THE FIRM This market heavyweight remains a byword for banking and finance excellence, with the recent alliance with Linklaters only adding to its outstanding reputation across the region and beyond. It attracts top-flight Australian and international banks, financial institutions and blue-chip corporates such as NAB, ANZ, Citi and Origin Energy. Recent highlight transactions include acting for the banks, such as UBS Investment Bank, on the provision of financing for Whitehaven's merger with Aston Resources and the acquisition of Boardwalk Resources. In another highlight, it represented a Goldman Sachs and Brookfield Asset Management consortium on a successful bid for a AUD1 billion New Zealand loan portfolio from Bank of Scotland. Despite a subdued property market, the team has acted on a number of high-value transactions for clients such as Centro and Investa Properties.
Sources say: “They have a set of really excellent senior associates.” “They are a slick operation that gets deals done quickly.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS The universally respected Diccon Loxton has recently assumed the mantle of senior counsel. With his vast experience, he provides guidance and advice on the most complex of corporate, leveraged and structured finance transactions. He was also involved with the Attorney General's Department in relation to the drafting of the Personal Properties Securities Act.
Alan Maxton is particularly noted for his acquisition and asset finance skills. He continues to consolidate his reputation in the market, with one source noting: “It was really down to his commercial awareness that he was able to see through the deal and understand what we wanted to achieve.” His clients include a range of financial institutions, both borrowers and lenders, including Macquarie Bank and Meridian International Capital.
Phillip Cornwell remains highly regarded amongst commentators, particularly for his project, acquisition and all-round corporate finance skills. His recent work includes advising UBS on the financing of Archer Capital's purchase of a controlling stake in the motorsport group V8 Supercars.
Andrew Boxall is especially well regarded in property finance, and more generally the financing around infrastructure projects, with one client enthusing: “He is excellent and owns the financing space." He counts Suncorp Metway and Westpac amongst his high-profile clients.
Richard Gordon is held in high esteem by his clients, who explained that “having worked for sponsors and banks, he can provide sensible advice which can bring about a good outcome for all parties.” Gordon has handled a number of high-value matters in the past year including the Whitehaven financing mentioned above.
Reflective of Ian Wallace's depth of knowledge in overseeing complicated and innovative asset finance transactions, he has attracted an impressive roster of domestic and international banks and major corporate borrowers who seek access to his wealth of expertise.
New to the list, Jason Morris is singled out by one source, saying: “He is very capable, organised and thorough in the way he considers the legal implications for his clients.”