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Gilbert + Tobin

LEVEL 22, 101 COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Tel:
Work +61 3 8656 3300
Fax:
Fax +61 3 8656 3400
Email:
Web:
www.gtlaw.com.au
Melbourne, NSW 2000, Perth

Australia

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Clients rate Gilbert + Tobin 'incredibly highly' thanks to 'its ability to know clients in great detail, responsive and practical advice and a sensible and commercial approach that can't be beaten'. The group counts all four major Australian banks as clients and also acts for global investment banks, private equity funds, corporates and government bodies; examples include Beach Energy, Qube Holdings and the NSW government. John Schembri leads the group and handles acquisition and corporate finance work; he recently advised Reliance Rail on the refinancing of its A$2bn debt. Other key names include the 'smart, experienced and diligent' Gail Christopher, Alexander Danne and Simon Lynch; Danne recently acted for Veolia Water Australia and Infrastructure Capital Group on its successful bid to finance and operate a water treatment plant for the Springvale mine and Mt Piper power station, and Lynch assisted Cooper Energy with the funding package for its sole gas project. Adela Smith is the key name for infrastructure and energy clients and David Kirkland handles leveraged and acquisition finance transactions.

Leading individuals

John Schembri - Gilbert + Tobin

Simon Lynch - Gilbert + Tobin

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Capital markets
Capital markets: debt - ranked: tier 3

Gilbert + Tobin

Capital markets: equity - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin is 'always available and provides commercial and pragmatic legal advice' under the leadership of Peter Cook and consultant Louise McCoach for ECM and DCM respectively. The team has notable relationships with investment banks and managers; example clients include JP Morgan and Elanor Investors Group. Cook, Adam d’Andreti and Costas Condoleon advised the joint lead managers and the international board committee of Yancoal Australia on its $2.5bn entitlement offer and placement to partially fund its acquisition of Coal and Allied from Rio Tinto, Cook and newly promoted partner Alex Kauye assisted IOOF Holdings on its acquisition of ANZ's OnePath pensions and investments business including the related capital raising, and Cook and d'Andreti acted for Beach Energy on its acquisition of Lattice Energy and related debt and equity capital raisings. Rachael Bassil, John Williamson-Noble and Alastair Corrigall are also recommended. The department also has notable DCM strength and handles securitisation issues, retail bonds, USPP, high-yield bonds and asset-backed securities. Sophie Chen joined from Minter Ellison to lead the firm's China practice.

Leading individuals: Capital markets: equity

Peter Cook - Gilbert + Tobin

Next generation lawyers: Capital markets: equity

Alistair Corrigall - Gilbert + Tobin

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Competition and trade
Competition and trade - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin ‘is a clear standout’ in the competition sphere, possessing ‘technical expertise and great depth’. Luke Woodward ‘has a good understanding of ACCC processes’; he jointly leads the practice with Elizabeth Avery, who ‘quickly grasps key commercial and competition issues’. Woodward and the ‘extremely strategic’, ‘clear and concise’ Gina Cass-Gottlieb advised Tabcorp on its merger Tatts. Clearance was initially blocked by the ACCC and required over 70 lay witnesses and seven economic experts at two tribunal hearings. In addition to contentious merger clearances and acquisitions, the team excels at ACCC inquiries and represented K-Line in one of Australia’s first criminal cartel prosecutions. Sydney-based Charles Coorey ‘understands the business and legal requirements and provides practical legal advice’.

Leading individuals

Gina Cass-Gottlieb - Gilbert + Tobin

Luke Woodward - Gilbert + Tobin

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin’s 30-partner team, which is co-led by Costas Condoleon and Neil Pathak, has seen a strong year during which it managed to attract high-value matters in a range of industries such as banking, pharmaceuticals, energy and natural resources, and entertainment. Notable work in the private equity arena included Peter Cook’s advice to Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group on the $930m acquisition of iNova Pharmaceuticals from Valeant Group, as well as Rachael Bassil’s advice to Quadrant Private Equity on the sale of Real Pet Food. Spotless instructed the practice in respect of the $1bn hostile takeover bid for it by Downer EDI, and Craig Semple advised IOOF on its multimillion-dollar acquisition of ANZ’s OnePath pensions and investments businesses. The practice also regularly acts for the government: Bill Spain advised the NSW government in relation to the $1.9bn concession of Land and Property Information NSW, the first such transaction on that scale in Australia.

