally from Albion Park, Mr Hatfield moved to Kiama with his young family 13 years ago, and all are strongly invested in the local community. This includes him serving on the Economic Development Committee for a number of years.