The Legal 500

Editorial

Overview

Market conditions in Australia are beginning to improve, albeit gradually. Following the conclusion of Australia’s election process in September 2013, uncertainty over its outcome was lifted and a number of investors returned to the markets as a result. The real estate sector is benefiting from a large amount of inbound foreign investment from Asian countries, particularly China. Corporate activity has remained steady, largely underpinned by a noticeable uptick in equity capital markets transactions. Government activity is also driving a lot of work, notably in the TMT sector and on construction and infrastructure projects.

The resources space continues to underperform, with legal work in this sector focusing on existing projects, as well as on restructuring matters.

Thomsons Lawyers merged with Herbert Geer to form Thomson Geer, forming the seventh-largest independent firm by number of lawyers. In another notable development, HWL Ebsworth expanded its national coverage with the acquisition of South Australian firm Kelly & Co.

Although the pace of foreign firms’ arrival has slowed, the impacts of these aggressive entries into the market over the past few years are still being felt. Notable hires include Beau Deleuil leaving his role of global head of dispute resolution at King & Wood Mallesons to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, and Darren Fooks moving from Clayton Utz to establish Baker & McKenzie LLP’s new Brisbane office.

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