Thomson Geer > Sydney, Australia > Firm Profile

Thomson Geer
Level 14, 60 Martin Place

Australia > Intellectual property Tier 3

Thomson Geer handles the protection, commercialisation and enforcement of  the IP brands of Australian and global clients, focusing particularly on trade marks and patents. The practice group has undergone considerable expansion with the September 2020 addition of Andrew Chalet in Melbourne, special counsel Peytee Grusche in Perth and their team from Russell Kennedy, with their particular strength in life sciences and technology complementing the existing strengths of the team in these areas. Ben Coogan  is also a key lawyer with considerable experience across a wide array of IP disputes.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dr August Wolff  in a trade mark dispute involving the use of registered trade mark “VAGISIL” by US company Combe International and the application by our client, a German company, wishing to enter the Australian market and register its mark “VAGISAN”.
  • Managing the extensive trade mark portfolio of multinational healthcare and FMCG group, Reckitt, throughout Australia and the Pacific.
  • Acting for Konami in patent litigation at Australia’s Federal Court against Aristocrat Technologies Australia related to electronic gaming machine technology.

Australia > Banking and finance Tier 4

Thomson Geer is a domestic firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide; it acts for major banks, financial institutions, lenders and retail and wholesale fund managers on a broad spectrum of issues. The Melbourne office is home to debt funding expert Andrea Wookey while over in Sydney, David Murray-Nobbs is proficient in commercial lending and development and equipment finance. The team is also noted for its capabilities in acquisition, asset, structured, project and property finance in addition to loans and credit facilities, funds management, restructuring and insolvency mandates.

Work highlights

  • Advised Sunbot Technologies and Foresight Group in relation to a two year technology finance and prototype development project with the Stanhope Solar Farm, developed, owned and managed by Providence.

Australia > IT and telecoms Tier 4

Thomson Geer has significant experience acting on high-profile defence and government projects and procurements. Additionally, the team acts for utilities and suppliers selling to utilities, major international IT suppliers, large Australia-based technology customers and telcos. Mark Feetham is head of the group in Sydney, with substantial experience advising on IT and telecoms projects, as well as complex procurements in the defence sector. Demetrios Christou is based in Adelaide and advises on contractual arrangements, whilst Andrew Chalet, who joined the team in Melbourne from Russell Kennedy in October 2020, has expertise in technology transactions.

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Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Sydney on a long-running project to appoint a service provider to supply and operate new street furniture assets in the city and install and operate digital advertising facilities on the street furniture.
  • Acted on the US$172.5m US venture capital-backed investment into Australian technology company Octopus Deploy.
  • Advising the South Australian Government Department of Correctional Services on its procurement of a new Prisoner Management System, known as iSAFE.

Australia > Media and entertainment Tier 4

The media team at Thomson Geer crafts bespoke solutions for major media publishers and broadcasters involved in high-profile disputes. Led by media law experts Justin Quill and John-Paul Cashen, the group represents such clients as News Corp Australia, Twitter, Seven West Media, advising them on matters including defamation, contempt of court, suppression orders and freedom of information requests. The team is backed by experienced associates Corey Jankie and Samantha McGeoch. All lawyers mentioned are based in Melbourne.

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Key clients

ViacomCBS – Network 10

News Corp Australia

Nationwide News Pty Ltd

The Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd

Twitter Inc

Seven West Media Limited – Channel Seven

Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd – Channel Nine

Fairfax Media entities (acquired by Channel Nine)

Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd

Leader Associated Newspapers Pty Ltd

The Geelong Advertiser

Macquarie Media Limited (publisher of Radio 3AW

Melbourne and Radio 6PR Perth)

Southern Cross Austereo Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for a substantial number of media organisations and individuals charged with contempt of court for their reports about Cardinal Pell’s child sex offence conviction.
  • Acting for Nationwide News Pty Ltd and Brenden Hills in defence of defamation proceedings launched by Daniel Taylor, John Ibrahim’s son, following an article in July 2019 titled “Inside the house of Ibrahim: Unauthorised”. Taylor alleges that the article conveyed imputations that he was a mobster, a member of the mafia, and a criminal involved in organised crime.
  • Acting for Network Ten, successfully negotiated an incredibly rare and important COVID-19 travel ban exemption on behalf of the entire cast and crew of The Masked Singer, which enabled them to avoid a double quarantine and the Network to film and air its final episode without catastrophic delay.

