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Australia > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Capital markets
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • David Bryant - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Paul Cerché - Allens
    • Alastair Corrigall - Gilbert + Tobin
    • Andrew Kim - Ashurst
    • Caroline Smart - Ashurst
    • Jamie Taylor - Allen & Overy LLP

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With strong experience in high-value equity capital markets (ECM) work and complex, innovative debt capital markets (DCM) matters, Allens’ ‘very solution-focused, practical’ department provides ‘exceptionally high-quality advice that is easy to understand’. Robert Pick and Julian Donnan head the ECM team; Pick assisted Redbubble with its A$40m IPO, while Donnan and Stuart McCulloch advised J.P. Morgan and UBS as joint lead managers on the Charter Hall Long WALE REIT’s A$827m IPO. DCM group head James Darcy advised Plenary as consortium leader on its A$1bn refinancing of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre project, and acted for Mirvac on the establishment of its A$118m Singapore-listed EMTN programme. The team also has securitisation capabilities, with structured finance expert Benjamin Downie advising Bendigo & Adelaide Bank on its purchase of a A$1.4bn mortgage portfolio from the Western Australian government’s Keystart Housing Scheme Trust. DCM experts Scott McCoy and Paul Cerché, and derivatives specialist Tom Highnam, are also recommended.

Ashurst’s excellent relationship with large global and domestic financial institutions means it frequently handles cutting-edge DCM work; it also has a deep bench of ECM practitioners. On the ECM side, the team mostly acts for underwriters, such as Goldman Sachs, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and UBS; it also acts for issuers, with Anton Harris and Bruce Macdonald assisting Range International with its A$50m IPO. Harris and Phil Breden advised Crown Resorts on numerous strategic ECM matters, including the potential IPO of a subsidiary REIT worth billions of dollars. Elspeth Arnold and Sarah Dulhunty are also recommended for ECM work. On the debt side, the ‘knowledgeable, commercial, responsive’ and ‘experiencedJamie Ng advised Deutsche Bank on the Australian law aspects of Valin Mining Investments (Singapore)’s issuance of $357m-worth of exchangeable bonds, and assisted Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ with its issuance of billions of Australian dollars’ worth of certificates of deposit. Ng and securitisation expert Jennifer Schlosser assisted various financiers, including J.P. Morgan, NAB and HSBC, on the securitisation financing of the A$1.9bn acquisition of GE Capital’s commercial finance assets in Australia and New Zealand by Sankaty Advisors and Deutsche Bank. ‘Extremely hardworking’ senior associate Andrew Kim ‘gets documents turned around quickly’; new partner Caroline Smart is ‘knowledgeable and commercial’. Global managing partner Paul Jenkins is also active in capital markets.

The ‘quick, pragmatic and solutions-focused’ department at Herbert Smith Freehills frequently handles high-profile work, and is well known for its deep bench of market-leading experts. Philippa Stone, arguably ‘Australia’s leading ECM lawyer’, has ‘legendary commercial skills and expertise’; she led an ‘always available, user-friendly and highly skilled’ team on Boral’s A$1.6bn entitlement offering and A$450m institutional placement. The ‘incredibly responsive’ Tim McEwen, who has ‘excellent technical knowledge’, advised Inghams Group on its A$596m IPO, and acted for MMG on its HK$4bn rights issuance. Widely recommended ECM expert Rebecca Maslen-Stannage advised Moelis Australia on its A$59m IPO. Michael Ziegelaar and Philip Hart are also recommended for ECM, as is Sydney-based US securities expert Laura Sheridan Mouton. On the debt side, Andrew Booth, who provides ‘sound, practical advice’, assisted Victoria Power Networks with the establishment of its €3bn EMTN programme. Securitisation and DCM group head Patrick Lowden acted for APA Group on the Australian law aspects of its $800m note issuance.

