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Herbert Smith Freehills


Herbert Smith Freehills - London
  • ANZ Tower
  • 161 Castlereagh Street
  • Sydney
  • New South Wales
  • Australia
  • NSW 2000
  • Senior Partner: Jonathan Scott
  • Deputy Senior Partner: Mark Crean
  • JointChief Executive Officers:   Gavin Bell and David Willis
  • Number of partners: 460
  • Number of lawyers: 2500
  • Languages: Multilingual

Firm Overview: Herbert Smith Freehills is a leading global law firm with over 20 offices across Asia Pacific, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and US. Its formal association with Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung in Jakarta provides further expertise in Asia. In 2012, the firm expanded into America by opening an office in New York which focuses solely on disputes work, with particular emphasis on cross-border investigations, international arbitration and cross-border litigation. In 2013, Herbert Smith Freehills also opened its first two offices in Germany (Frankfurt and Berlin) and in South Korea (Seoul).The firm offers clients a top-tier seamless service across a single global platform and an unparalleled depth of expertise. It is a globally pre-eminent firm in litigation, arbitration and contentious regulatory work; and an international leader in M&A, private equity, capital markets, infrastructure and banking and finance.

Main Areas of Practice:
Competition, Regulation & Trade:

Herbert Smith Freehills’ leading competition and antitrust practice is widely recognised by peers and the market. The team advises many of the world’s blue chip organisations, in a wide range of industries, across the full spectrum of competition work including investigations, litigation, merger clearance and advice on regulated sectors. The firm frequently advises on complex, multijurisdictional matters across different regions. Many of the firm’s lawyers have spent time working for regulatory authorities, enabling the team to provide unique insight. The firm has unrivalled experience in advising a complainant, defendant or regulator.
Contacts: James Quinney and Paul Hughes

Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate team offers market leading capability on public and private M&As, JVs, corporate restructurings, corporate governance, capital markets fundraising, infrastructure projects and tax. In recent years, the practice has also advised on major restructurings and capital raisings. The firm works on complex domestic and cross-border transactions across industries, utilising its leading reputation for sectoral expertise in energy, mining and infrastructure, financial services and TMT. The firm’s clients include the world’s leading corporates and other commercial organisations, investment banks and other financial institutions, governments and public sector bodies.
Contacts: Patrick Mitchell and Mike Ferraro

Dispute Resolution:
Herbert Smith Freehills has a long established reputation for resolving large, complex and high-value disputes and minimising clients’ exposure to contentious risk. The firm’s disputes practice provides a comprehensive dispute resolution service for domestic and international clients including cross-border and domestic commercial litigation, international arbitration, contentious financial services regulation, insurance, tax, trust, pharma, construction, IP, energy and banking disputes, internal investigations, sanctions, corporate crime, civil fraud, product liability and health and safety. The practice also specialises in providing advice on pre-litigation matters and works alongside our non-contentious teams as risk managers. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an integral part of the practice. The team regularly undertakes mediations, expert determinations, adjudications and bespoke processes to resolve disputes. The firm’s unique in-house advocacy unit provides a number of benefits for clients including ease of instruction and reduction in cost. The Belfast office, which opened in April 2011, focuses on document review in major contentious cases and offers clients an attractive combination of quality, efficiency and pricing.
Contacts: Sonya Leydecker and Geoff McClellan

Employment, Pensions & Incentives:
The Herbert Smith Freehills team resolves employment related issues at a national, regional and global level. The firm’s expertise includes employment, industrial relations, pensions/superannuation, incentives and employee benefits, discrimination and equal opportunity, work health and safety, board and executive matters and workplace training. Clients include multinational corporations, leading national businesses, financial institutions, public sector bodies and pension/superannuation trustees. The team is recognised for providing thoughtful, cost effective and commercial advice.
Contact: Graeme Smith

Herbert Smith Freehills’ global practice covers all finance, capital markets and debt disciplines, meaning that the firm is able to provide clients with seamless advice when they require capital in multiple currencies and jurisdictions. The practice is equally adept at advising borrowers and lenders on a range of corporate, acquisition and event-driven financings, real estate finance, project and infrastructure finance, energy finance and Islamic Finance. The practice is recognised for its strong transaction management skill and ability to handle demanding structuring issues. The firm’s international capability enables it to excel within the emerging markets, particularly in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.
Contacts: Malcolm Hitching and Brendan Quinn

