Independent law firm Cornwalls will expand its portfolio to offer migration services following its merger with boutique migration firm Verity Law.
Verity Law was founded five years ago by Shanice Hoang to help high net worth individuals and families move to Australia under the business and investment visa program.
Cornwalls CEO Levent Shevki said the merger with Verity Law is an important component in executing Cornwalls’ strategic plan.
Over the past four years Cornwalls has systematically set about differentiating itself by setting up a multidisciplinary group that does more than law.
It has, with strategic partners, quietly gone about building a group of companies including:
Mr Shevki said Cornwalls is looking to add at least three additional businesses to the group: a legal technology focused innovation hub; a blockchain consultancy; and a fund focused on the hospitality industry. Capital is currently being raised to fund these ventures.
Companies in the group manage a portfolio of more than 20 investments, comprising a diverse range of businesses including a blockchain company in San Francisco, an Australian telecommunications company, a game development studio and a global medicinal cannabis company. Tens of millions of dollars have been raised by these portfolio companies..
The migration practice benefits Cornwalls’ strategy, as well as servicing its clients’ migration law needs, ‘the + More’ offerings of the broader Cornwalls group will provide services which will assist business and investor clients meet the compliance components of their visas as well as providing value added services assisting them to realise their Australian business and investment strategies
“The merger with Verity Law comes at a perfect time. The Cornwalls group is now set up to offer a full range of legal and investment services and is poised to take advantage of Australia’s COVID-inspired pent up demand for immigrants, which EY modelling suggests will exceed 375,000 people.
“While these figures are mainly around skilled migration, there is also a backlog of high net worth investors looking to make Australia home and this is where we can help. Verity Law clients are successful business people with sophisticated needs. This merger offers them access not only to Cornwalls legal expertise, but also to the group’s business infrastructure and networks.
“They are business owners and investors who have ambition to grow Australia’s export markets and in people and areas need of capital, including women and young entrepreneurs, industry sectors that have historically struggled to attract funding – such as the arts & entertainment – & new industry – such as renewable energy, agtech and fintech. Some of these areas require a much-needed boost as Australia recovers from COVID.”
Ms Hoang has built a substantial migration practice, especially in Vietnam. Until COVID, she travelled regularly to South-East Asia and has established Verity Law as the go-to firm for high net worth and ultra high net worth business owners and investors looking to migrate to Australia.
“Migration is not easy. We deal with a myriad of government departments – from the Department of Home Affairs to various state government economic development teams and skilled migration divisions. Every state has different departments to deal with, and once those approvals are dealt with, there is also the on the ground value-added support that investors and business owners need,” she said.
Ms Hoang estimated that up until March last year, the clients that Verity Law has helped migrate to Australia have invested more than $1.5 billion into the Victorian economy.
Mr Shevki said Verity Law will become a migration team based in Cornwalls’ Melbourne office. Ms Hoang, who has joined the Melbourne partnership, will lead the team.