Sparke Helmore Lawyers is an independent Australian law firm with more than 600 people working from nine offices across the country. The firm, which was established in Newcastle, traces its origins back to 1882.
In 1882, William Sparke started a law firm in Newcastle. In 1922, the firm changed its name to Sparke and Helmore when Basil Helmore became a partner. In 1949 another partner, Peter Withycombe, joined the firm which became known as Sparke, Helmore & Withycombe in 1950.
The firm opened the Sydney office in 1962 to meet client demand. In the 1980s, it used its reputation in workers' compensation insurance as a platform to expand into insurance litigation areas, including public liability and some professional indemnity work, and from there into some specialised commercial and government work.
In the 1990s, the firm expanded at a significant annual rate in terms of office locations, revenue and staff numbers. The Melbourne office opened in 1992, followed by Canberra in 1996, Brisbane in 1999, Muswellbrook in 2000, Adelaide in 2001, Perth in 2002 and Port Macquarie in 2014.
Between 1992 and 2001, the firm more than quadrupled in size, growing from a staff of 99 and revenue of $9.75m in 1992 to a staff of 610 and revenue of $65m in 2002/3.
In 2011/12 Sparke Helmore had a revenue of $105m. In 2012, the firm expanded its corporate offering and restructured to support its five practice areas: Commercial & Projects, Corporate, Government, Insurance and Workplace.
Firm's rankings: Australasian Law Awards, Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year 2015, Australasian Law Awards, Australian Law Firm of the Year (250-500 lawyers) 2015, WTR 1000 2015, ALPMA NSW Firm of the Year 2014, Chambers Asia Pacific 2015, Corporate INTL Magazine,Venture Capital and Mining & Resources Law Firm of the Year 2014, Doyles Guide 2015, Legal Innovation Index 2015, Australian Law Awards 2015.
Rated one of the top 10 law firms in terms of employer growth, partner numbers and proportion of female equity partners in 2013.