Real Estate:
Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading practice encompasses the full range of commercial real estate transactions throughout the asset life cycle. In addition to real estate M&As, investment, development, leasing and JVs, the firm advises on the design and delivery of complex, tax-driven investment structures using a variety of onshore/offshore vehicles, large-scale regeneration, infrastructure and energy development projects and financings and restructurings. The team advises leading international investors, developers, funders, private equity houses, occupiers and corporates. It is recognised for combining in-depth commercial knowledge with coordinated property, corporate, tax and finance expertise.
Contacts: Donald Rowlands and David Sinn


  • Central Plaza 1,
  • 345 Queen Street,
  • Brisbane,
  • Queensland
  • Australia
  • QLD 4000
  • Tel +61 7 3258 6666
  • Fax +61 7 3258 6444
  • Email : Michael.Back@hsf.com
  • 101 Collins Street,
  • Melbourne,
  • Victoria
  • Australia
  • VIC 3000
  • Tel +61 3 9288 1234
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  • Email : John.Curtis@hsf.com
  • QV.1 Building,
  • 250 St Georges Terrace,
  • Perth,
  • Western Australia
  • Australia
  • WA 6000
  • Tel +61 8 9211 7777
  • Fax +61 8 9211 7878
  • Email : Tony.Joyner@hsf.com
  • MLC Centre,
  • 19-29 Martin Place,
  • Sydney,
  • New South Wales
  • Australia
  • NSW 2000
  • Tel +61 2 9225 5000
  • Fax +61 2 9322 4000
  • DX 361 Sydney
  • Email : Juliana.Warner@hsf.com
  • Central Plaza,
  • Rue de Loxum 25,
  • Brussels,
  • Brussels Capital Region
  • Belgium
  • 1000
  • Tel +32 2 511 7450
  • Fax +32 2 511 7772
  • 28th Floor Office Tower,
  • Beijing Yintai Centre,
  • 2 Jianguomenwai Avenue,
  • Chaoyang District,
  • Beijing,
  • China
  • 100022
  • Tel +86 10 6535 5000
  • Fax +86 10 6535 5055
  • Email : Tom.Chau@hsf.com
  • 23rd Floor, Gloucester Tower,
  • 15 Queen's Road Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 2845 6639
  • Fax +852 2845 9099
  • Email : Andrew.Tortoishell@hsf.com
  • 38/F Bund Center,
  • 222 Yan An Road East,
  • Shanghai,
  • China
  • 200002
  • Tel +86 21 2322 2000
  • Fax +86 21 2322 2322
  • Email : Betty.Tam@hsf.com
  • Berliner Freiheit 2 (Beisheim Center),
  • Berlin,
  • Germany
  • 10785
  • Tel +49 30 2092 4155
  • Fax +49 30 2092 4343
  • Neue Mainzer Strasse 75,
  • Frankfurt-am-Main,
  • Hessen
  • Germany
  • 60311
  • Tel +49 69 7593 8650
  • Fax +49 69 7593 8300
  • In association with Hiswara Bunjamin and Tandjung,
  • 23rd Floor, Gedung BRI II,,
  • Jalan Jenderal, Sudirman Kav. 44-46,
  • Jakarta,
  • Java
  • Indonesia
  • 10210
  • Tel +62 21 574 4010
  • Fax +62 21 574 4670
  • Email : David.Dawborn@hsf.com
  • Midtown Tower, 41st Floor,
  • 9-7-1 Akasaka,
  • Minato-ku,
  • Tokyo,
  • Tokyo-to
  • Japan
  • 107-6241
  • Tel +81 3 5412 5412
  • Fax +81 3 5412 5413
  • Email : Peter.Godwin@hsf.com
  • Level 14 Commercial Bank Plaza,
  • West Bay,
  • P.O. Box 27111,
  • Doha,
  • Ad Dawhah
  • Qatar
  • Tel +974 4452 8955
  • Fax +974 4452 8960
  • Email : middle.east@hsf.com
  • 50 Raffles Place,
  • #24-01 Singapore Land Tower,
  • Singapore,
  • Singapore Island
  • Singapore
  • 048623
  • Tel +65 6868 8000
  • Fax +65 6868 8001
  • Email : Michael.Walter@hsf.com
  • 27F West Tower Center 1 Building,
  • 67 Suha-dong Jung-gu,
  • Seoul,
  • South Korea
  • 100-210
  • Tel +82 2 6321 5600
  • Fax +82 2 6321 5601
  • Paseo de la Castellana, 66,
  • Madrid,
  • Spain
  • 28046
  • Tel +34 91 423 4000
  • Fax +34 91 423 4001
  • 1403 Abdulrahim Place,
  • 990 Rama IV Road,
  • Bangkok,
  • Thailand
  • 10500
  • Tel +66 2 657 3888
  • Fax +66 2 636 0657
  • Email : Surapol.Srangsomwong@hsf.com
  • Level 23 Al Sila Tower,
  • Sowwah Square,
  • Al Maryah Island,
  • PO Box 106178,
  • Abu Dhabi,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 2 813 5000
  • Fax +971 2 813 5100
  • Email : middle.east@hsf.com
  • Dubai International Financial Centre,
  • Gate Village 7, Level 4,
  • P.O. Box 506631,
  • Dubai,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 4 428 6300
  • Fax +971 4 365 3171
  • Email : middle.east@hsf.com
  • 3 Cromac Quay,
  • Ormeau Gasworks,
  • Ormeau Road,
  • Belfast,
  • County Antrim
  • UK
  • BT72JD
  • Tel +44 28 9025 8200
  • Fax +44 28 9025 8201
  • Exchange House,
  • Primrose Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 2EG
  • Tel (020) 7374 8000
  • Fax (020) 7374 0888
  • DX 28
  • Email : www.herbertsmithfreehills.com
  • 450 Lexington Avenue,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • Tel +1 917 542 7600
  • Fax +1 917 542 7601

