18 July 2002

Clayton Utz to close tobacco claims litigation practice

Melbourne, 18 July 2002: Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner David Fagan today announced that Clayton Utz will close its tobacco claims litigation practice, effective immediately.

Mr Fagan said the Board of Clayton Utz had decided that tobacco claims litigation did not fit with Clayton Utz’s positioning as a key strategic adviser to Government and Corporate Australia and was no longer compatible with the firm’s long-term national business interests.

“The tobacco claims litigation practice is a small Sydney based practice area, representing less than 1% of the firm’s business,” Mr Fagan said. “For instance, this is substantially less than our pro bono practice, which has a value of $5M per annum.”

He said the decision removed any potential incompatibility with Clayton Utz’s strongly growing public sector practice, and was also in the interests of its thriving corporate business.

Mr Fagan said today’s announcement related to the firm’s business strategy. He said that the review into various aspects of the McCabe judgement was continuing but it was inappropriate to finalise that review until after the McCabe vs BATA appeal and the investigation by the NSW Legal Services Commissioner.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.
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