King & Wood Mallesons’ practice offers ‘a combination of world-class advice and speedy service’ across all kinds of capital markets work. ‘Responsive, commercial and client-focused’ DCM head Ian Paterson is ‘a pleasure to work with’; he acted for ANZ, Challenger, IAG and Suncorp on their issuances of an aggregate total of A$3bn-worth of notes. The ‘knowledgeable, responsive’ Ian Edmonds-Wilson advised Pepper Group on a A$480m cross-border RMBS securitisation. On the ECM side, the ‘commercial, pragmatic and solution-oriented’ Jason Watts advised Estia on its A$136m entitlement offering, assisted Bingo Industries with its A$440m IPO, and, alongside Brian Murphy and senior associate Scott Phillips, acted for Charter Hall on the A$827m IPO of Charter Hall Long WALE REIT. DCM specialists Jo Dodd and John Eagleton made partner in July 2016; Eagleton advised the state treasuries of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales on their various issuances of social impact bonds. Also recommended are Shannon Finch and David Friedlander for ECM; Philip Harvey and Ken Astridge for DCM; and Paul Smith, Anne-Marie Neagle and derivatives specialist Scott Farrell for securitisation. David Bryant is a senior associate to watch.

Well known for having US as well as Australian capital markets capabilities, the mostly Sydney-based team at Allen & Overy LLP handles very impressive ECM and securitisation work. The ‘very knowledgeable, commercial’ Tony Sparks and the US-qualified Mark Leemen, who both have ‘decades of experience and excellent industry contacts’, advised Deutsche Bank, Macquarie and UBS on the proposed dual-track IPO and trade sale of Moly-Cop Group, a transaction that ended up as a $1.2bn sale to American Industrial Partners. Karolina Popic, who heads the department jointly with Sparks, acted for Macquarie Leasing on a $500m issuance of notes backed by Australian auto receivables. Jason Denisenko and ‘excellent’ US-qualified counsel Cécile Baume are also recommended in Sydney; Meredith Campion and Peter Wilkes are the key partners in Perth. Senior associate Jamie Taylor ‘leads on a lot of great transactions’.

The ‘experienced’, ‘incredibly responsive’ group of ‘expert partners’ at Clayton Utz has ‘a great deal of DCM knowledge’ and longstanding, wide-ranging ECM capabilities. In the DCM space, securitisation for fintechs and work involving green bonds are growing strengths: Andrew Jinks acted for DirectMoney and Spotcap on securitisation financings, while Sonia Goumenis, who heads the DCM practice alongside Jinks, assisted FlexiGroup with its first green securitisation. Jinks also advised Place Management New South Wales on its securitisation of a stream of rent receivables payable by Lendlease, the package ultimately being sold to Rothesay Life for A$192m. ‘Very client-focused’ ECM expert Stuart Byrne is ‘engaging, efficient and very effective’; he has ‘great knowledge’, provides ‘commercial advice’ and is ‘very accessible’. Heading the ECM group alongside Brendan Groves, Byrne acted for WiseTech on its A$168m IPO. Andrew Hay is the key partner in Brisbane; Sydney-based special counsel Patricia Paton is widely recommended.

Gilbert + Tobin’s ‘terrific, completely trustworthy’ department is ‘excellent from top to bottom, great technically, and easy to work with’. Peter Cook and the ‘very responsive, commercial’ Adam d’Andreti advised Credit Suisse (Australia) and Morgan Stanley Australia Securities as underwriters on WiseTech’s A$168m IPO. On the issuer side, Adam Laura acted for Australian Unity Office Fund on its A$391m IPO. Craig Semple assisted Telstra with its A$1.3bn off-market share buy-back. The team acted for the Municipal Association of Victoria on its A$100m note issuance. ECM specialist Alex Kauye made partner in July 2017; John Williamson-Noble, Sarah Turner and the ‘technically greatRachael Bassil are also recommended for ECM. DCM and securitisation expert Bharti Sharma arrived from Linklaters LLP in August 2017. DCM expert Duncan McGrath left to join Baker McKenzie in October 2017. Alastair Corrigall is another associate to watch.