Aviation - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Has experience of the full range of aviation finance, including acquisition finance, pre-delivery payment finance and leasing. Advises a number of major airlines and regional financial institutions. The practice is mainly centred in Singapore and Australia.

Work highlights Acted for Virgin Australia on various transactions, including the pre-delivery payment financing, sale and leaseback and purchases.

Acted for lessor Commonwealth Bank of Australia on multiple aircraft financings for Air France and Singapore Airlines.

Notable practitioners  

Singapore-based Rod Howell has a strong reputation, particularly for his work advising lenders and lessors. One source enthused: "He is very good technically, but equally he handles negotiations well and knows how to manage a situation."

John Angus is based in the firm's Sydney office and is recognised for handling financing work for a number of major airlines. He has recently advised Virgin Airlines on a number of financing and leasing transactions.

Significant clients ANZ, Scotiabank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, National Bank of Australia.

Banking & Finance - Australia

John Angus is a widely acknowledged asset and structured finance practitioner with a strong focus on, and much experience in, aviation finance matters. He recently advised Virgin Australia on a number of significant transactions. Clients report that he "is very well known and highly respected. The general rule is: if he's comfortable, then you have nothing to worry about." 

Mark Breheny acts prominently for financiers in major property developments and is also a vastly experienced asset finance specialist. He recently acted for Scotiabank with regard to the Australian aspects of its provision of a CAD175 million revolving credit facility to the CSL Group.

Justin Pelly has a broad banking and finance practice, incorporating acquisition, corporate and property finance capabilities. He lately advised Boral with regard to syndicated facilities totalling AUD1.2 billion.

Amanda Wales draws positive commentary from interviewees, who note some of her clients "won't do a deal without her" and predict that "she's going to be a market leader in this area soon." She is particularly active in the asset and equipment finance spaces and in the leasing sector, often acting for international clients. She recently represented Virgin Australia in significant aircraft sale and leaseback transactions involving foreign banks. 

John Nestel works across a range of industries including media, transportation and telecommunications and is especially experienced in privatisations and project finance transactions. His main focus is leveraged corporate and acquisition financing, with a particular specialism in complex cross-border issues, and he has worked in both Europe and the USA.

Emma de Carle recently advised RMB Capital Partners on the financing of the acquisition of Coverforce Holdings. A specialist in acquisition finance, she has worked on leveraged and private equity finance transactions across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Lucy McCullagh is a corporate finance lawyer specialising in the energy and mining sectors. Currently based in Melbourne, she has worked in London and Moscow and advised banks, funds and corporations from around the world. She lately advised a syndicate consisting of eight leading financial institutions on the provision of a AUD1.375 billion secured debt facility to Epic Energy. 

