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Our Firm

Russell Kennedy Lawyers is a leading Australian law firm with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. We provide our clients with market-leading expertise, outstanding service and exceptional legal solutions.

In early 2019, Russell Kennedy (Melbourne) and Aitken Lawyers (Sydney) merged to create a 270-strong practice. This merger brings together two firms with complementary capabilities across practice areas including corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, property and development, government, aged care and retirement living, workplace relations and employment, estate planning, family law, rural services and renewable energy.

The merger strengthens our client offering, allowing us to deliver a greater depth of expertise.  We build long-standing relationships with our clients and work hard to attract and retain the best people.  Our two firms share similar cultures and values, and both are committed to making a difference through our work across industry sectors that matter to communities.

The two firms have long histories, both dating back more than 120 years. Russell Kennedy’s origins date back to 1857, while holding the Russell Kennedy name since 1926. Andrew Aitken is a 5th generation lawyer and firms holding the Aitken name date back more than 120 years.

For details of our board and practice group leaders visit our leadership team page.

Our Firm Introduction

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Our Expertise

We have significant experience across our sectors of focus. We have advised clients in these sectors for many years, with our lawyers helping shape th ...

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Teamwork

Pro Bono

Our Pro Bono team primarily focuses on not-for-profit law, refugee and migration law, wills and estates, administrative law, property and development ...

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International

Russell Kennedy is an Australian-based law firm that offers a variety of commercial legal services to clients from a range of industries across many c ...

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People

Russell Kennedy's experienced team consists of lawyers that know your sector. Many of our lawyers are Accredited Specialists, and have also been acknowledged by Best Lawyers lists as the best in their field.

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Leadership Team

Russell Kennedy has 40 Principals (Partners) and more than 270 employees across our Melbourne and Sy ...

Our Team

Russell Kennedy's experienced team consists of lawyers that know your sector. Many of our lawyers a ...

Awards

Russell Kennedy shortlisted for the AFR Client Choice Awards 2019

Russell Kennedy is pleased to announce that the firm has been shortlisted as one of three finalist firms nationally for the AFR Client Choice Awards in the category of Law & Related Services firm (less than $50 million turnover). The awards recognise the best professional services firms in Australia and are decided by a survey of clients.

Client Choice awards

 

Best Lawyers Australia

Russell Kennedy featured prominently in the 2020 Best Lawyers in Australia awards and rankings.

Australian Law Firm of the Year

Russell Kennedy Lawyers has been named the 2020 ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for expertise in the practice area of Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law by Best Lawyers.

Individual Listings

Property & Development Principal John Corcoran AM has been named ‘2020 Lawyer of the Year’ for Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law. This is the third consecutive year in a row that a Russell Kennedy Principal has taken out this honour, with Rosemary Southgate and Donna Rayner having done so in the previous two years.

Sixteen Russell Kennedy lawyers were ranked in sixteen areas of law – many of them for multiple areas. The list of our winners is provided below.

Andrew Chalet Biotechnology Law (since 2014), Commercial Law (since 2013)
Andrew Sherman Planning & Environmental Law (since 2017), Water Law (since 2012), Land Use & Zoning Law (2020)
Anita Courtney Health & Aged Care (2020) 
Anthony Massaro Occupational Health & Safety Law (since 2014)
Donna Rayner Retirement Villages & Senior Living Law (since 2013)
Ian Pridgeon  Land Use & Zoning Law (2020) 
John Corcoran AM Real Property Law (since 2016), Retirement Villages & Senior Living Law (since 2012), Commercial Law (since 2018)
Jos Mulcahy  Alternative Dispute Resolution (since 2019), Construction/Infrastructure Law (since 2014), Energy Law (since 2018), Government Practice (2020), Litigation (since 2011), Real Property Law (since 2017) 
Kathryn Elleman Retirement Villages & Senior Living Law (since 2014), Real Property Law (2020)
Libby Pallot Employee Benefits Law (since 2014), Occupational Health & Safety Law (since 2014)
Matthew Beazley Planning and Environmental Law (since 2014)
Michael Gorton AM Corporate/Governance Practice (since 2014), Health & Aged Care (since 2011)
Rosemary Southgate Retirement Villages & Senior Living Law (since 2012)
Sarah Manly  Government Practice (2020) 
Stefan Fiedler Land Use and Zoning Law (since 2014)
Victor Harcourt Government Practice (since 2014), Health & Aged Care (since 2012), Retirement Villages & Senior Living Law (since 2017)

