Commins Hendriks extends its reach, opening an office in the nation’s capital
Media Release | 5 July 2017
Riverina’s largest legal firm, Commins Hendriks Solicitors, has taken a big step in expanding into a metropolitan market, opening a branch office in the courts precinct of Canberra.
The new office brings to seven the number of Commins Hendriks branches, and is the first permanent presence for the firm outside the Riverina.
Chief Executive Officer, Phillip McIntosh, said the decision to open a Canberra office was based out of the growing number of clients from the ACT and surrounding area, particularly in the areas of medical negligence, personal injury, motor vehicle accidents and victim’s compensation claims.
“We believe it’s the right time to make this step,” Mr McIntosh said. “It will enable us to meet with these clients face-to-face in their own city rather than requiring them to travel for meetings or talk to their solicitor via teleconference.”
Leading ACT based litigator Heather Ross (pictured 2nd from right) will head up the new office. She has spent the last eight years as a senior litigant at firms in the nation’s capital, practising in areas of law ranging from personal injury to commercial and property development litigation.
“What I bring to the role is extensive experience in Canberra not only in the personal injuries claims, but also in commercial litigation as well,” Ms Ross said. “I think I’ve been lucky to have had such a diverse career. I’ve had the opportunity to work for not only the individual, but large corporate organisations.”
Ms Ross began practising as a plaintiff litigation lawyer in Darwin in 2003 with Ward Keller Lawyers, predominantly in the area of personal injuries, before being recruited by Minter Ellison Lawyers as a commercial litigant.
In 2009, she relocated to Canberra to take up a senior litigation role with Bradley Allen Lawyers, before moving to Porter Lawyers, where she acted principally for clients in the difficult area of institutional child sexual abuse claims.
“Heather brings a wealth of litigation experience to our existing team and her role as the senior litigator based out of our Canberra office will benefit our existing and new clients,” Mr McIntosh said.
“The initial focus of the branch will be on personal injuries claims, including medical negligence, motor vehicle accidents and public liability claims, with the support of our current compensation litigation team at Wagga.
“However we will also have the capacity to take on matters from other areas of law with the assistance of the solicitors and professional staff in our commercial, property, family law and estates practice areas at our Riverina offices at Wagga Wagga, Coolamon, Junee, Henty, Tumut and Ganmain.”
Ms Ross is looking forward to taking up the reins of the Canberra team and is also optimistic about the future of the Canberra office.
“Given my diverse legal background and the extensive experience of the Commins Hendriks team we expect to be able to grow into a full service branch,” Ms Ross said. “Commins Hendriks is a highly professional yet friendly and approachable firm with high ethical standards and it is for that reason that I’m proud to bring that to Canberra with the opening of the Canberra office.”