Capital Markets - Australia

Philippa Stone is a real standout in this arena, attracting such comments as: "She is held in high esteem - a rainmaker for this group. She is fantastic in her ability to grasp and communicate matters, a fantastic operator." One of her many transactions in the past year was advising Westpac, ANZ Securities, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and UBS in connection with an offer of Westpac Subordinated Notes, valued at AUD1.5 billion.

Andrew Booth is dual-qualified in Australia and the USA and has extensive domestic and global experience of debt markets, including hybrid securities transactions. He acted for ING on its buyback of AUD1.15 billion government guaranteed notes, and also assisted BHP Billiton on EMTN and AMTN programmes involving over AUD4 billion. 

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage is much in demand, especially for her ECM structuring skills and abilities concerning the funding of M&A deals. Her recent work includes assisting Colonial Holdings on its AUD1 billion retail notes issue, which was executed within a particularly tight timeframe. 

Consultant Lachlan Roots continues to offer his clients extensive securitisation and debt capital markets experience. He handles mortgage and asset-backed securitisation programmes as well as dealing with rating agencies and regulatory bodies. He counts major corporates and international banks amongst his clients. 

Tim McEwen specialises in ECM and M&A matters across such sectors as real estate, resources and financial services. He assisted Astro Japan Property on its AUD25 million institutional placement and also acted for a group of banks, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and ANZ Securities, in connection with MYOB's AUD150 million offer of ASX-listed retail notes. 

Michael Ziegelaar co-heads the ECM team and is also the head of the Melbourne corporate group. He counts institutions such as Macquarie Capital, Credit Suisse, and Bell Potter Securities amongst his clients and his recent work includes acting for Calibre Group as issuer's counsel on its AUD477.9 million IPO and listing of shares on the ASX. 

Patrick Lowden, who heads the DCM group, is trusted by clients to "give quality, considered advice, on time and with good attention to detail." His recent notable work includes acting for the APA Group on its ASX-listed, AUD500 million hybrid note issue. 

Corporate/M&A - Australia

Tony Damian works with international clients on both public listed and private M&A transactions. He lately acted for RBS with regard to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's acquisition of its infrastructure advisory business. Clients find him "very responsive" and report a very high level of satisfaction with his work. 

Philippa Stone attracts high praise from clients, being seen as "a very impressive lawyer who always gets the job done." She has vast experience of cross-border M&A transactions, as demonstrated by her recent role advising the Bermuda-registered Brookfield Infrastructure Group on the USD1 billion acquisition of Inexus, providers of infrastructure assets in the UK.

Rodd Levy has over 25 years of experience in corporate affairs and particular expertise in advising on takeover bids. He recently acted for Canada-based YM BioSciences during its AUD378.6 million acquisition by Gilmead Sciences. Additionally, he is a noted academic and a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel.

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage combines extensive experience in both M&A and capital market transactions and interviewees report that she can be relied upon to “do a very good job.” She advised Fairfax Media on the sale of its controlling interest in the New Zealand-based auction site Trade Me for AUD777 million.

Robert Nicholson often handles high-profile international transactions within the energy sphere. An indicative recent transaction saw him representing Singapore Power International during the sale of Australian assets to a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China. 

Baden Furphy is seen as an "especially positive contributor to the M&A process when things are getting tough" as he has "a great talent for breaking roadblocks." He lately acted for TPG International in its AUD850 million acquisition of the Ingham Group, Australasia's largest poultry supplier. 

Fiona Gardiner-Hill focuses on public takeover matters and is "very highly rated" by commentators. Freshly appointed to the Australian Takeovers Panel, a highlight transaction saw her advise the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation on its part in the acquisition of Charter Hall Office REIT.

Since publication, we note with sadness that Fiona Gardiner-Hill has passed away.

Dispute Resolution - Australia

The “very impressive” Damian Grave is admitted in England and Wales, as well as four Australian states. A major part of his practice involves cases relating to Asia or the UK, and he is also noted for having acted in some of Australia's largest class actions. He recently defended members of the Diageo group in Supreme Court class action proceedings arising from legacy product liability claims.