All of these lawyers have been ranked in Best Lawyers before, and many of them have been now been ranked for several consecutive years.

To view the 2020 rankings and awards, click here.

Global Law Experts

  • Named 2017 Global Law Experts Annual Awards Winner

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  • Named 2017 Global Law Experts Annual Awards Winner – Aged Care Law Firm of the Year Australia

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  • Named 2017 Global Law Experts Client Choice – Local Government Law Firm of the Year Australia

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Doyles

Our featured lawyers

The full Doyle’s Guide rankings can be viewed here.

Direct Selling Australia

direct-selling-ausRussell Kennedy Lawyers has been named Partnership winner of the inaugural Direct Selling Association (DSA) Industry Awards 2017, designed to identify and promote innovations, helping companies and their teams improve operations.

Other accolades

  • Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation

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  • Michael Gorton AM a finalist in Lawyers Weekly 2016 Partner of the Year Awards for Health

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  • Best Provider to the Government and Community Sector

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  • Best Law Firm (revenue less than $50 million)

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  • Best Victorian Firm and Best Provider as rated by the C – Suite categories.

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  • Aged Care Law Firm of the Year in Australia

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Community

We create positive change for our community.

At Russell Kennedy, we strive to make a positive impact on the community, through our work with clients and our pro bono and charity work. Our commitment to the community and the wider good goes beyond a generic “tick the box” approach to corporate social responsibility.

It is a part of our DNA as a firm. And it is one of the main reasons people choose to work with us.

Diversity & Inclusion

We aim to create an environment at Russell Kennedy that is characterised by equal access and respected participation of all groups and individuals. This is regardless of all differences, including of culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity, age, religion, personal circumstances, physical features, abilities and disabilities, socioeconomics and sexual orientation.

Russell Kennedy has a culture that embraces our people’s differences and fosters diversity and inclusion. We aim to support a culture where individuals of all backgrounds feel included and confident in bringing their whole selves to work, and where their talents are fostered, empowering them to contribute to the success of the firm.

We are proud partners of Australian Network on Disability and Pride in Diversity.

Australian Network on Disability is a national organisation that makes it easier for organisations to welcome people with disability in all aspects of business. It is driven by a belief that people with a disability are skilled and capable social and economic contributors and entitled to equitable opportunities in society. It works together with businesses to help them increase their disability confidence, engagement and action. It provides support, conducts training, shares knowledge and facilitates networking opportunities so that a business can become disability confident.

Pride in Diversity is an Australian not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTIQ workplace inclusion. Pride in Diversity specialises in human resources, organisational change and workplace diversity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people by reducing exclusion, invisibility, homophobia and stigma in the workplace.

Key initiatives

There are a number of initiatives that we have underway in the recruitment space to ensure we are attracting a diverse range of candidates. The introduction of the ‘Access RK Seasonal Clerkship Program’. For the 2018 – 2019 Seasonal Clerkship Program, Russell Kennedy has offered two seasonal clerkship positions to a students with disability. The program will provide the successful applicants the opportunity to showcase their skills and gain experience in a legal environment whilst enjoying all the benefits of the Seasonal Clerkship Program.

Pro Bono

Pro Bono

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Workplace Gender Equality Agency

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Working Flexibly

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Russell Kennedy Women’s Network

The Russell Kennedy Women's Network (RKWN) creates opportunities to empower women through connection and development. Our committee promotes the growth, advancement and retention of women working in l ...

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