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Australia > Regulatory compliance and investigations > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Regulatory compliance and investigations
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Andrew Eastwood - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Guy Foster - Allens
    • Jonathan Gordon - Ashurst
    • Jason Gray - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Richard Harris - Gilbert + Tobin
    • Luke Hastings - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Rani John - DLA Piper
    • Grant Marjoribanks - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Nicholas Mavrakis - Clayton Utz
    • Ross McInnes - Clayton Utz
    • Alexander Morris - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Rachel Nicholson - Allens
    • Narelle Smythe - Clayton Utz

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP's ‘advice is pragmatic and actionable both in terms of handling investigations and safeguards moving forward’. Based predominantly in Sydney, the department counts financial services regulatory work, white-collar crime, sanctions advice and anti-bribery and corruption as core strengths. It continues to represent Rio Tinto's former global chief financial officer in an enforcement action by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The ‘very practical’ Jason Gray is defending a private equity fund in anti-bribery and corruption proceedings, and litigation and investigations expert Michael Shepherd defended Reckitt Benckiser in a misleading of consumers claim. The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Jason Denisenko and litigator and regulatory defence expert John Samaha are also singled out. Edward Einfeld joined from London-based Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP.

Known for its ‘excellent technical expertise’, Allens handles high-profile regulatory investigations, anti-bribery and corruption work and high-level corporate compliance. Michelle Levy is advising ANZ on the regulatory aspects of the sale of its life insurance and consumer credit insurance businesses to Zurich for A$2.85bn, and on the sale of its pensions and investments business to IOOF for $975m. Rachel Nicholson is assisting Resource Capital Fund VI with the review of its anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies and compliance programmes. The practice is jointly led by Nicholson, Levy and Jacqueline Downes. Guy Foster is another name to note. Richard Harris left to join Gilbert + Tobin.

Financial services regulatory and investigations work are focus areas for the ‘excellent’ team at Clayton Utz, which also handles offshore corruption and fraud matters, particularly in the energy and mining sectors. Noted for its ‘high level of service’ and ‘strong business acumen’, the team acts for regulators as well as corporates.  It acted for the liquidators of BCI Finances, who are seeking to recover losses arising from loan schemes engaged in by members of the Binetter family to evade Australian taxes. Narelle Smythe continues to advise BMW Finance in relation to alleged National Consumer Credit Protection Act failures. Ross McInnes, Matthew Daley and Nicholas Mavrakis are all singled out, and Gary Berson is noted for his ‘timely and appropriate’ advice. Forensics expert and chartered accountant Paul Fontanot deploys his data analytical skills when handling corruption-related matters and ASIC investigations. Edmond Park and Catherine Parry ‘possess an enormous amount of experience’.

Herbert Smith Freehills fields ‘a world-class team that exhibits great depth’; it has excellent contentious and non-contentious capabilities, and is praised for its ‘practical, well-written and high-quality advice’. Names to note include Michael Vrisakis, Luke Hastings, Jacqueline Wooton and Grant Marjoribanks. The team is defending Clearview in an ASIC investigation into potential unlawful hawking activity by the company, and provides strategic advice to a financial institution in respect of an ASIC industry-wide review into the sale of add-on insurance products. It is also representing National Australia Bank in respect of the Banking Royal Commission. Also noted are Anna Sutherland and Simone Fletcher, who is described as ‘capable and efficient’. Andrew Eastwood is also singled out. Paul Wenk retired from the partnership.

King & Wood Mallesons is commended for its ‘highly responsive, engaged and committed team’, and has contentious and non-contentious capabilities, especially in the financial services and telecoms regulatory space. Alexander Morris continues to defend a financial institution against civil penalty proceedings brought by ASIC regarding alleged Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) manipulation, as well as The Royal Bank of Scotland in a class action brought on behalf of former financial planning customers relating to the alleged mis-selling of financial products. Moira Saville represented a large bank in regulatory proceedings regarding alleged breaches of consumer lending regulations. Katherine Forrest, Scott Farrell and Domenic Gatto advise a diverse range of clients including Citigroup. Kate Jackson-Maynes is noted as up-and-coming talent, specialising in the application of sanctions, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing matters. Dale Rayner joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

The ‘outstanding, very responsive and well-resourced team’ at Ashurst provides ‘targeted advice’ and possesses ‘exceptional industry knowledge’. Its key focus area is financial services regulatory work. Recent highlights include Jonathan Gordon's advice to The Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays in relation to the closure of their banking operations in Australia. Disputes partner Mark Bradley advised a large bank in relation to the Banking Royal Commission. Lisa Simmons advised a life insurance group on its high-value acquisition of a substantial life insurance business. Financial services regulatory experts Cory McHattan and Ian Bolster are also singled out; Philip Trinca is noted for his fintech experience. Recent additions to the team include associate Dominic Tran, who joined from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Senior associate Nicky Thiyavutikan also receives praise.

