Cornwalls case study —

When Glenn Hughes and partners Paul McCann and Andrew Sutherland decided to break away from their existing firm to establish Cornwalls Sydney, they needed to separate financially and make a clean start.

To do this with confidence, they looked for a financial partner that would recognise the partners' prior success, and one that shared the firm's core values.

"When we met the team at Macquarie Bank in Sydney, we quickly gained a level of trust. They knew what we needed to do, and where we were going. They tailored a program that helped us exit our relationship and set us up well to merge with the new entity."
 

Glenn Hughes

Partner, Cornwalls Legal

Opportunities beyond launch

"Macquarie was very clever in the way they structured the deal,” Glenn explains. “They were banking on us continuing our trajectory and we found that comforting."

“Rather than just talking about finances, they are very good at asking us questions. Have you thought about an opportunity over here, how is your business going to grow? And how can we grow together?"


Cornwalls operates a federated model, which gives the Sydney-based partners control and autonomy over their financial and strategic direction. A traditional banking approach might have treated the new Sydney entity as a start-up, but Macquarie recognised the continuity in the partners’ 25 years of successful trading history.

Macquarie made sure the details of the financial separation were taken care of, and provided the working capital needed to launch the new brand in Sydney, including purchasing the existing office fit out.

Cornwalls differentiates its service through trusted long-term relationships with its mid-market clients. “You build trust when clients know you’re actually thinking about their problems,” says Glenn. And that’s where their approach aligns culturally with Macquarie’s.

Tangible ideas for future growth

Glenn and the team now see a bigger future for their firm in Sydney. “We plan to double our size in the next 12 months,” says Glenn. “But there are also many other ways to keep our clients happy.”


For Cornwalls in Sydney, growth may require additional working capital from Macquarie to finance new partners and expand the office space. But it’s also just as likely to need a different perspective and a broader network of aligned specialist service providers – which Macquarie also offers through industry events.

“The future looks great, it’s a really exciting time to be in law,” says Glenn. “Macquarie has been with us all the way through, and there’s no reason we won’t progress together in the future.”

 

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