NEWS FLASH - Graham Legal merges with Local Lawyers

We are excited to advise of the latest changes at Graham Legal.

After more that 45 years of practising law (and 31 years of doing so from our Essendon location), Graham Legal has merged its practice with Local Lawyers effective 1 August 2021. Importantly, Graham Legal will continue to be known as such and will continue to operate from 1059 Mt Alexander Road, Essendon. Telephone numbers and email addresses will be unchanged.

What has changed is that Graham Legal clients will now have access to the considerable resources of Local Lawyers including expertise in many diverse areas of law which Graham Legal could not alone provide. Local Lawyers is the largest legal practice in the western suburbs. It is led by Russell Cocks who Phillip Graham has known for more than 50 years after first meeting him when they played junior cricket together. Whilst neither of them realised their dreams of playing cricket for Australia, Russell did succeed in establishing himself as a very successful lawyer, mentor, speaker and author.

Russell, with his sons David and Andrew, has built a very successful legal practice that already incorporates a number of previously independent and respected legal practices. Phillip Graham is a Consultant in Local Lawyers working 2 days a week (mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Local Lawyers is a practice of 12 lawyers. Phillip Graham will be number 13 (lucky for some).

Phillip Graham will, as part of his new role, continue to take instructions in relation to Wills, Powers of Attorney and Building and Construction law. Julie Graham will be assisting in the transition to the new entity, but the merger will allow her to soon move to a well deserved retirement. Tamara is remaining and will be transitioning to the role of lawyer.

Phillip and Julie see this merger as a ‘win-win’. On a personal level it will mean that life will be easier for two people who are not as young as they once were. Running a legal practice through Covid has been particularly demanding. However, Phillip Graham still enjoys working as a lawyer and he is looking forward to his new role as a Consultant. As well, Phillip Graham is sure that all Graham Legal clients will value the opportunity to draw upon the very considerable additional resources that the merger with Local Lawyers will offer them.

Local Lawyers is based in Altona North and, for the most part, its lawyers will still work from that address. However, whenever needed, Local Lawyer’s lawyers will see Graham Legal clients from our Essendon location. Covid has seen lawyers communicate with their clients by various video conferencing methods (especially Zoom) and this will continue.

Those of our Graham Legal clients who have Wills, Titles and other Deeds in the Graham Legal safes will not see any difference. Those documents will remain at Essendon. Those clients who have money in our trust account will be asked to sign an authority for the transfer of those trust funds to the Local Lawyer Trust Account. These days, as almost all financial transaction are undertaken electronically, this will be a seamless event.

The trading name ‘Graham Legal’ is passing from ‘Graham Legal Pty’ to ‘Gellibrand Legal Practice Pty Ltd’ permitting the Essendon practice to continue to be known as ‘Graham Legal’. Gellibrand Legal already conducts its Altona North practice by the name ‘Local Lawyers’.

It is important to note that Graham Legal is satisfied that Local Lawyers has all the skill and ability to handle Graham Legal files to at least the same level of service that our clients have experienced with us in the past. Clients are encouraged to visit the Local Lawyers website at for further information.

It is hoped that clients will appreciate that this has not been a decision easily reached. The decision has been made in the interests of Graham Legal’s clients generally and, to a significant extent, as a reaction to circumstances that could never have been imagined before COVID-19 reached our shores.

Finally, on a personal note, Phillip and Julie would like to thank all of our thousands of Graham Legal clients with whom we have enjoyed a special professional relationship over these last 31 years. We have every confidence that your new relationship with Gellibrand Legal Practice Pty Ltd (trading as Graham Legal) will be at least as professional and special as you have experienced with us in the past.

If you have queries regarding these changes please do not hesitate to advise Phillip Graham accordingly. The best way of doing that is by email.