Home grown talent promoted to 29 new leadership positions at Maurice Blackburn

27 June 2013
National plaintiff law firm Maurice Blackburn has announced its largest ever round of promotions for 29 senior lawyers who are moving to principal, special counsel, senior associate and associate positions from 1 July, 2013.

The promotions are in a range of practice areas - class actions, medical negligence, road trauma, asbestos, work injuries, and wills disputes cementing the firm as a leader in these specialist areas.

Senior appointments bring the total number of principals to 42, 17 of whom are women. The promotions have been made in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and suburban and regional offices of Frankston, Dandenong and Reservoir.

Maurice Blackburn CEO Greg Tucker said the firm was continuing its pattern of sustained growth and was looking to expand further over the next 12 months. Staffing levels have continued to climb with the number of employees rising by 12 percent from 639 in 2011 to 779 at 1 July, 2013.

"The firm is continuing to grow at a fast rate and this is organic growth, not via acquisitions," said Mr Tucker.

"The new round of promotions across several practice and geographic areas is home-grown talent - people who have honed their specialist knowledge and skills as plaintiff lawyers with us over the years and who are strongly committed to the firm's social justice principles."

"The performance of some of our newer offices in QLD, Canberra and Perth has been outstanding," said Mr Tucker.

Asbestos litigation specialist Theodora Ahilas, has also been appointed national head of asbestos department following the departure of Andrew Dimsey who is planning to go to the Victorian Bar. Theodora, has been the asbestos principal for NSW/ACT since 2004 and is the 2012 NSW Justice medal winner.

"Theodora is just one example of a senior lawyer who still deals directly with clients. This is what distinguishes Maurice Blackburn in the plaintiff law category senior lawyers manage files while leading teams and it is this personalised approach that clients appreciate.

Our latest client survey reveals very high satisfaction rates with our service. Similarly our latest staff survey results show a staff engagement level of 74 percent which far exceeds most law firms and is in the top 10 percent of all employers as measured by AON Hewitt," said Mr Tucker.  

The following staff have received promotions. 

To Principal

Sarah Atkinson - Sunshine Coast/QLD medical negligence

Salvatore Giandinoto - Greensborough, work injuries

Canda Glanville - Frankston, road injuries

Dimi Ioannou - Melbourne, public liability

Walter Hawkins - Canberra, practice leader


To Special Counsel

Richard Ryan - Sydney, class actions


To national practice leader

Theodora Ahilas - Sydney,asbestos


To Senior Associate

Tom Ballantyne - Melbourne, medical negligence

Vavaa Mawuli - Brisbane, class actions

Tanya Straguszi - Cairns, work injuries and road injuries

Lee Taylor - Melbourne, class actions

Jonathan Walsh - Sydney, asbestos


To Associate

David Barnden - Sydney, class actions

Sean Behringer - Sydney, asbestos

Enrico Burgio - Melbourne, industrial

Travis Fewster - Frankston, work injuries

Kerry Ann Smith - Melbourne, wills disputes

Min Guo - Melbourne, class actions

Emily Hart - Melbourne, medical negligence

Melissa Knapic - Reservoir, road injuries

Alice Lau - Melbourne, road injuries

Joelle Matar - Sydney, medical negligence

Oscar McLaren - Sydney, class actions

Sarah Millen - Dandenong, road injuries

Jason Mills - Cairns, work injuries and road injuries

Divya Pahwa - Sydney, medical negligence

Sarah Vallance - Brisbane, medical negligence

Paul Watson - Brisbane, superannuation and insurance

Anna Williams - Sydney, class actions