Australia > Real estate Tier 4

Thomson Geer’s practice specialises in leasing, capital transactions and renewable energy projects. Barbara Callanan , based in Perth, specialises in regulatory compliance, environmental issues, governance matters and litigation. In Adelaide, Chris Kelly handles numerous commercial acquisitions, leasing transactions, infrastructure, and renewable energy projects. Fellow Adelaide partner David Beer  has notable experience in sales and purchases, leasing, building contracts and land divisions. Eu Ming Lim (Melbourne) is also recommended given his expertise in real estate transactions.

Work highlights

  • Advising Dato Holdings Pty Ltd on the $100m redevelopment of the Kardinya Park District Shopping Centre.
  • Acting on behalf of Dexus Property Group on the lease to Amazon at 2 Momentum Way, Ravenhall, Victoria.
  • Acted for Dexus Property Group on the acquisition by Dexus Australian Logistics Trust of a new Ford Facility and fund under a development management arrangement to achieve practical completion of construction also practical completion and lease commencement under Ford Australia AFL.

Australia > Construction Tier 5

Thomson Geer’s practice, based in Brisbane, is known for handling numerous constructions disputes, including delay and disruption claims, force majeure matters and construction related insolvency litigation. Alongside this core offering, the firm supports clients during the course of infrastructure projects, predominantly in the transport sector. Andrew Kelly, who has over 20 years of experience in construction and engineering law, leads the firm’s contentious work in the sector, acting for principals, contractors, engineers, architects and other parties in disputes. In Sydney, Franco Aversa stands out for advising clients on transactions and contractual arrangements underpinning large infrastructure projects.

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Work highlights

  • Acting for AAL on its Terminal Expansion Project (TEx), which involves the expansion of the footprint of the existing terminal with construction activities both externally and internally, including refurbishment and fit out of most of the tenancies in the airport and new international arrivals and departures areas.
  • Acting for the Joint Venture, the principal design and construct contractor for the Tunnel and Stations package of Cross River Rail, in relation to two payment claims made by a subcontractor for the supply and installation of retention systems at Woolloongabba Station.
  • Acted for Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd (CMC) in a long-running dispute with Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal regarding civil and construction works associated with the development of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal at Gladstone in Queensland.

Australia > Corporate and M&A Tier 5

Thomson Geer expanded its offering in Western Australia with the addition of a resources-focused team from DLA Piper, strengthening the office led by Michael Bowen. Elsewhere, the firm has continued to record consistent deal numbers in public M&A and private equity transactions, with Melbourne’s Loretta Reynolds a standout performer within the space. Alongside transactions, the firm also regularly advises boards and executives on corporate governance and strategic considerations. Key names in the team include Melbourne-based Adam Brooks, Brisbane’s Eugene Fung, and the Sydney-based pair of Dan Kramer and David Zwi.

Australia > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 5

Thomson Geer is adept at handling commercial disputes, class actions and multi-party litigation across a wide range of sectors, including insurance, IP and financial services. The practice also benefits from its national litigation support team, which manages evidence and data administration. Scott Guthrie and Emma Hodgman joined the Brisbane and Sydney offices, respectively, from Dentons in 2021.

Australia > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 5

Thomson Geer advises on major administrations for corporate clients, and also maintains productive relationships with many of the Big Four alongside financial services clients and international banks. Notable areas of expertise include the aviation and transport industries, alongside handling cross-border insolvencies for financial services institutions and investment funds. Melbourne-based senior partner Loretta Reynolds is a key contact, while the team was bolstered by the arrivals of Emma Hodgman and Scott Guthrie in early 2021 and late 2020 respectively, both joining from Dentons. Guthrie leads the team.

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Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Represented a major airport and liaised with other airport owners in relation to the administration of Virgin and liability issues as a result of the global pandemic.
  • Advised the liquidators of a business on all aspects of the administration of unregistered managed investment scheme in which investments totalled $80m. The scheme relates to 17 companies associated with the IPO Wealth Fund.

The firm: Thomson Geer is a major Australian corporate law firm. The firm has more than 560 people, including 133 partners operating out of our offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

By size Thomson Geer is one of the ten largest law firms operating in Australia, and the fifth largest independent Australian law firm.

The firm’s origins date back to 1885.

At Thomson Geer we focus on:

  • delivering best practice legal skills and know-how to situations, transactions and disputes that require external legal counsel;
  • ensuring that the above delivery is made with a deep appreciation of, and in response to, the commercial context; and
  • maintaining cultural and operational standards and price settings across all our partners and professionals that ensure the right balance between value and cost flows to our clients.

This combines to form a service and quality style that is focused on enhancing the competitive position of our clients in whatever circumstances they find themselves in.

Supplementing the above is of course a deep moral code amongst all our people that requires the maintenance of the highest ethical standards and honesty in everything we do.

