THE FIRM This firm continues to be a front runner in the TMT field, thanks to its sheer breadth of expertise in all facets of the TMT arena. The group is a key adviser to NBN Co and also acts for global telecoms, IT and media corporations, handling many of the most complex and cutting-edge mandates in the market. The team also plays an active role in contributing to legal and regulatory reforms. In the past year, it has advised on a raft of outsourcing projects, including that of QR National. In other work, it made submissions on behalf of Foxtel with regard to media reforms which could significantly restructure the TV industry.
Sources say: "The Ashurst team has a strong breadth and depth of understanding of the industry and my particular company."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice leader Gordon Hughes is appreciated for his "great intellect" and "great strategic mind," with one client commenting: "No legal or significant commercial decision is made without someone from the company contacting Gordon." Hughes continues to advise National e-Conveyancing Development on its AUD450 million group venture to create a national conveyancing linkup, and is a principal adviser to NBN Co.
Experienced media practitioner Robert Todd is commended for his dedication to fighting his clients' corner. His clients include Foxtel, which he assisted with submissions in respect of regulatory reforms.
Tim Brookes includes NBN Co amongst his clients and is acknowledged for being "extremely knowledgeable, especially in telecommunications," and "extremely commercial and practical."
Sophie Dawson advises a number of the group's key clients, including SAMSUNG, which she respected on the Australian leg of its global dispute with Apple. She is described as "very agreeable and personable," but also "a tough negotiating lawyer." Another source added: "If we had a similar matter come up, the first person we would ring would be Sophie."
Georgina Adams is based in Canberra and specialises in advising government departments and agencies on their IT tendering and procurements. Her clients include the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Australian Electoral Commission, the Department of Defence and the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
Clients say that Khai Dang "doesn't limit himself to technical legal terms and conditions – he is interested in the commercial aspects" too. His recent matters include leading an Ashurst team advising CBA on a new outsourcing arrangement.