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Clayton Utz


Clayton Utz - Sydney
  • Level 15
  • 1 Bligh Street
  • Sydney
  • New South Wales
  • Australia
  • NSW 2000
  • Chief Executive Partner: Darryl D McDonough
  • International Services Partner: Stuart Clark
  • Office Partners in Charge: Kate Jordan (Sydney), Fred Prickett (Melbourne), Alan Maguire (Brisbane), Paul Fitzpatrick (Perth), Mark Spain (Darwin), Alexandra Wedutenko (Canberra), Colin Dodd (Hong Kong)
  • Number of partners: 200
  • Number of lawyers: 734
  • Languages: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese

Firm Overview:
For over 180 years, Clayton Utz’s confident approach to complex transactions and litigation has seen it grow into one of Australia’s premier firms. The firm has built a reputation for excellence in legal services through its commercial approach, its ability to bring together legal teams with the optimum skills to match its clients’ needs, and its commitment to outstanding client service. The firm has a broad base of domestic and international public and private sector clients who view Clayton Utz as their trusted adviser to support them in achieving commercial outcomes.

Main Areas of Practice:
Banking & Finance:

25 partners; 75 lawyers
■ Advised a consortium of ten domestic and international financiers on the successful refinancing of A$1.7 billion in senior debt facilities to Investa Property Trust. Key partner: Kathy Santikos
■ Negotiated and prepared documents for Leighton Holdings for its A$1.4 billion three-year syndicated performance bond facility. Key partner: Brad Allen
■ Advised AMP on the restructure of eight joint venture assets valued at over A$1.8 billion co-owned by AMP Group managed funds with Westfield Group managed funds. Key partner: Fran Rush
Key Clients: National Australia Bank, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, AMP
Contact: Steve O’Reilly Tel: +61 3 9286 6968
Email: soreilly@claytonutz.com

Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions:
46 partners; 120 lawyers
■ Advised Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in relation to the A$480 million takeover of Thakral Holdings Group through Brookfield’s newly formed flagship global private real estate fund (BSREP). Key partner: Jonathan Algar
■ Advised Genuine Parts Company, a NYSE-listed company headquartered in the USA, on the A$1.1 billion acquisition of Australian-based Exego Group Pty Ltd. Key partners: Simon Truskett and David Landy
■ Advised Barrick Gold Corporation on the US$300 million divestment of its Yilgarn South assets in Western Australia to Gold Fields Limited. Key partners: John Elliott and Brett Cohen
Key Clients:
AMP Limited, Macquarie Group, Woolworths Limited, Ironbridge Capital
Contact: Graham Taylor Tel: + 61 2 9353 4169
Email: gtaylor@claytonutz.com 

Construction & Major Projects:
23 partners; 108 lawyers
■ Advising Linking Melbourne Authority on the East West Link since the project’s inception and during the business case development and procurement phases of the project. Key partners: Brad Vann, Sallyanne Everett, Naomi Kelly, Steve Murray
■ Advising the Exemplar Health consortium on its successful bid to design, build and operate the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which has a capital value of approximately A$2 billion. Key partner: Dan Fitts
■ Key legal adviser to Transport for NSW for all phases of the North West Rail Link project. Key partners: John Shirbin, Sergio Capelli, Brendan Bateman, Andrew Poulos, Angus Foley
Key Clients: Transport for NSW, Linking Melbourne Authority, NBN Co Limited, Sino Iron, Department of Defence
Contact: Doug Jones Tel: +61 2 9353 4120
Email: djones@claytonutz.com

Energy & Natural Resources:
20 partners; 80 lawyers
■ Advising ConocoPhillips, Origin Energy and Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) on the A$35 billion project to liquefy coal seam gas for export markets (ongoing). Key partners: Graham Taylor and Andrew Smith
■ Advised Sumitomo Corporation and The Kansai Electric Power Company on their A$1.2 billion joint venture acquisition of the Bluewaters I and Bluewaters II coal fired power stations from Griffin Power Group. Key partners: Simon Truskett, David Fagan, Peter Wiese, Michael Tuckfield
■ Advised Cameco Corporation on the acquisition of the Yeelirrie uranium project in Western Australia from BHP Billiton for US$430 million. Key partners: Heath Lewis, Brett Cohen, Brad Wylynko, Damien Gardiner
Key Clients: Origin Energy Limited, Noble Group Limited, Vale Australia Pty Ltd, Chubu Electric Power Co., Adani Group 
Contacts: Graeme Dennis Tel: + 61 2 9353 4106
Email: gdennis@claytonutz.com

Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
50 partners; 201 lawyers
■ Successfully acted for Wright Prospecting in relation to a claim for past and future royalties from iron ore mining operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Key partner: Doug Bishop
■ Representing Tatts Group in a multi-million dollar dispute with the State of Victoria in relation to the expiry of a state‑issued gaming licence held by Tatts. Clayton Utz is also representing Tatts Group in the Supreme Court of Victoria in judicial review proceedings against the Victorian Treasurer regarding the validity of the Treasurer’s determination that Tatts is liable to pay a levy of approximately A$42 million for the 2012-13 financial year. Key partner: Fred Prickett
■ Acting for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia defending a number of class actions that have commenced following the collapse of Storm Financial. Key partners: Ross McInnes, Greg Williams, Colin Loveday
Key Clients: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ, National Australia Bank, various Australian State and Federal government departments and agencies, Yarra Australia, Wright Prospecting, Novartis Pharm AG, PPB Advisory
Key Contact: Brigitte Markovic Tel: + 61 2 9353 4131
Email: bmarkovic@claytonutz.com

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • International Arbitration
  • Construction & Major Projects
  • Corporate/M&A
  • Energy & Resources
  • Banking & Finance
  • Competition
  • Information Technology/IP
  • Media & Telecommunications
  • Product Liability
  • Taxation
  • Capital Markets (Debt & Equity)
  • Private Equity
  • Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • International Arbitration
  • Construction & Major Projects
  • Corporate/M&A
  • Energy & Resources
  • Banking & Finance
  • Competition
  • Information Technology/IP
  • Media & Telecommunications
  • Product Liability
  • Taxation
  • Capital Markets (Debt & Equity)
  • Private Equity
  • Restructuring & Insolvency


  • Level 28, Riparian Plaza,
  • 71 Eagle Street,
  • GPO Box 55,
  • Brisbane,
  • Queensland
  • Australia
  • QLD 4000
  • Tel +61 7 3292 7000
  • Fax +61 7 3221 9669
  • Email : amaguire@claytonutz.com
  • Level 10,
  • NewActon Nishi, 2 Phillip Law Street,
  • PO Box 1940,
  • Canberra,
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Australia
  • ACT 2601
  • Tel +61 2 6279 4000
  • Fax +61 2 6279 4099
  • Email : awedutenko@claytonutz.com
  • Levels 18, 333 Collins Street,
  • Melbourne,
  • Victoria
  • Australia
  • VIC 3000
  • Tel +61 3 9286 6000
  • Fax +61 3 9629 8488
  • DX 38451
  • Email : fprickett@claytonutz.com
  • Level 27, QV.1 Building,
  • 250 St Georges Terrace,
  • Perth,
  • Western Australia
  • Australia
  • WA 6000
  • Tel +61 8 9426 8000
  • Fax +61 8 9481 3095
  • Email : pfitzpatrick@claytonutz.com
  • 17-19 Lindsay Street,
  • Darwin,
  • Northern Territory
  • Australia
  • NT 0801
  • Tel +61 8 8943 2555
  • Fax +61 8 8943 2500
  • Email : mspain@claytonutz.com
  • 703 - 704, The Hong Kong Club Building,
  • 3A Chater Road,
  • Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 3980 6868
  • Fax +852 3980 6820
  • Email : cdodd@clayotnutz.com.hk

Banking & Finance - Australia

Graeme Gurney heads the Sydney banking group and is prominent within the property financing space, having over three decades of experience there. His particularly extensive experience of international finance places him in an excellent position to act on cross-border matters.

Alex Schlosser is described by clients as “fantastic, pragmatic and approachable” and acts prominently in the acquisition finance, LBO and debt financing spaces. Having worked in London and Frankfurt for several years, he is well acquainted with the most complex forms of cross-border transactions.

Geoff Geha recently advised Quadrant Private Equity and Ironbridge Capital on the financing of their joint acquisition of the Super A-Mart and Barbeques Galore businesses. He maintains a busy acquisition finance practice, focusing strongly on leveraged finance matters.

Bruce Cooper was previously based in Hong Kong and maintains his qualification to practise there. He acts on large-scale energy, infrastructure and project financing transactions, often working with high-profile lenders and borrowers from across Asia and from Hong Kong in particular.

Capital Markets - Australia

Stuart Byrne is considered to be one of the leading practitioners in this field, one source remarking: "He is very commercial and astute and very good at structuring transactions - he has become one of leading ECM lawyers in Australia." His high-value work includes leading on the OzForex IPO. Valued at AUD480 million, this was one of the largest IPOs of recent years and involved both an Australian and a US 144A offer.

Andrew Jinks is "highly regarded for securitisation" and appreciated by clients for providing "excellent and practical advice." His client roster includes major banks and corporates such as AMP, Suncorp, ANZ, Macquarie and Challenger, to which he brings over 20 years' experience handling securitisation work across a broad spectrum of asset classes.

