Jirsch Sutherland has long had a strong presence across regional WA, particularly since merging with WA Insolvency Solutions (WAIS), our WA division, in 2014 – and we have just bolstered this presence with the opening of a new office in the heart of Bunbury. The new office will enable the team to provide specialist support to local advisers across the South West region.
“Having an office in Bunbury will enable us to strengthen the relationships we already have with local accountants, lawyers and financial advisers, and it means we’ll be on the ground to provide support for them, their clients, business owners and directors, and individuals when they need it,” says Jimmy Trpcevski, WAIS’s Managing Partner. “Bunbury was chosen due to its size and its close proximity to Busselton, Margaret River, Boyup, Donnybrook, Bridgetown and Manjimup, which we regularly travel to.
“One of our firm’s key tenets is having a local presence and national reach, and this new office – along with our offices in Kalgoorlie and Albany – certainly reinforces that. I personally love this vibrant region and one of the most enjoyable parts of my job is catching up with locals and seeing how they are doing, how the region is doing, and how I can help during these challenging times.”
In addition to the WAIS team’s scheduled regional visits, Trpcevski will be in the Bunbury office every 2-3 weeks for a few days to meet with advisers, their clients and members of the community.
Experts in their field
WAIS is sharing the space with McWilliams Davis Lawyers, a firm specialising in property and commercial law. Partner Paul McWilliams says that while his firm has had a presence in Bunbury for the past three years, increased client demand drove their decision to open their own office, and he and his colleague Joe Scurria are looking forward to being involved in the Bunbury and South West business community as a permanent fixture in the region.
For Trpcevski, who has known McWilliams and Scurria for many years, having the legal firm as an officemate is “a great fit”. “I have known Paul McWilliams for eight years, and Joe Scurria for four. Like WAIS, they are specialists in their fields,” he says.
While the two firms will be sharing an office and, at times, lending their expertise to assist each other’s clients, they will remain separate, independent businesses.
“Over the past decade, WAIS has provided a number of our clients with guidance on insolvency matters, often resulting in them being able to trade their way back to profitability,” says McWilliams. “Our firm has also assisted WAIS by facilitating the legal components of property and commercial transactions for clients.”
Both McWilliams and Scurria believe it’s beneficial for the region to have insolvency specialists like WAIS in easy reach. “Business recovery and insolvency are important services that need to be available to the business community in the South West. Some SMEs will appreciate the convenience of having an insolvency firm with a Bunbury base,” says Scurria.
McWilliams agrees: “WAIS are experts in their field, and it is essential for clients experiencing financial difficulties to understand the insolvency process and their options to either trade out of difficulty or to wind up their company. Providing clarity on the options available is one key way that WAIS can provide value.”
Assistance during challenging times
Over the past year, WAIS has provided advice and assistance to SMEs impacted by the pandemic on viable restructure and solvency solutions, and McWilliams Davis Lawyers has helped a number of clients on a pro bono basis to negotiate deals with their landlord and other creditors.
Despite the disruptions of the pandemic and a skilled labour shortage, McWilliams believes there is a large number of opportunities for SMEs in Bunbury. “However, capturing those opportunities by engaging the right commercial and legal advisors is a key challenge,” he says.
Scurria adds that: “SMEs are seeking advice more than ever before. Many of my clients have been in business for 10 to 15 years, so they navigate the day-to-day very well. Some younger businesses need guidance on the fluctuating circumstances at the moment; they need a bit more support.”
The new waterfront office is also close to a wide range of businesses and service providers – builders, accountants, the Council and insurers. “We found that very appealing,” Scurria says.
WAIS continues to offer a free, initial and confidential, no-obligation consultation to local businesses and individuals. “We want to encourage anyone who is struggling financially to seek our assistance sooner than later, so we have a greater chance of resolving their issues and reducing further losses and helping them leverage opportunities,” says Trpcevski.
The new Bunbury office is at unit 36, 23-25 Casuarina Drive, Bunbury (across the road from the Dome Café). The entrance is on Bonnefoi Parade. To make an appointment, call (08) 9463 3046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.