AF Legal to establish South Australian footprint with Adelaide office

AF Legal to establish South Australian footprint with Adelaide office

Australian Family Lawyers (ASX: AFL) has today announced its third regional expansion since its June 2019 IPO, with plans to set up a South Australian operation based in Adelaide next month.

The company recently set up shop on Queensland's Sunshine Coast with two offices in Maroochydore and Caloundra in June, following a Canberra office opening to service the ACT market in the third quarter of FY20.

AFL, also known as AF Legal, came on the ASX last year via a backdoor listing with a reverse takeover of Navigator Resources (ASX: NAV). Founded in 2016 by Edward Finn, AF Legal provides advice to clients with in relation to divorce, separation, property and children's matters.

The firm's shares were in decline from August last year until hitting lows below 10 cents each, but since 25 March they have rebounded sharply, more than doubling in value.

"We expect to be in all states and territories by the end of the financial year," says executive chairman Grant Dearlove.

"We will replicate our successful expansion to the Australian Capital Territory and the Sunshine Coast in FY20 to South Australia in FY21.

"We are pleased with the success of our organic expansion model to date and are excited about additional opportunities to grow our national footprint."

The Adelaide office will be led by lateral hire and highly respected family law practitioner Shelley O'Connell, a past president of the Women Lawyers' Association (SA) who sat on the managing committee from 2006 to 2018.

She was a member of the council of the Law Society of South Australia (2008 to 2015) and was also elected to its executive from 2011 to 2012.

More recently in 2020, O'Connell was recognised as a rising star in Family Law in Doyles Guide.

"We welcome Shelley to the AFL team. As our Head of Legal in South Australia, Shelley is a great addition having carved out a strong client following and referral network through her success in providing holistic and outcome driven results for family law clients," says Dearlove.

"The board reinforces the defensive nature of our business and superior growth to peers as an attractive investment proposition. 

"We consider based on our current performance that we are undervalued with respect to our existing share price. We thank those investors who have remained on our register during share price fluctuations and thank those that have joined our share register with a long term view."

The South Australian announcement sent AFL shares climbing 10.5 per cent to $0.21 today.

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