Brendan Groves's recent work includes assisting the listed lotteries and gaming company, Tatts Group, on its offer of senior unsecured bonds, raising AUD200 million. He has extensive experience advising both listed and unlisted corporates and investment banks on capital markets transactions. 

Mark Paganin heads the Perth-based corporate group. He advises on investments into Australia, and focuses on equity raisings, including IPOs, share placements and rights issues. His notable work includes advising the ASX-listed iron ore producer Gindalbie Metals on its AUD40 million institutional placement, together with a placement of around AUD22 million to its major shareholder, Ansteel.

Louise McCoach continues to build a good reputation in the DCM field. In the past year she assisted the New South Wales Treasury with its USD10 billion SEC shelf registered programme. She assists a range of clients on cross-border transactions, including sourcing offshore funds through the US markets.

Sonia Goumenis lately rejoined the team and continues to impress clients, who report: "She is very bright and grasps complex concepts very quickly" and "she is proactive in engaging with clients, and gets the deal done." She has handled a number of complex, high-value matters in the past year.

Corporate/M&A - Australia

Rod Halstead lately advised Bosch on Australian aspects of its USD1.15 billion acquisition of SPX Services Solutions. Clients enthuse that he is "an exceptional, trusted adviser who brings a commercial reality to each transaction" and commend his "huge knowledge of previous deals, which he draws on to provide very good strategic and tactical advice."

John Elliott heads the firm's national M&A practice and commands widespread respect, interviewees reporting that they “would be very comfortable referring him to others.” He recently advised the US-based ExamWorks Group on its acquisition of MedHoldings.

Karen Evans-Cullen advises on both strategic M&A and corporate advisory issues and is noted as a "strategic, commercial, results-focused lawyer." She recently acted for the US-based Nabi Pharmaceuticals during its merger by scheme of arrangement with Biota Holdings.

Mark Paganin combines knowledge of equity capital markets with extensive experience of acting for publicly listed companies on industrial and resources matters both in Australia and abroad. He recently advised Sundance Resources with regard to a proposed takeover by scheme of arrangement by China's Hanlong (Africa) Mining Investment.

Dispute Resolution - Australia

Sidney Wang has nearly four decades of experience in commercial litigation and arbitration. Seen by sources as "a key axis of the practice," he has an impressive track record of acting on high-value cases for such major clients as Coca-Cola Amatil and Ironbridge Capital.

Practice head Brigitte Markovic specialises in disputes concerning administrative and insolvency law. Her caseload often entails the representation of Australian government agencies.

Andrew Morrison has significant expertise in class action and product liability claims. His recent caseload includes matters for multinational banking and pharmaceutical clients.

Energy & Natural Resources - Australia

Practice leader Graeme Dennis is highly experienced in handling project financing and mergers and acquisitions in the power and gas sectors. He is particularly respected for his involvement in energy regulation issues, with a special focus on carbon trading and climate change.

Keira Brennan specialises in M&A, commercial arrangements and infrastructure development in the mining sector. Recently she counselled Anglo American on a AUD1.1 billion coking coal mine project located in Queensland. Clients enthuse: "She has excellent commercial understanding of transactions and helps us achieve commercial goals."

Peter Wiese's practice is primarily focused on corporate and commercial aspects of the oil and gas sector. He recently advised Sumitomo and KEPCO on their complex, multi-jurisdictional AUD1.2 billion acquisition of two Bluewater power stations from Griffin Energy.

Andrew Smith is highlighted by sources for his strong handling of energy matters. His practice has a particular focus on oil and gas project financing, acquisition and disposal. He recently co-led the handling of a substantial LNG project.

Graham Taylor manages the firm's corporate department and has a good track record for handling joint venture matters for leading players in the energy and resources space. He lately took the lead advising Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal on setting up a USD1.36 billion joint venture with BlueScope Steel to expand their operations in South-East Asia and North America.

Highly experienced practitioner Bruce Cooper handles projects, energy and natural resources work across the Asia-Pacific region. He is particularly well versed in the handling of China-related matters, having previously spent a number of years practising in Hong Kong.  

Since publication, Keira Brennan has joined Norton Rose Fulbright

Intellectual Property - Australia

John Collins is a proficient litigator whose recent work includes representing Novartis in a patent infringement case against generic pharmaceutical companies Hospira and Apotex concerning the cancer drug Zometa.

Mary Still's work in trade mark and copyright litigation has garnered her praise from sources. In a recent key highlight she represented Cantarella Bros in a trade mark infringement matter relating to its registered marks Oro and Cinque Stelle.