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Australia > Projects > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Projects
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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    • James Kendal - Clayton Utz
    • Melissa Rubbo - Herbert Smith Freehills

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Ashurst fields a team of ‘impressive depth’ and is able to mobilise additional resources ‘quickly and seamlessly, at short notice’. The firm is the Commonwealth’s adviser on the A$1.5bn Moorebank Intermodal Terminal project, acted for Transport for NSW on the A$11bn Sydney Metro City & Southwest project, and, in a cross-border matter, represented the bidding contractors in the NZ$760m Puhoi to Warkworth motorway project. Innovative work included advising Phoenix Energy on Australia’s first large-scale waste-to-energy plant project. Richard Guit, who joined from Minter Ellison, has the ‘strong ability to distil detailed and significant bodies of precedent into clear recommendations’. The team, led by Grant Rowlands and Lee McDonald, also includes Mark Disney, who ‘keeps a cool head in heated negotiations’.

Clayton Utz provides an ‘exemplary service’ and has again attracted a large share of the country’s major projects work, capitalising on its close ties to government. Key matters included advising the Northern Territory government on the North East Gas Interconnector project, representing the Queensland government in the A$1.6bn Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project, assisting VicRoads with the A$1.2bn CityLink-Tullamarine widening project, and advising the Capital Metro Agency on the Capital Metro light rail PPP. The large practice fields a number of recommended individuals, including the ‘tremendous’ Jo Pugsley, who has ‘deep technical legal knowledge’ and ‘works to the highest standards’, and Andrew Leece, who has a ‘deep understanding of the Canberra environment’. Arch Fletcher, Brad Vann and Doug Jones withdrew from the partnership.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ team is stocked with ‘industry leaders with a wealth of relevant experience’, who display a ‘first-class client service mentality’. The team has a strong PPP and infrastructure track record, recently advising Moorebank Intermodal on the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal project, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority on the A$11bn Melbourne Metro rail project, and Transurban on its proposal to the Victorian government to build the A$5.5bn Western Distributor project. The team includes Peter Paradise, who is rated for his ‘negotiation tactics’ and is ‘fearless in giving advice’, as well as Melanie Cave and David Templeman.

King & Wood Mallesons provides ‘outstanding support’ and ‘genuinely understands clients’ challenges’. In a successful year, the team was appointed to several new panels, and advised Transport for NSW on the rail infrastructure required for the proposed Western Sydney Airport, Aurizon on the West Pilbara infrastructure project (a A$4.5bn rail and port infrastructure for a new West Pilbara iron ore province), and UrbanGrowth on the A$2bn Bays Precinct urban transformation project. Mark Upfold and Chris Mitchell are the names to note.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth performs ‘at a very high standard’ and has a ‘strong ability to provide solutions and negotiation alternatives’. The practice handled a wide range of matters across several industries. Infrastructure work included advising the Queensland government on the A$1bn Gold Coast Rapid Transit project, and Transport for NSW on Sydney’s Wynyard Station redevelopment. Simon Ashworth is a ‘strong solutions provider’, and Airlie Fox is ‘very clear and precise in her analysis’. Also recommended are David Warren and John Walter.

DLA Piper has significant PPP expertise and regularly handles projects across the Asia Pacific region, recently acting for a consortium on its bid for the $3bn Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike PPP in the Philippines. Domestic work included advising the Destination Brisbane Consortium on the A$3bn Queens Wharf project. Recommended are John Gallagher and PPP practice head Alex Guy.

Minter Ellison is rated for its ‘outstanding client service and pragmatic approach’, and partners ‘add important value and know-how to deals’. The firm advised the State of Queensland on the A$450m Logan Motorway enhancement project, and assisted the Northlink consortium with its bid to New Zealand’s transport agency for the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway PPP. Owen Cooper and Stewart Nankervis are both ‘very experienced PPP specialists’. Pamela Jack’s team also features the recommended Nicole Green. Richard Guit moved to Ashurst.

Allens capitalises on its project finance capabilities and recently advised Sydney Airport Corporation on all aspects of the proposed Western Sydney Airport. It also advised Sydney Motorway Corporation on stage one of the WestConnex project. Michael Ryan and Tim Stewart jointly head the team.

Jones Day attracted a number of interesting domestic and cross-border matters, among them advising LendLease on a A$8bn waterfront site development in Sydney, and Energy Developments on the innovative Coober Pedy renewable hybrid project. Jointly with the firm’s Hong Kong office, the team advised the PPP Center of the Philippines and the Department of Public Works and Highways on the $2.72bn Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike PPP project. John Cooper, Bill Napier, Simon Bellas and Paul Riethmuller are recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright has strong infrastructure and energy and resources credentials, recently advising PNG government body Kumul Consolidated on the A$4bn Ramu 2 hydropower project, and Capella Capital on its bid for the James Cook University student accommodation PPP project. Jo Crew is singled out for her ‘reliability in commercial and financial matters’. Alen Pazin, James Morgan-Payler and Simon Currie are the other names to note.

Baker McKenzie has been busy advising on public infrastructure matters, most recently on an energy infrastructure PPP project and a cross-border energy development project. Christopher Saxon and Anthony Whelan jointly head the team.

Clifford Chance Australia has acted on a range of infrastructure and innovative renewable energy project matters, and recently attracted a high-profile cross-border infrastructure development matter. Philip Sealey and Richard Graham head the team.

HWL Ebsworth bolstered the team, which is headed by Ross Williams, through the recruitment of Michael Hollingdale from Allens. Thiess instructed the practice on Sydney’s Wynyard Walk project.

Maddocks’ team is led by Andrew Chapman and Simone Holding and regularly acts for both government and private sector clients. It recently advised Major Projects Victoria on its A$80m State Library redevelopment.

Matt Bradbury leads the team at McCullough Robertson, which assisted UrbanGrowth NSW with aspects of its high-profile Bays Precinct project.

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