Firm Profile > K&L Gates > Melbourne, Australia

K&L Gates
LEVEL 25
525 COLLINS STREET
MELBOURNE, VIC 3000
Australia

Australia > Banking and finance Tier 3

The finance group at K&L Gates provides tailored solutions to advise major local and international banks, non-bank financial institutions, debt funds, and multinational corporates on matters such as acquisition and leveraged financing transactions in addition to asset, property, project and infrastructure-related finance. In addition, the group is equipped to support on restructuring and insolvency mandates, owing to the dedicated expertise provided by team head Jason Opperman; he operates from the Sydney office which recently saw the arrival of Richard Hayes from Hogan Lovells, a move which bolsters the group's general corporate finance, funds financing and acquisition finance capabilities.

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Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Citibank

Macquarie Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Westpac

Scentre Group

Banner Asset Management

Centennial Property Group

Canadian Solar

Splend Group

Wiluna Mining Corporation Limited

Tanarra Credit Partners

Australia > Competition and trade Tier 3

Led by former ACCC officer Ayman Guirguis, the Sydney-based team at K&L Gates regularly advises on regulatory investigations by the ACCC relating to cartel conduct, as well as advising on consumer law and merger clearance proceedings. The team handles work on behalf of domestic and global companies in sectors including the automotive, technology, natural resources and pharmaceuticals industries.

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Testimonials

‘K&L Gates Competition Law practice is strong in resale price maintenance, ACCC investigations and litigation. It also has excellent experience in consumer law and practical applications of the law.’

‘Ayman Guirguis always strives to understand his client’s businesses so he can provide relevant and practical advice. His advice is always well considered, detailed and with risk ratings to assist in-house counsel to make well-informed, strategic decisions with the business.’

‘Ayman Guirguis (head of practice) has worked at Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and draws on this background knowledge of how the ACCC works when providing strategic legal advice.’

‘Ayman Guirguis (Partner) has incredible attention to detail, and will run down every last fact or legal argument when providing advice. Despite this, his advice is never otiose, and Ayman has the knack of accurately conveying difficult legal concepts in language that is readily understood by non-lawyers, without sacrificing legal nuance.’

Key clients

BlueScope Steel

ExxonMobil

HP

Visy Industries

Nutrien Ag Solutions/Landmark

Medibank

Honda Australia

National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA)

Americold

Reckit Benckiser

Arnott’s

Ericsson

Standards Australia

GlobalX

HBF

GMHBA

Quadrant Private Equity

Serco

Australia > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

The ‘commercially savvy’ and ‘technically proficient’ team at K&L Gates is active in multi-party commercial litigation, the defence of class actions, Royal Commission mandates and government inquiries across a wide range of sectors. The team also benefits from its in-house e-discovery analysis and technology team. Tim Webster leads the team from Sydney. Perth-based Nicholas Brown has expertise in white-collar crime cases, whilst in the Melbourne office John Kelly is skilled in handling regulatory investigations.

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Testimonials

‘Acting for a range of clients from individuals to multinational corporations, the litigation group are commercially savvy.’

‘Down to earth and technically proficient, the K&L Gates litigation team are accessible and responsive to client needs.’

‘I have found them to be commercial, thorough and responsive. They have been very good at keeping me informed throughout the matter in relation to substantive matters and costs.

‘John Kelly is commercial and strategic in his advice, which has been greatly appreciated by me and the business.’

‘A highly regarded and respected firm. K&L Gates has specialised expertise across the various areas of law that my organisation required advice and action on. It is a reliable, accessible and committed team (available all hours!), with an excellent documentary standard. Instructions are always activated promptly.’

‘They make us feel like we are the only clients they act for. We truly mean that. They are caring and attentive. They engage various levels of legal resources as necessary so that we are provided value for money and efficiency. They have acted pro bono on an array of matters as well – and always promptly and led by senior specialists as required. The stand-out partner is Christien Corns. He embodies all of the above and clearly instils it into the wider teams.’

‘Very capable team with a very personable approach. You feel like you are in a safe pair of hands. Very practical commercial advice provided in a very efficient way which is tailored to the audience. Capacity/bench strength to assist with high priority, urgent matters at short notice and deliver in full on time to spec.’

‘Alongside the competence and quality sought by in-house counsel, the team are very good at establishing and building strong relationships to become trusted and relied upon advisers. They are very much a safe port in a storm.’

Key clients

Cricket Australia

Fortius Funds Management

Dyldam Developments

BASF Australia`

Energy Resources of Australia Limited

Honda Australia

James Hardie Industries Limited

Caledonian Sky Shipping Inc

Morris Property Group

Doma Property Group

Amalgamated Property Group

United Petroleum

Ericsson Australia

Rhipe Limited

Australia > Environment and planning Tier 3

With locations spanning five continents, the planning and environment team at K&L Gates utilises the strength of the US firm’s global network to assist clients on large-scale projects across the mining, infrastructure, oil and gas, energy and renewables sectors. Kirstie Richards leads in Sydney, advising on pollution and contamination, regulatory approvals, risk and crisis management, land access, and environmental litigation. Supported by former in-house NSW Environment Protection Authority lawyer Luke Salem, the team’s client portfolio includes the NSW Government and EnergyAustralia.

Practice head(s):

Kirstie Richards

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Testimonials

‘The team is efficient, knowledgeable, practicable and cost sensitive.’