White-collar crime, anti-bribery and corruption are the key areas for Corrs Chambers Westgarth's department, which is led by Richard Flitcroft. Simon Johnson represented a client in relation to an investigation and potential litigation arising from a so-called pyramid scheme in the online payments space. Sydney-based Sam Delaney acts for a global security company in an investigation of fraud perpetrated by a former employee. James Whittaker has particular expertise in class actions, corporate governance of government-related entities and Royal Commissions. The team also includes forensic technology expert Phillip Magness.

Lander & Rogers is noted for its ‘top-notch service’, and the team is led by Mark Lindfield, who possesses ‘deep knowledge’, Natalie Cambrell and Terry Brigden. Recent highlights include acting for the state of Tasmania in the reform of the Tasmania public sector superannuation arrangements, advising three of the main superannuation master trusts in Australia in relation to various financial services issues and acting for The Warranty Group in its partnership with eBay for the first offering in Australia of financial products in connection with the sale of products through the eBay marketplace.

The 'professional and responsive' team at Norton Rose Fulbright has been strengthened through its merger with now-defunct firm Henry Davis York, with notable additions including Claudine Salameh, co-lead Scott Atkins and Helen Taylor. Ann Donohue joined from Minter Ellison. The team acts for large financial institutions on regulatory compliance matters, including defending them in ASIC investigations, and is involved in anti-bribery work. Sydney-based Jon Ireland  advised a client on a project to simplify and update its full suite of client-facing documents. Abigail McGregor is acting for another client in relation to an investigation involving international bribery and corruption matters. Other names to note include Zein El Hassan and Tricia Hobson. The team is co-led by Grant Bonner and Peter Cash.

The key pillars of Baker McKenzie's department are corporate investigations, front-end compliance work and risk assessments; corporate crime, anti-bribery and corruption are areas of particular expertise for the team. The firm’s cross-border connections lend the practice a multi-jurisdictional scope; Sydney-based Georgie Farrant heads the group. Jurlique and Fujifilm Australia are clients on the procedural compliance advisory side. Senior associates Andrew Emmerson and Naomita Royan are also recommended.

Clyde & Co LLP welcomed John Moran from Norton Rose Fulbright, who specialises in defending professional, financial and D&O claims and class action disputes. Dean Carrigan focuses on providing regulatory advice across the Asia Pacific region including on risk and compliance issues, notably internal and external investigations, and Avryl Lattin is an expert in corporate governance and regulatory work and has experience in investigations by ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. Professional liability and financial institutions specialist Janette McLennan defends directors in regulatory investigations and civil and criminal proceedings. Safety expert Michael Tooma is also singled out.

DLA Piper's team is led by Rani John, who ‘excels at what she does’ and ‘consistently delivers a very strong client service’. John is assisting a major financial services company with its responsibilities in relation to the Banking Royal Commission. The Malaysia- and Australia-qualified Gowri Kangeson is an expert in anti-bribery, corruption, white-collar crime and investigations. Brisbane-based Natalie Caton joined from King & Wood Mallesons. Other practitioners to note include Samantha O’Brien and Jonathon Ellis.

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.

Especially strong on the financial services regulatory side, Minter Ellison's practice defended a major Australian bank in ASIC and ACCC investigations regarding foreign exchange market conduct and, separately, bank bill swap rate manipulation. Regulatory litigation partner Ross Freeman and Paul Schoff, the firm’s Australasian competition group head, are the names to note.

Dentons' ‘very responsive team provides great commercial advice and possesses in-depth knowledge’. It is well-versed in advising, investigating and litigating all forms of government inquiry from federal and state investigations to civil litigation, criminal trials and enforcement actions. The team is led by Ben Allen and Amber Warren, who both act for a number of large corporations and financial institutions domestically and internationally. Elise Ivory advised a financial institution on its acquisition of a banking business in two Asian jurisdictions. Stephen Schoninger is also singled out; Lynsey Edgar and Mandi Jacobson joined from K&L Gates and Baker McKenzie respectively. Ruth Neal and Iris Dielmann have both left for roles in-house.

At K&L Gates, Mark Dobbie has significant experience in regulatory investigations involving ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; he heads the practice alongside competition specialist Ayman Guirguis. Sydney-based Tim Webster is representing a large international manufacturer in a consumer class action. Special counsel David Howarth joined from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Piper Alderman represented a number of financial services clients placed under scrutiny in the Banking Royal Commission. The team also defended Aurora Funds Management in proceedings brought by both ASIC and Molopo Energy and is on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency panel, advising on, and appearing in, appeals by practitioners against board decisions. Joint practice heads Tom Griffith and James Dickson are the names to note. Andrea Beatty, a partner in the firm's financial services practice, is also a member of the team after joining in November 2018.

Squire Patton Boggs acts for clients in investigations across a wide range of sectors and attracts governance compliance work and anti-bribery matters. Practice head Margie Tannock advises a high-profile individual on corruption allegations and the related local government investigation. Labour expert Bruno di Girolami acted for Technip Oceania in an investigation brought by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority regarding an alleged safety breach during its diving work for Chevron.

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