Leading individuals

Costas Condoleon - Gilbert + Tobin

Peter Cook - Gilbert + Tobin

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin has been busy handling several matters stemming from the Banking Royal Commission for key client Westpac. It is also representing insolvent Vocation in two separate class actions across two jurisdictions claiming over A$100m in damages. Notable practitioners include Andrew Floro, Kate Harrison and Crispian Lynch. Janet Whiting represented Cargill Australia, Cargill Inc. and Cargill Malt Asia Pacific in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings concerning allegations of false and misleading statements by Glencore and Viterra during the sale of a business. Practice head Richard Harris joined from Allens and the team has been further bolstered by Vicki Bell from Arnold Bloch Leibler. Mark Gerus has been called to the Bar, and Steven Glass retired from the partnership.

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Energy (transactions and regulatory)
Energy (transactions and regulatory) - ranked: tier 3

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin regularly handles high-value energy transactions and has strong expertise in energy and utility regulation, where it acts for governments, energy retailers, as well as transmission and generation businesses. Highlights included advising US private equity firm Harbour Energy on its proposed multibillion-dollar acquisition of Santos, assisting Beach Energy with its acquisition of Lattice Energy, Origin’s conventional upstream oil and gas business, from Origin Energy, as well as advising Neptune Energy on the Australian aspects of its €4.7bn acquisition of Engie E&P International. Christopher Flynn heads the eight-partner team, which includes Justin Little, Luke Woodward and Simon Muys.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin’s ‘very high-quality team’ features ‘capable lawyers at all levels’, provides ‘exceptional service’ and renders ‘commercial, strategic’ advice. The technology and digital practice has seen growth in emerging technologies in the financial services industry, an area of expertise for Simon Burns; he is advising the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on the implementation of a new platform to replace the CHESS clearing and settlement system using distributed ledger technology (DLT), one of the world’s first enterprise-grade implementations of DLT for critical infrastructure. Tim Gole, who is ‘a strong technical lawyer, a strategic thinker and an absolute pleasure to work with’, advised the ASX-listed IOOF on its acquisition of ANZ’s wealth and investments business, involving a complex IT separation project. Telstra instructed the team on strategic alliance and partnership agreements with Microsoft in relation to the implementation and cross-promotion of Microsoft Skype for Business and Telstra network products and services. The highly recommended Sheila McGregor leads the five-partner team, which ‘often anticipates issues beyond the project's main scope’. Lesley Sutton, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills, and Michael Caplan are also singled out. Albert Yuen is a noted special counsel.

Leading individuals

Sheila McGregor - Gilbert + Tobin

Tim Gole - Gilbert + Tobin

Next generation lawyers

Albert Yuen - Gilbert + Tobin

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin is noted for its ‘service, accessibility and commercial and strategic advice’. Practice head Michael Williams handles a broad range of matters; he successfully defended a private equity fund at trial and on appeal in the Federal Court in a brand extension case. Siabon Seet is defending copyright proceedings on behalf of Bed Bath & Beyond in Australia, and in a separate related matter acted for the client against a New Zealand company seeking to register its ‘Bed Bath & Beyond’ trading name in Australia. Lisa Lennon assisted biomedical company Calico in two appeals, defending and prosecuting opposition and removal proceedings against a company seeking to enforce the trade mark of a similarly named business.

Leading individuals

Michael Williams - Gilbert + Tobin

Siabon Seet - Gilbert + Tobin

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 5

Gilbert + Tobin

Dianne Banks heads up the group at Gilbert + Tobin, which is recognised for its corporate support strength. In a recent highlight, Banks advised Wesfarmers on new post-IPO employment contracts for the chief executive and other senior executives of its Officeworks business; further transactional work includes assisting TPG and OTTP with the employment elements of its proposal to acquire Fairfax via a scheme of arrangement, advising on the labour aspects of Cleanaway Waste Management's acquisition of Tox Free Solutions, and acting for The Stars Group on its acquisition of a stake in CrownBet and CrownBet's subsequent acquisition of William Hill Australia. The group's contentious work includes representing Gerard Lighting in proceedings against a former employee obtaining orders by consent to restrain him from working at a competitor company. Adobe, Fujitsu, Universal Music, Avaya and Cisco Systems are also clients.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin's practice covers dispute resolution, rights management and licensing, IP protection, data management and privacy as well as competition and regulation issues. Michael Williams and Tim Gole jointly head the team; the former advised a streaming media company on the high-profile appropriation of the TV series Romper Stomper by far-right political group Patriot Blue, resulting in the group retracting its online presence. It regularly advises a media intelligence company on online media and copyright issues; Siobhan Seet represented the client in its claim against Meltwater in relation to unpaid copyright fees. Technology-sector expert Lesley Sutton joined from Herbert Smith Freehills.

