Melbourne based law firm Aitken Partners is undergoing an ownership change that reshapes its future as it pushes towards its 100th anniversary. The new ownership is entirely from within and comprises 5 new Principals across the spectrum of the firm’s practice areas.
The new Principals are:
The new leaders of the firm, who have already held senior positions in their respective departments and other firms, are keen to embrace change while respecting the firm’s history.
“We are excited to be taking on the challenges in front of us,” new Principal Lizia Lim said. “While it is important for us to understand the history of the firm, which we do, it is also important to embrace the future and the ways we can improve the way we operate as a legal practice.
“Change is often good for firms like Aitken Partners because it means we can, and will, take a different look at how we run and operate. Everything we do will be done with our clients and staff in mind. We want to be known as a place the best lawyers want to work and we want our clients to feel the benefits of that.”
The outgoing owners felt it was time after more than 13 years of each being in an ownership position to hand the reins to a new group of lawyers.
“Aitken Partners has always been a firm that values relationships and honours its history,” outgoing equity principal Ric Birkett said. “We are pleased to be able to hand the firm over to 5 individuals who have grown with the firm and embody the values that have always held the firm in good stead.
“It is a big step for the outgoing equity principals too. While Aitken Partners’ history stems back well before our time, the 4 of us have been together as a partnership since 2008 and have worked together through some great highs and lows. However, each of us is ready to take a step back and believe that the energy the new group will bring to the firm will hold it in good stead for many years to come.
“That said, we are not going far – each of us will be continuing with the firm beyond the handover to the new group. Our collective focus for the coming months will be to see a smooth transition and, importantly, a focus on stability and on assisting the new team to settle into their new roles.”
The new owners will approach the business with a fresh set of eyes, building on the solid foundation laid by the outgoing equity principals and their predecessors.
“We are incredibly proud to take on the ownership of a firm with the history and reputation of Aitken Partners,” Paolo Tatti said, “and we thank Ric, Michael, Ed and Andrew and the other principals and partners before them – including Rob Davey who remains with Aitken Partners as the sole representative of the Aitken family – for building the firm into what it is today. In 2 years time, we will certainly have something special to celebrate when we move into our second century of operating.
“All five of us bring something different to the table, even though most of us have spent a long time with the firm. I joined Aitken Partners only 2 years ago making me the newest of us all, Alex was first with Aitken Partners 13 years ago but had a period with other firms and we both practice in litigation and insolvency. Lizia, Dylan and Julie are in different areas of law and have been with Aitken Partners for more than 5 years each, we cover all the practice areas of the firm and we are all Aitken people.
“We are keen to place ourselves at the forefront of choices for lawyers looking for more than a new job, keeping our renowned work-life balance while improving other aspects of the firm, such as the flexible work practices that we know work seamlessly after our experiences last year. We also want our clients to know that we will always be looking at new ways and ideas to bring new efficiencies in the way we deliver our advice.
“In many respects, it is business as usual, and for most people, there will be no change at all given the outgoing owners all remain with the firm, but we hope over time everyone sees the improvements from what we are planning, and embrace the new direction with us.”