The Legal 500

Clayton Utz

Work +61 2 9353 4000
Fax +61 2 8220 6700
Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Darwin, Canberra and 1 more


Top-tier recommendations



Within Banking and finance, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

Clayton Utz provides ‘fantastic’ advice and is noted for its ‘technical excellence’. The ‘client-focusedGraeme Gurney heads the team. Work highlights included advising AMP on the restructuring of a number of joint venture assets co-owned by AMP Group managed funds and Westfield Group managed funds; Francesca Rush led on this matter. Matt Anderson is ‘one of the best in the business’. The ‘responsiveAndrew Jinks and Bruce Cooper are also recommended.

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Within Capital markets, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

Clayton Utz has a strong debt capital markets practice led by Louise McCoach. The team advised Tatts Group on its offer of seven-year senior unsecured bonds to raise A$200m. The firm also has expertise in securitisation matters, with a team led by Andrew Jinks. Recent work includes assisting ANZ and Credit Suisse as lenders for a securitisation vehicle sponsored by Columbus Capital in relation to Columbus Capital's acquisition of ANZ's Origin portfolio.

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Within Competition and trade, Clayton Utz is a third tier firm,

Clayton Utz’s Bruce Lloyd is defending Nexans against allegations of cartel conduct in the high voltage submarine and underground cable sector. Kirsten Webb is a strategic adviser to longstanding client Woolworths. Linda Evans is singled out for her ‘exceptional technical expertise’.

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Within Construction, Clayton Utz is a first tier firm,

Clayton Utz’s ‘knowledgeable and client-focused’ construction team, which includes Doug Jones and Sergio Capelli, is lauded for its ‘excellent response times and industry knowledge’. Andrew Stephenson handles disputes for both operators and contractors. In Perth, Stephen Boyle is acting for the EPC contractor undertaking the development of the Chevron Wheatstone LNG project. Clients include Transport for New South Wales, Lend Lease, and Origin Energy Limited.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

The ‘very client-focused’ team at Clayton Utz is ‘easy to deal with’ and has ‘excellent industry insight’. John Elliot is a key figure. Sydney-based Jonathan Algar led the firm’s advice to Canadian-based Brookfield Asset Management in relation to its unsolicited A$480m takeover bid for Thakral Holdings Group. Senior associate Adam Foreman is a ‘real talent’. Mark Paganin and Karen Evans-Cullen are also recommended.

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Within Dispute resolution, Clayton Utz is a first tier firm,

The ‘very responsiveClayton Utz is ‘reliable in "bet-the-company" disputes’. Brigitte Markovic heads the substantial team which includes the very highly regarded Tobin Meagher. The firm is acting for Nexans in defending cartel proceedings by the ACCC in the Federal Court of Australia. Sid Wang and Brisbane-based Ian Bloemendal are also recommended.

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Within Employment, Clayton Utz is a third tier firm,

At Clayton Utz, ‘advice is consistently of the highest quality, reflecting the absolute latest developments in employment law’. Practice head Saul Harben successfully represented Fair Work Building & Construction in Federal Court proceedings involving large-scale strike action at a Western Australia energy project. The ‘clear and authoritative’ Graham Smith is praised for the ‘considerable breadth and depth of his advisory skills’. Joe Catanzariti has left the firm having been appointed vice president of the Fair Work Commission.

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Within Energy and resources, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

The ‘very professional’ team at Clayton Utz has ‘extensive knowledge and experience’. The firm advised Australia Pacific LNG on the successful close of the $8.5bn financing for its liquefaction plant and facilities on Curtis Island. This marks the first time that the export finance arms of the United States and China have co-operated on an Australian project. Graham Taylor, Mark Geritz and Keira Brennan are also recommended. Graeme Dennis heads the team.

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Within Insurance, Clayton Utz is a first tier firm,

The ‘experienced’ and ‘professional’ team at Clayton Utz provides ‘very good service’. Fred Hawke is the practice group leader and Peter Mann is another key figure. The firm works predominantly for policyholders and practice clients include AMP and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. David Gerber was promoted to partner in January 2013. Mark Waller and special counsel Bronwyn Jury are also recommended.

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Within Intellectual property, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

John Collins heads the practice at Clayton Utz, which handles a number of high-profile IP matters for an impressive client portfolio. The firm advised Novartis on a number of patent infringement/revocation litigation matters. Key figures include Mary Still, Chris McLeod and Robert Cutler. Jim FitzSimons left for Truman Hoyle in February 2013.

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Within Projects and infrastructure, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

The projects team at Clayton Utz is ‘very responsive’ and ‘always endeavours to meet the particular needs of the client’. Head of team Doug Jones, alongside John Shirbin and Sergio Capelli, is advising Transport for New South Wales on the A$8.5bn North West Rail link infrastructure development in Sydney. Other highlights included acting on the Australia Pacific LNG project and representing the Exemplar Health Consortium in its successful bid to develop and operate the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, a large PPP.

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Within Real estate, Clayton Utz is a first tier firm,

Clayton Utz is project counsel to the Australia Pacific LNG project, a joint venture between Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec. Michael Richardson leads the team, which advises on significant real estate issues in relation to the project development. The practice is led by the highly regarded Gary Best, and other key partners include Peter McMahon and Alfonso del Rio in Canberra. Also in Canberra, Alastair Gregory was promoted to partner in January 2013.

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Within Restructuring and insolvency, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

Clayton Utz is noted for its ‘reliable advice and excellent value for money’. David Cowling is ‘a strong advocate and reliable business ally’. Graeme Gurney is also recommended. Clients include PPB Advisory, National Australia Bank and Deloitte.

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Within Tax, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

Andrew Sommer’s team at Clayton Utz is ‘extremely well equipped to handle all taxation issues’, advising on fund formation, transactions, project developments and tax disputes. The ‘very impressiveAllan Blaikie is an international tax expert, advising multinationals on general anti-avoidance rules. Clients include a large number of investment and private equity funds.

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Within TMT, Clayton Utz is a second tier firm,

Drawing on its strengths in telecommunications, Clayton Utz regularly handles matters for NBN. The practice is co-headed by the ‘very pragmatic and solutions-focusedBruce Lloyd and media specialist Kate Jordan. Simon Newcomb and Steven Klimt are regularly instructed by government institutions on large-scale IT projects. Former practice head Jim FitzSimons joined Truman Hoyle.

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Within Transport, Clayton Utz is a first tier firm,

A ‘first-tier firm’, Clayton Utz has ‘excellent response times and industry knowledge’. Team head Simon Brady advised Singapore Airlines on a joint venture with Virgin Australia. John Shirbin and Doug Jones are acting for Transport for New South Wales in the large North West Rail Link infrastructure project. The arrival of Andrew Leece in Canberra further enhances the team’s national coverage.

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