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Natural resources (transactions and regulatory)
Natural resources (transactions and regulatory) - ranked: tier 3

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin’s team has in-depth regulatory and transactional expertise and a strong track record of work in Africa, a focus for the highly regarded Michael Blakiston. Christopher Flynn and Justin Little jointly head the eight-partner practice, which provides ‘consistently excellent service’ and features ‘key partners whose experience is second to none’. It assisted Whitehaven with its bid for Rio Tinto’s Queensland coal assets, ultimately acquiring one of three assets sold, Winchester South. Little and Justin Mannolini advised Mineral Resources on the proposed divestment by subsidiary Wodgina Lithium of up to 49% of its interest in the Wodgina Lithium project, and in a very high-value transaction the team acted for Yancoal Australia’s Independent Board Committee in the company’s $2.45b acquisition of Coal & Allied Industries from Rio Tinto. Claire Boyd, whose ‘knowledge is beyond compare’, ‘gets things done’ and is ‘a cornerstone of a continued successful practice’; Phil Edmands ‘can assess legal issues in full commercial context’, has ‘a strong understanding of regulatory and legal issues’ and ‘inspires confidence’.

Leading individuals

Michael Blakiston - Gilbert + Tobin

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Project finance
Project finance - ranked: tier 2

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin has expertise in a diverse range of sectors, including infrastructure, health, water, energy, transport and social housing. Practice head John Schembri assisted Reliance Rail with its multibillion-dollar recapitalisation and refinancing, and in the energy sector, Simon Lynch advised Cooper Energy on a funding package for its sole gas project and acted as lead global counsel to Pacific Hydro's financiers on two financing deals, establishing one of the first cross-border portfolio financings for large-scale renewable energy. Alexander Danne acted for Veolia Water Australia and Infrastructure Capital Group in relation to their successful bid to finance a water-treatment plant in New South Wales. The six-partner team also includes David Kirkland and Adela Smith, who were recently promoted.

Leading individuals

John Schembri - Gilbert + Tobin

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin handles commercial and industrial property transactions and has particular expertise in relation to port and transport infrastructure projects. Commercial, retail and industrial leases are also focus areas and the team has expertise with tenant representation and lease-back transactions. Amanda Hempel heads the practice with Steven Mackay and Simon Lynch being the other names to note. It advised Carnival on a license for a planned cruise facility in Brisbane and Beach Energy on its A$1.58bn acquisition of Lattice Energy, which saw the team advising on pipeline, land tenure and leasing arrangements. Twynam Agricultural Group received advice on a sale encompassing agricultural properties, associated businesses and water rights.

Leading individuals

Amanda Hempel - Gilbert + Tobin

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Regulatory compliance and investigations
Regulatory compliance and investigations - ranked: tier 3

Gilbert + Tobin

Anti-bribery, corruption and Royal Commissions work are core strengths of the ‘highly regarded’ practice at Gilbert + Tobin. It handled high-profile matters such as representing shipping company K-Line in the first contested prosecution under the latest 2009 criminal cartel laws. The practice is also active in cross-border financial services regulatory work and advised one of Australia’s major banks on a long-running ASIC investigation into foreign exchange practices in the banking industry. The team is jointly led by Richard Harris, who joined from Allens, Luke Woodward and Elizabeth Avery. Other names to note include Andrew Floro, Crispian Lynch and Kate Harrison. Financial services expert Steven Glass retired from the partnership.

Leading individuals

Richard Harris - Gilbert + Tobin

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin counts banks, borrowers, investors, directors and insolvency practitioners as clients with examples including KordaMentha and Oaktree Capital. The team also assisted Bis Industries Group with two creditors' schemes of arrangement relating to its US and Australian debt facilities and the general restructure and recapitalisation of the group, acted for the lenders in the restructure and recapitalisation of Slater and Gordon, and handled the restructuring and voluntary administration of Ten Network Holdings. Dominic Emmett leads the department, which also counts restructuring and workout expert Simon Lynch, litigators Colleen Platford and Crispian Lynch, and restructuring specialist David Clee as key practitioners. Peter Bowden joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Leading individuals

Dominic Emmett - Gilbert + Tobin

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Gilbert + Tobin

Muhunthan Kanagaratnam heads the practice at Gilbert + Tobin and jointly with Hanh Chau advises Paladin Energy's bondholders and ad hoc creditor committee on the implications of the company’s restructuring following its administration. The team has been busy on the transaction front, advising Beach Energy on its A$1.58bn acquisition of Lattice Energy and assisting Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group with the acquisition of iNOVA Pharmaceuticals. Apart from M&A structuring, areas of focus include income and capital gains tax, stamp duty and corporate tax matters. Julian Lian and Matthew Charman joined from KPMG Australia and EY respectively and Adam Musgrave has been promoted to special counsel. The team often works jointly with the firm's corporate advisory and banking and infrastructure practice groups.

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