Praised for its ‘extremely good service, commercial advice and good value for money’, Minter Ellison’s team is especially strong on the issuer side in ECM and DCM. ‘Client-focused’ DCM and securitisation expert John Elias is ‘driven to achieve cost-effective outcomes’; he heads the team with the ‘responsive’ James Hutton, who provides ‘best-in-class advice’, and ECM specialist Daniel Scotti. Hutton and Broome advised Mayne Pharma Group on its A$888m accelerated entitlement offer and placement, while Scotti assisted Tegel Group Holdings with its NZ$600m IPO and its listing on both the NZX and the ASX. On the DCM side, Elias acted for UnitingCare Queensland on its issuance of Queensland’s first social impact bond. Other DCM clients include Suncorp and Nissan. Securitisation expert and special counsel Simon Oh went in-house at Westpac in April 2017.

The ‘prompt, commercial’ team at Baker McKenzie delivers ‘well-considered, insightful advice’ even in ‘tight timeframes’. It is noted for its multi-jurisdictional capabilities, thanks in part to Ben McLaughlin and Andrew Reilly being US- and Australia-qualified. The ‘responsive’ Lauren Magraith has ‘best-in-class industry knowledge’ and provides ‘well-balanced advice’; she and David Holland acted for APN News & Media on its $273m underwritten placement and entitlement offering. Craig Andrade and special counsel Hoda Nahlous are also recommended. US-qualified senior associate Paul Anderson arrived at the Sydney office from Shearman & Sterling LLP in August 2017.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s practice assists issuers and investors with ECM and DCM matters. On the DCM side, Brad Robinson acted for SA Power Networks as Australian counsel on its $520m US private placement note issuance. ECM specialist Jeremy Horwood advised Singapore Airlines as shareholder on Virgin Australia Holdings’ A$852m entitlement offering, and assisted the NZX-listed Pushpay Holdings with its A$54m institutional placement and its ASX listing. Perth-based ECM expert Russell Philip is active in the energy and mining space: he acted for Dacian Gold on its A$110m institutional placement and rights offering. Gold Road Resources is another of Philip’s clients.

The four-partner team at DLA Piper is mostly ECM-dedicated, and is distinguished by its sector strengths in technology, venture capital, healthcare and life sciences. Department head David Ryan advised Catapult Group International on its A$100m equity capital raise; alongside Catherine Merity, Ryan also assisted Silver Heritage Group with its A$25m IPO, and advised it on its $20m bond issuance to OCP Asia. Mark Wilshaw and Scott Gibson are the key partners in Perth; Gibson acted for LiveHire on its A$10m IPO, while Wilshaw advised Kalium Lakes on its A$6m IPO. Senior associates Kelly Morrison, Rosamond Sayer and Elliott Cheung are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice acts for numerous global and domestic financial institutions, and advises corporations across various sectors on ECM matters. James Morris, who made partner in January 2017, heads the DCM and securitisation group; he acted for the Royal Bank of Canada on its A$625m note issuance, and advised NAB as lead manager and initial subscriber on a A$20m note issuance by a New Zealand bank. The Bank of New York Mellon is another of Morris’ clients. Iain Laughland heads the ECM practice; ECM expert Shane Bilardi is ‘very practical, commercial and technically excellent’. Securitisation expert Scott Millar and ECM specialist James Stewart are also recommended. Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York have announced their intention to merge towards the end of 2017.

Active mostly on the ECM side, Arnold Bloch Leibler’s Melbourne-based practice counts energy and technology as sector strengths. Jeremy Leibler advised on its A$50m IPO, and assisted Australian Renewable Fuels, now known as Thorney Technologies, with its A$125m recapitalisation and re-listing on the ASX. He also advised zipMoney on its A$21m equity capital raise. Jane Sheridan acted for Primary Opinion on its re-compliance following its purchase of a 48% stake in Maggie Beer Products, and on a A$20m equity capital raise. Michael Dodge assisted Benthic Geotech with its $5m entitlement offering. Jonathan Wenig leads the department.