Our partnership fosters an open and transparent culture, which keeps our lawyers motivated and engaged. We are experts at cross-disciplinary collaboration – our partners and lawyers want to work with other offices and across areas of specialisation – which helps us properly resource matters and provide our clients with the expertise they need.

TG Public Affairs: Our affiliate TG Public Affairs provides first class, tri-partisan public affairs advice to both domestic and offshore clients. By utilising its extensive networks, TG Public Affairs ensures the priorities of clients are clearly understood within Australia’s parliaments and bureaucracies, and has a reputation for providing sound policy advice and designing effective advocacy strategies. TG Public Affairs is regularly retained by clients wishing to understand the political and regulatory environment in Australia, or those seeking advice on matters involving the Foreign Investment Review Board, Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade and other government agencies.

Our work: The nature of its legal assignments is what you would expect of a large corporate law firm. Thomson Geer is regularly engaged in challenging and complex work.

Recent examples of our work include advising:

  • Acted for Dexus on a lease to Amazon at a new 127ha greenfield industrial estate development.
  • Represented many of Australia’s largest and prominent media organisations and identities in a contempt of court matter related to reporting of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell of child sex offences. The convictions were quashed on appeal.
  • Acted on the US$172.5m US venture capital backed investment into Australian technology company Octopus Deploy, described as the second-largest ever venture capital investment in an Australian tech company.
  • Advised Resolute Mining on the sale of its Bibiani gold mine to Chijin International for US$105m.
  • Acted for German company Dr August Wolff in trade mark dispute with American company Combe International as Dr August Wolff sought to register its product Vagisan.
  • Successfully acted for Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd in dispute with Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd over variations and delays in the project.
  • Advised renewable energy fund SunBot on a two year technology finance and prototype development project with the Stanhope Solar Farm.
  • Advised leading Australian online local services marketplace, Airtasker on its A$83.7m initial public offering and application to debut on to the ASX.
  • Acted for pension fund Intrust Super on its merger with larger fund Hostplus.
  • Advised one of Australia’s most acclaimed film special effects companies, Rising Sun Pictures on its acquisition by US based visual effects company, FuseFX.
Banking and finance Armando Scenna
Banking and finance Stephen Lyons
Construction and projects Andrew Kelly
Construction and projects Josh Marchant
Employment, workplace relations and safety David Davies
Employment, workplace relations and safety Karl Luke
Insurance Chris Singleton
Insurance Cameron Roberts
Litigation and dispute resolution David Gaszner
Litigation and dispute resolution Harold Werksman
Property Melinda Graham
Property David Beer
Superannuation and wealth management Stanley Drummond
Technology Mark Feetham
Technology Matthew Prescott
Competition and regulation Josh Simons
Corporate and advisory Lucinda Smith
Corporate and advisory Adam Brooks
Environment and planning Craig Tidemann
Environment and planning Fraser Bell
Intellectual property Peter Le Guay
Mergers and acquisitions David Zwi
Mergers and acquisitions Eugene Fung
Restructuring and insolvency Michael Barrett
Tax Arthur Athanasiou
Tax Paul Tanti
Number of lawyers : 282
at this office : 87
The Interlex Group

Thomson Geer firmly believes in equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion. It is inherent to the way we operate and is reflected in the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

We are a member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA) which is an industry-led association working collaboratively to promote best practice sustainability commitments and performance across the legal sector. AusLSA’s sustainability framework includes sustainable and inclusive workplaces, community support, environmental conservation and responsible governance.

We are proud to participate in a number of initiatives across the firm as a part of our commitment to building an inclusive and responsive firm culture. These include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Providing a flexible and supportive work environment with flexible working and wellness policies and programs.
  • Active membership of the Australian Network on Disability (AND) where we celebrate fundraising and awareness initiatives and participate in the AND’s Stepping Into internship program.
  • Adopting the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy.
  • Prioritising support for Indigenous Australians including through our purchase of promotional products from an Indigenous-owned organisation and pro bono work for organisations supporting Indigenous Australians.
  • Practising diversity within recruitment, selection and promotion activities, ensuring a diverse range of qualified candidates are considered across all roles and levels. Our female Chair Loretta Reynolds and Chief Executive Partner Adrian Tembel have ensured at least 40% of internal promotions have been women in the last seven years.
  • Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on our gender, diversity and inclusion position within the firm and against internal benchmarks and to market including the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
  • Running a number of Continuing Professional Development seminars which have focused on diversity.
  • Ensuring publications and newsletters are co-authored by one female and one male and that we have at least equal female and male representation in the presenters for our CPD and annual training programs.