Geoff McClellan acts for international clients on a wide spectrum of commercial disputes, but has a particular focus on the finance sector. He has acted for clients on a range of securities, taxation and insolvency cases. He heads the dispute resolution team in Australia, and is also deputy head of the firm's global disputes practice.

Sydney managing partner Juliana Warner is highly regarded for her cross-border experience, which sees her regularly act as counsel on disputes relating to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Clients enthuse that “she is an outstanding lawyer with a great strategic mind.” 

Ken Adams specialises in complex class actions for high-profile domestic and international clients. Interviewees state that “he has excellent judgement and is very good at seeing ways through extremely difficult situations.”

Michael Pryse has extensive commercial litigation experience, gained both in Australia and in London. Currently based in Melbourne, he is recognised for his work on trade practice disputes, as well as his in-depth knowledge of the workings of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Grant Marjoribanks recently acted for White Energy in an anti-corruption inquiry concerning the grant of a mining licence to Cascade Coal. Regulatory enforcement is his main area of expertise and he is noted by sources as a “fantastic lawyer.”

Litigation partner Luke Hastings specialises in contentious financial services regulatory work and is praised by sources for his understanding of complex financial products. His list of international clients includes Bank of China.

Bronwyn Lincoln is highly sought after for international commercial arbitration and cross-border dispute resolution matters. She is a member of the LCIA's Asia Pacific Users Council and is joint head of the firm's international arbitration practice.

Energy & Natural Resources - Australia

Stuart Barrymore has been described as "one of the most knowledgeable oil and gas lawyers in Australia" and is especially valued for his project development and M&A expertise in this sector. He recently advised CNOOC on a USD1.93 billion acquisition of interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG project from the BG Group.

Brisbane-based Jay Leary co-heads the firm's global mining practice and is commended for his "excellent attention to detail and industry knowledge." He lately acted for Adani Mining with regard to the development of its AUD10 billion Carmichael Coal Mine project and related infrastructure.

The "very well-regarded" Robert Merrick has a wealth of expertise representing leading oil and gas companies in project development and M&A transactions. He is also the firm's lead partner for energy matters. 

Robert Nicholson is widely recognised for his M&A expertise in the utilities and infrastructure domains. He recently advised Singapore Power International on a divestment of its Australian assets to a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China.

David Ryan recently joined the Sydney office of Herbert Smith Freehills from Baker & McKenzie. He has experience representing major industry clients in multi-jurisdictional mining projects and transactions. Clients testify: "He is energetic, positive, clear-thinking and very commercial."  

Sharon Wilson specialises in assisting oil and gas clients with their transactions and other commercial arrangements. She was recently part of the team advising the Energy Development Corporation on joint venture agreements concerning several projects in Chile and Peru. One client pays a special tribute to her ability to "understand the client's needs and provide useful and commercial solutions."

New partner Belinda Fan is based in Melbourne and has specialist expertise in energy and resources projects. She has considerable experience on Chinese cross-border matters and also speaks fluent Mandarin. She earns high praise from leading industry clients for "providing impressive service." She lately acted as a member of the team which advised POSCO, Marubeni and STX on their AUD3.2 billion acquisition of a 30% stake in Hancock's Roy Hill iron ore mining project in Western Australia.

Intellectual Property - Australia

Practice head Sue Gilchrist has over 20 years' experience of litigation in a wide range of high-profile IP cases. She recently acted as lead partner advising Apple on its dispute with Samsung Electronics over smartphones and tablets, one of Australia's largest ever patent cases.

Patent litigation in the pharmaceutical industry is a key area of focus for Shaun McVicar. For example, he recently led the firm's representation of Apotex in a patent and copyright infringement dispute with Sanofi over the uses of the drug Leflunomide. 

Kristin Stammer's focus in on the IP aspects of transactions such as sales, acquisitions, joint ventures, technology transfers and licenses. In a recent case highlight she provided the IP-related advice to Reed Business Information Australia on its acquisition by Catalyst Investment Managers.

Prior to joining the group, Damien Bailey spent some eight years in Hong Kong with a major UK firm and he is dual qualified in Hong Kong and Australia. He specialises in the telecoms sector and serves clients such as BHP Billiton, Hitachi Data Systems, and SingTel Optus. Well regarded in the market, one client commented: "He is a brilliant commercial lawyer."