HWL Ebsworth’s practice is based across Sydney and Adelaide, where the key partners are Robert Gibson and Jamie Restas respectively. It is mostly active in ECM, though Matthew Reynolds and banking & finance partner Paul Sroka do handle DCM work, particularly involving corporate bonds. On the IPO front, Reynolds acted for Retech Technology on its A$23m IPO, while Grant Hummel advised Boyuan Holdings and Powerhouse Ventures on their A$20m and A$10m IPOs respectively. Reynolds assisted Bubs Australia with its A$5m backdoor listing on the ASX. MedAdvisor instructed Sam Dwyer on its A$8m private placement to finance its acquisition of HealthNotes. Thomas Kim, Jeremy McCarthy and consultant Paul Stephenson are also recommended. *Since publication, HWL Ebsworth and Tress Cox have merged.

The ECM-dedicated team at Hive Legal counts technology, energy and life sciences as sector strengths. Practice head Simon Davidson assisted QMS Media with its A$20m private placement, acted for AdAlta on its A$10m IPO, and advised Smart Parking on its A$11m placement and accelerated entitlement offering. Other clients include Maxim Group, ikeGPS and Nexvet Biopharma. Associate Rohila Rahimi is very active in the space. The firm is based in Melbourne.

Johnson Winter & Slattery’s mostly Sydney-based department focuses on ECM. James Rozsa, who heads the group jointly with John Keeves, acted for Visioneering Technologies on its A$33m IPO, assisted ImpediMed with an $A83m two-tranche placement, and advised AirXpanders on two private placements worth A$65m in total. Though Kellie Morton left the firm to take up a non-legal position, Paul Vinci, Justin Harris and special counsel Shane Stewart joined the Perth office from Clifford Chance Australia in May 2017, bolstering the firm’s capabilities in mining- and energy-related capital markets work. ECM expert Clare Brown made partner in July 2017.

The team at McCullough Robertson is ECM-focused and primarily Brisbane-based, though Adrian Smith is a Sydney practitioner. Practice head Derek Pocock advised Metro Mining on its A$52m institutional placement and rights issuance, assisted Megaport with its A$31m placement and share-purchase plan, and acted for Velocity Property Group on its A$11m IPO. He also advised GraphiteCorp on structuring a A$16m convertible equity note as part of a fundraise. Reece Walker is also very active in the space: he advised MSL Solutions on its A$15m IPO, assisted Corporate Travel Management with its A$71m rights issuance, and acted for Prescient Therapeutics on its A$10m placement and rights issuance.

The key partners at Sidley Austin’s ‘market-leading, well-connected US-law practice’ are US securities ‘grandmaster’ Robert Meyers and ECM specialist Mimma Barila. The ‘highly commercial, dynamic and effective’ team acts for global and domestic issuers and underwriters on high-value equity and debt offerings. Bruce Dailey, senior associate Kristina Kang and dual-qualified counsel Carla Polson are also recommended.

Sullivan & Cromwell has excellent US law capabilities in ECM and DCM, and is based across Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney-based practitioner Waldo Jones has ‘a very deep, thorough knowledge of US DCM’: he assisted Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) with its A$3bn note offering. The Melbourne-based Robert Chu acted for NAB and, separately, Bank of New Zealand on billions of Australian dollars’ worth of note issuances. On the ECM side, both partners advised J.P. Morgan Australia and Macquarie Capital (Australia) as underwriters on Reliance Worldwide’s A$919m IPO, and acted for Inghams Group on its A$596m IPO. Associate Connor Schillerstrom ‘pays very good attention to detail’ and is ‘very efficient, focused and good to work with’.

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