TESTIMONIAL: Thomson Geer’s team was tireless and diligent in its application to the task of understanding and dealing with our case. The case involved court appearances and ultimately intense and successful financial bargaining. The advice, as well as the consistent and speedy reporting by Thomson Geer, was exceptional.

TESTIMONIAL: (We have) been impressed with the transparent and direct way Thomson Geer operates in all of our dealings to date. Giving a recommended way to commercially proceed, assisting with project management, advising when you don’t have expertise and sticking to a quote make you a valued extension of our in house team.

CLIENT: Fabian Ross, CEO
TESTIMONIAL: WA Super was pleased to partner with Thomson Geer as part of the Merger Deed transaction with First State Super.

CLIENT: Victor Previn, Chairman
COMPANY/FIRM: Nova Eye Medical
TESTIMONIAL: (The team) at Thomson Geer provided practical and diligent legal  support to our transaction team. They were innovative, always accessible and highly organised. The TG team was a pleasure to work with.

TESTIMONIAL: There were many times when it appeared unlikely that a settlement could be reached and I was willing and prepared to take this matter to trial and had confidence in doing so with both of you. My confidence to go the distance was born out of both your thorough preparation and strategic approach.

Thomson Geer can assist our Australian clients on their cross-border needs and inbound international clients to navigate Australian laws and regulations. Our in-depth knowledge of the Australian regulatory environment positions us to deliver up to date, independent, commercial advice about doing business in Australia. Our expertise covers all aspects of Australia’s regulatory regime including navigating Foreign Investment Review Board approvals and tax laws.

Our Canberra-based public affairs arm, TG Public Affairs, provides strategic, public policy and government relations advice to some of Australia’s and the world’s largest corporates, engaging in direct advocacy on their behalf or complementing activity by a clients’ own internal government engagement teams. TG Public Affairs is a genuinely tri-partisan firm, with staff who have held significant senior roles within Liberal, Labor and Nationals ministerial offices. By utilising their extensive networks, TG Public Affairs ensure the priorities of clients are clearly understood within Australia’s parliaments and bureaucracies.

We have also developed international relationships with leading law firms situated around the world. These leading firms have a reputation for quality legal skills and know how that matches our own. We invest in maintaining these global networks to ensure we have the right team of legal experts available to meet our client’s specific cross border needs. Through our networks we provide cross border services at all levels throughout Australia, the Asia-Pacific and beyond.


Thomson Geer and our lawyers are members of a range of international associations and groups with significant international business links.

A number of our partners take leadership roles which the firm actively support. Sylvia Fernandez has been on the Board of the Spanish Australian Chamber of Commerce for more than 10 years. She has held a variety of roles including President and is the current Vice President and Company Secretary. In 2019, Sylvia received the King of Spain’s Order of Civil Merit in relation to her work promoting Spanish companies in the Australian market.

Partner Sanushka Seomangal has an interest in India as a co-founder and director of the School of Policy and Governance, co-founder of the Australia India Youth Dialogue and roles as National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council and member of the board of the Australia India Council. Sanushka was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia for 2018.

We also support and have had memberships with the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee.

Other firm memberships include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Banking & Financial Services Law Association
  • Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Women in Banking & Finance
  • Australian Investment Council
  • Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees
  • Diverse Women in Law
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Women in Insolvency & Restructuring Queensland
  • Women’s Insolvency Network South Australia


Thomson Geer acts for many international clients including foreign clients with interests in Australia, and local clients with interests abroad.

Clients include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • ANZ
  • Acciona
  • AustralianSuper
  • Bridgestone
  • BMW Financial Services
  • BP
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • CK Life Sciences
  • CPB Contractors
  • Dexus
  • Domino’s
  • Europcar
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Far East Consortium
  • Lendlease
  • Microsoft
  • Mirvac
  • National Australia Bank
  • News Corp
  • Nokia
  • Nike
  • Reckitt
  • SAAB
  • Sandvik
  • Sumitomo Corporation
  • Telstra
  • Tesla
  • Toyota Financial Services
  • Woolworths
  • 7 Eleven


  • Mergermarket – Australian Mid-Market M&A Legal Advisor of the Year, 2021
  • Best Lawyers in Australia – Law Firm of the Year for Real Estate Law, 2022
  • Best Lawyers in Australia – Law Firm of the Year for Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law, 2019 and 2021
  • Chambers Asia Pacific – Band 1 ranked practice for TMT: Media

Energy and Resources team bolstered with appointment of new Partner

Thomson Geer has bolstered its Energy and Resources team with the appointment of internationally recognised specialist Nicholas Antonas as a Partner.