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Johnson Winter & Slattery

LEVEL 25, 20 BOND STREET, SYDNEY NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA
Tel:
Work +61 8 8239 7148
Fax:
Fax +61 8 8239 7100
Email:
Web:
www.jws.com.au

Australia

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery's 'exceptional' practice provides 'prompt, relevant and practical advice' and the team 'has the ability to explain the intricacies and technicalities involved and focus on the commercial implications'. Clients single out David Beckett as 'genuinely client-focused' and 'incredibly knowledgeable'; he recently advised Battery Ventures on its senior acquisition finance and revolving facilities relating to its acquisition of PageUp People. David Proudman leads the borrower and financial sponsor-focused team, which also includes Jim Hunwick, who assists Australian Gas Networks with its secured debt programme, and Matthew Allchurch, who acted for Royal Wolf Holdings on its refinancing following its takeover by General Finance Corporation. Special counsel Man Loi and senior associate David Li are also recommended.

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Capital markets
Capital markets: equity - ranked: tier 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

The ECM-focused practice at Johnson Winter & Slattery is jointly led by John Keeves and James Rozsa; Rozsa's recent work includes advising Visioneering Technologies on its ASX listing, and Keeves assisted Cooper Energy with its capital raising via a fully underwritten accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer. Other work includes Paul Vinci acting for Ausdrill on a share placement and Rozsa and Clare Brown advising Matrix Capital Partners on its investment in Afterpay Touch Group. Northern Minerals, AirXpanders, Osprey Medical, ImpediMed and BSA are also clients. Justin Harris is also recommended.

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Competition and trade
Competition and trade - ranked: tier 2

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery is noted for its ‘excellent service and client-focused approach’. Aldo Nicotra leads the team, which has ‘deep expertise and experience’ in major cartel cases, mergers and acquisitions and ACCC investigations. Clients span the energy, natural resources, transportation, IT and media industries and include The Walt Disney (Australia) Company, Mercedes Benz Australia and PepsiCo. Highlights included acting for Bayer on seeking regulatory approval for its proposed acquisition of Monsanto and representing Ramsay Healthcare in the ACCC prosecution for misuse of market power and exclusive dealing. Sar Katdare ‘provides practical solutions to complex problems’ and special counsel Wolfgang Hellmann ‘is an expert in competition law with excellent skills’. Consultant John Kench and Michele Laidlaw are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Aldo Nicotra - Johnson Winter & Slattery

Next Generation Partners

Wolfgang Hellmann - Johnson Winter & Slattery

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery’s ‘high-quality, commercial’ team is ‘unflappable’ and provides ‘concise expert advice’; it has been bolstered by the arrival of Paul Vinci and Justin Harris from Clifford Chance. The practice has expertise in a range of industries but has been particularly busy in the real estate sector recently: Damian Reichel acted for Spring Investment on its acquisition with Blackstone of ASX-listed Astro Japan Property Group’s portfolio of Japanese tokumei kumiai (TK) property interests. The ‘commercial’ Marcus Clark, who delivers ‘great value’, assisted Dalian Wanda with its sale of Wanda Australia Commercial Properties to AWH Investment Group. Jeremy Davis leads the 28-partner team, which also includes Andrew Williams, who is ‘calm in the eye of the storm’ as well as ‘concise and to the point’; he advised longstanding client Unilever on its acquisition of Australian Weis Frozen Foods. Financial sector-work included Davis’ advice to Natixis Global Asset Management on its first major acquisition in Australia, acquiring 51.9% of the share capital of Investors Mutual Limited (IML).

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Commercial litigation, class actions and insolvency-related matters are key strengths of Johnson Winter & Slattery's team, which is noted as ‘direct and to the point’. Group head Paul Buitendag continues to represent PKF Melbourne as liquidators of Australian Property Custodian Holdings, and PPB Advisory as liquidators of Gunns Group, in separate high-value insolvency proceedings. Paul Reidy represented ASIC in proceedings against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), NAB and Westpac for alleged market manipulation of the bank bill swap rate for financial gain. Robert Johnston acts for the institutional investors in two class actions for losses in excess of A$200m arising from the collapse of national retailer Dick Smith. Antoinette Miglorino and Mark Easton joined from K&L Gates.

Leading individuals

Paul Reidy - Johnson Winter & Slattery

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Dispute resolution: class actions
Dispute resolution: class actions - ranked: tier 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

'Clearly up-and-coming', Johnson Winter & Slattery's 'highly responsive, professional and knowledgeable' practice is 'becoming key competition for some of the other firms in the market'. Commercial litigation group head Paul Reidy is 'savvy, strategic and has client skills of the highest calibre', Robert Johnston is 'brilliant', Mark Easton 'excellent' and Chris Connor is 'user-friendly, experienced and calm'. Recent highlights include defending 3M in multiple product liability and environmental damage class actions following the Department of Defence's use of allegedly toxic fire retardent chemicals at air force defence bases, and acting in two class actions arising from the Dick Smith collapse. The 'truly outstanding' Frances Dreyer made partner in 2018.

