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Australia > Competition and trade > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Competition and trade
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Simon Cooke - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Rosannah Healy - Allens

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Singled out for its ‘customer interaction and commercial understanding of issuesAllens’ team is led by Fiona Crosbie, who is ‘totally committed to positive outcomes for her clients’. Examples of work include ‘innovative thinker’ Kon Stellios defending PZ Cussons in cartel proceedings brought by the ACCC following its investigation into laundry detergents, and the ‘pragmatic and clear’ Jacqueline Downes advising the Rail Consortium on the merger control aspects of its proposed takeover of Asciano.

Gilbert + Tobin’s team includes ‘superstarGina Cass-Gottlieb, who has ‘the clout in the industry to make calls that regulators and lawyers will respond to’. Cass-Gottlieb and Elizabeth Avery, who wins praise for her ‘deep understanding of the law’, successfully represented Coles Express in Federal Court proceedings relating to alleged petrol price information-sharing arrangements. In another highlight, department head Luke Woodward is advising Qube Holdings and a consortium on the competition aspects of a proposed acquisition of Asciano.

Herbert Smith Freehills has ‘significant bench strength from merger clearance to litigation’. The team was particularly busy on the enforcement side and handled a range of high-profile mandates, including acting for Caltex in relation to the ACCC’s petrol price information-sharing investigation. Key players include energy specialist Liza Carver, who ‘brings significant weight of experience in merger clearance matters’, Patrick Gay, who has ‘outstanding business acumen’, and head of practice Paul Hughes.

King & Wood Mallesons’ practice has ‘extensive experience dealing with complex, business-critical and sensitive matters’. In 2015, the firm was busy on a range of merger control and enforcement matters, including ‘very strong technical lawyer’ Caroline Coops advising Asciano on the competition aspects of its takeover by a Qube Holdings and Brookfield consortium. Practice head Sharon Henrick has ‘first-class knowledge of the law’ and Stephen Ridgeway is a ‘significant personality in the competition landscape’.

Leader in the field’ Bill Reid is in charge at Ashurst, where the team’s work encompasses merger clearances, cartel conduct, infrastructure access issues and market investigations. In one highlight, Reid advised Allergan on securing Australian merger clearance in relation to its aborted $160bn merger with Pfizer. Other key individuals in the ‘top-notch’ practice are Peter Armitage and Ross Zaurrini.

Linda Evans and Michael Corrigan remain key figures at Clayton Utz, with Evans in particular singled out for her ‘excellent analytical skills and good relationship with the regulator’. Also of note are practice head Kirsten Webb, who successfully represented key client Woolworths in the ACCC’s petrol price information-sharing investigation, and Bruce Lloyd, who ‘provides excellent practical advice’.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth remains busy in sectors such as energy, TMT, beverages and transport; for example, practice head Mark McCowan is advising SABMiller on the competition law aspects of its $107bn takeover by Anheuser Busch InBev. On the trade side, Andrew Korbel provides ‘clear and practical advice’. Ayman Guirguis left for K&L Gates.

Johnson Winter & Slattery is particularly known for its enforcement work; the team is acting on a number of cartel prosecutions including practice head John Kench and the ‘excellent’ Sar Katdare advising Unilever as immunity applicant in proceedings brought by the ACCC relating to laundry detergents. Aldo Nicotra, who leads the practice with Kench, assisted Supabarn Supermarkets with ACCC clearance for an acquisition by Coles of eight supermarkets.

At Minter Ellison, practice head Paul Schoff assists with merger clearances in a wide range of industries including construction, financial services, telecoms and manufacturing; Schoff advised on the Australian and New Zealand aspects of Panasonic’s $1.54bn acquisition of Hussmann. The team’s expertise extends to enforcement and restrictive trade practices.

Practice head Nick McHugh at Norton Rose Fulbrightimpresses with his no-nonsense, efficiency and stewardship’. Other key players are Andrew Riordan, who is representing the ACCC in cartel proceedings in the Federal Court relating to laundry detergents, and Martyn Taylor who advised on the Australian competition aspects of GlaxoSmithKline’s asset swap and related joint venture with Novartis.

Allen & Overy LLP’s team provides ‘highly practical and timely advice’, and advised TNT on the Australian merger control aspects of its $5.4bn sale to FedEx Corporation. Practice head Peter McDonald is ‘extremely committed’.

The ‘experienced’ Georgina Foster leads at Baker McKenzie, where work includes merger control and enforcement matters for clients such as FedEx Corporation and the ACCC. Jo Daniels is now at the firm’s Yangon office.

DLA Piper enjoyed a number of strong enforcement mandates, including representing Andrew Forrest and Fortescue Metals Group in an ACCC investigation relating to an alleged iron ore cartel. Practice head Simon Uthmeyercuts quickly through the issues’.

Arnold Bloch Leibler is best known for its litigation expertise and the team acted for a number of clients involved in ACCC investigations into the agribusiness sector. Practice head Zaven Mardirossian is ‘an extremely experienced litigator’ and Matthew Lees ‘delivers complex advice in an easy-to-understand manner’.

At Bird & Bird, Kathryn Edghill is a ‘standout in providing practical solutions for businesses’. Edghill handles competition and consumer issues for clients such as Microsoft and LG Electronics.

Dave Poddar ‘brings lots of political savvy to his advice’ at Clifford Chance Australia and remained highly active in merger clearance matters; in one example Poddar assisted General Electric with the sale of its thermal power, renewable power and grid businesses to Alstom Group.

At Jones Day, the ‘very thorough and proactive’ Nick Taylor advised on the antitrust aspects of various high-value mergers and acquisitions including Denka Company’s purchase of the Neoprene polychloroprene business of DuPont.

Webb Henderson’s practice is particularly known for representing the ACCC in a range of misuse of market power, cartel and merger clearance matters. Andrew Christopher leads the team.

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