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Energy (transactions and regulatory)
Energy (transactions and regulatory) - ranked: tier 2

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery’s ‘responses have always been quick, and its advice is accurate and commercially astute’. The 20-partner team led by John Keeves and Jee-Seon Lee advises on acquisitions and divestments in the energy sector as well as on the regulation of essential services. Notable work included James Marshall’s advice to the Casino Henry joint venture, consisting of Cooper Energy, AWE and Mitsui E&P Australia, on the acquisition of the Minerva gas plant and associated land parcels from BHP. On the regulatory side, Amanda Seaton, whose ‘key strength is her ability to get across complex issues and subject matter’, and who ‘remains calm under pressure and provides quality outputs in a timely manner’, has rendered advice to the Gas Market Reform Group on the implementation of capacity trading reforms. Roxanne Smith assisted ATCO Gas Australia in the regulatory review process with the Economic Regulation Authority of Western Australia. A large number of partners come in for praise, among them Anthony Groom for his ‘strong commercial and technical expertise’ and ‘ability to explain and discuss complex issues’, as well as Martin Kudnig, Peter Rose and consultant Michael Dulaney.

Leading individuals

Peter Rose - Johnson Winter & Slattery

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery has 'high-quality technical skills and expertise' that is 'applied with an exceptional level of practicality' and 'utilises its deep knowledge of the law and industry to give a truly great service'. The 'highly knowledgeable and strategic' Ruveni Kelleher leads the department, which focuses on employment disputes; recent work includes representing Qantas in proceedings relating to superannuation arrangements, acting for TechnologyOne in discrimination and harassment proceedings before the Australian Human Rights Commission, and representing Seven Network and Seven West Media in a dispute against a former employee alleging expense fraud, sexual harassment, sexual and disability discrimination and victimisation. Jan Dransfield, workplace change specialist Lucienne Mummé and restraint of trade and employment termination expert Dougal Ross are also names to note.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery's team is noted for its ‘first-rate industry knowledge’ and ‘high quality of service’. Sydney-based practice head Kevin Lynch has ‘years of experience, commercial nous and a healthy dose of common sense’; he has a focus on defamation and represented Bauer Media in the Court of Appeal regarding the highly publicised defamation damages awarded to Rebel Wilson, resulting in the actress having to repay the majority of the original award. He also defended Microsoft in defamation proceedings in relation to Bing search engine results. Yahoo! and a number of other international internet companies capitalise on Lynch's 'ability to advise on complex search engine liability issues’. Television broadcasters and magazine publishers also count among its clients and additional strengths include contempt, copyright and trade practices advice. Sam Johnson 'is very experienced in advising on publication issues'.

Leading individuals

Kevin Lynch - Johnson Winter & Slattery

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Natural resources (transactions and regulatory)
Natural resources (transactions and regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery has strong national coverage; the growing 20-partner team, which is headed by John Keeves and Jee-Seon Lee, has seen the arrival of native title expert Samantha Daly from McCullough Robertson. Paul Vinci and Justin Harris advised Macmahon on its transaction with PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) under which AMNT will award a life-of-mine mining services contract at its Indonesian Batu Hijau copper-gold mine; AMNT will sell mining equipment to a Macmahon subsidiary in exchange for shares representing a significant part of Macmahon’s issued capital. Martin Kudnig, Rick Malone, James Marshall and Peter Smith also come in for praise.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery's 'great commercial input' allows for 'high-quality advice and a timely response rate' and the team 'is rated very highly across the board'. The debtor-focused group handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious work and is notably active in the energy and natural resources sectors; it recently advised the liquidators of Linc Energy on the administration and liquidation process, various asset sales and related litigation proceedings. The 'highly experienced' David Proudman led the matter and heads up the department. Other key names include litigator Paul Buitendag, who represented Australian Property Custodian Holdings and its liquidators in proceedings against its auditors alleging breach of auditors' duties; and Joseph Scarcella, who advised LifeSmart as representative creditor on the collapse of Courtenay House, Australia's largest Ponzi scheme. Finance lawyers Matthew Allchurch and Jim Hunwick are also recommended.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery's 'excellent' team is singled out for its ‘good response times, practical suggestions and effective dealing with the ATO’. The practice, led by Reynah Tang, includes the ‘very experienced’ Richard Gelski, an expert in corporate structuring, transactions and property trust structures. Other names to note include recently promoted partner Andy Milidoni and Prashanth Kainthaje, who is ‘at the peak of his profession’ and has ‘particular strength in cross-border taxation advice’. On the acquisition front, Tang advised Battery Ventures on the majority acquisition of PageUp, its first investment in Australia. In another highlight, Gelski assisted AIG with a  contentious tax issue amounting to $300m. The practice covers the full range of tax law, including direct and indirect tax as well as international and goods and services tax.

Leading individuals

Richard Gelski - Johnson Winter & Slattery

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Australia

Offices in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane

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