‘Kirstie Richards is one of the best partners I’ve every worked with. She is efficient, cost sensitive, practicable and knowledgeable. She understands the client’s needs and works hard to assist the business in achieving their objectives. She is truly an asset.’ 

Key clients

AGL

EnergyAustralia

Tilt Renewables

Infigen Energy

Orica

Fuchs

Newtricity Developments Biala Pty Limited

NSW Government

Lendlease Samsung Bouygues Joint Venture

Great Southern Waste Technologies

VE Property

Generator Property Management

Australia > IT and telecoms Tier 3

The technology, outsourcing and privacy group at K&L Gates has a strong focus on undertaking highly complex outsourcing projects and also assists the firm’s corporate team with some of its major transactions in the sector. The firm’s international presence allows the team to utilise a wide network of knowledge and experience, as well as gain global cross-referrals. Melbourne-based Cameron Abbott leads the team, as well as the firm’s global corporate group. The arrival of Richard Chew to the Sydney office from Sparke Helmore Lawyers has significantly benefitted the practice, with his background in IT and computer science proving advantageous to his clients.

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Testimonials

‘K & L Gates are experts in IT & IP and we use them exclusively. K & L Gates also have a global reach which complements our strategy and work flows as more and more matters have international scope and application.’

‘Richard Chew is very hard working and easy to work with. I would highly recommend him.’

‘Richard Chew has a very broad understanding of what is best practice in IT contracts, as well as the APRA regulations around outsourcing, providing us with timely and very cost-effective advice on both our compliance obligations and our contractual requirements. Richard’s depth of understanding of IT service providers, and insight into how they work, made his advice to us invaluable in our negotiations. We found him engaging to deal with, very accessible and a tough negotiator on our behalf. We would happily recommend him to others needing advice in the IT and telecoms space.’

Key clients

BlueScope Steel Limited

The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd

Hydo-Electric Corporation

Oil Search Limited

VCS Foundation Ltd

Verrency Holdings Pty Ltd

Australia > Labour and employment: workplace health and safety (WHS) Tier 3

K&L Gates has WHS regulatory, prosecutorial and litigation experience across Australia, as well as expertise in providing incident response advice. The group is active across the public, construction and energy and resources sectors. Rosemary Alito leads the group and Paul Hardman and Jamie Robinson are notable team members based in Brisbane.

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Key clients

Ardent Leisure (Dreamworld Employees)

Australia > Labour and employment Tier 3

The health, education, agriculture, sports, retail and public sectors are key areas of focus for the labour, employment and workplace safety team at K&L Gates. Of recent note, the practice has been active in advising clients on wage underpayment issues. Newark-based Rosemary Alito leads the team. In Melbourne, Nick Ruskin, who is active in litigation and has industrial relations expertise; Michaela Moloney, who has expertise in the sports and healthcare sectors; and Peter Lupson, who advises clients in the public sector, are all key names. Stephen Hardy has recently joined the team from Baker McKenzie.

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Testimonials

‘The Labour and employment team has an intricate knowledge of the sports industry and take a practical approach to providing legal advice and services. The team collaborates with their clients and other practice groups within K&L Gates to deliver legal advice and services.’

‘Michaela Moloney has strong technical expertise and a great radar for the underlying interpersonal dynamics of disputes, which helps her to provide strategic and effective advice on litigation strategy.’

‘Michaela Moloney is approachable and available to her clients. Michaela takes the time to listen to the needs and requirements of her clients to devise a strategy and plan for providing the legal advice and practical tools. Michaela is one of the leading sports employment partners in the country.’

‘John Monroe, Senior Associate, is diligent and practical in his approach to legal advice. He has a genuine interest in achieving best outcomes for his clients. John is able to unpack issues and problem solve appropriate outcomes – his thorough understanding of case law and legislation is impeccable and assists in the navigation of modern employment law issues.’

‘Stephen Hardy is a trusted adviser and business partner who is responsive, practical and down-to-earth. His advice is solution-driven and he is very pragmatic in resolving disputes.’

‘John is always our first point of call! He is considered and thorough when providing advice, and incredibly knowledgeable about current issues and findings that may be pertinent to a particular situation. He also consults with the partners and refers on appropriately. Michaela is knowledgeable and professional, as well as being personable and relatable. Both have good knowledge of and are integrated into our industry, so their advice is relatable and appropriate, therefore helpful.’

Key clients

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

Ardent Leisure

Department of Education

Commercial Passengers Vehicles Victoria

Australia Football League

Cricket Australia

Victoria University

Australian Red Cross Society

Australia > Project development Tier 3

K&L Gates’ Melbourne practice advises clients in relation to numerous PPP, EPC, energy and social infrastructure projects. The firm assists clients with procurement, commercial contracts and dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation. Luke Westmore focuses primarily on supporting clients engaged in energy projects. he advised Elecnor Australia on its successful bid and financial close process for its EPC contractor role on the New England Solar Farm Project. Zac Kerr is noted for his expertise in project development across numerous sectors, with a particular focus on transport and social infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Luke Westmore; Zac Kerr

Testimonials

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Zac Kerr and his team (predominantly in Melbourne) for three years. Zac is eager to put our business first and work with us in an integrated way. He is capable of providing agile, commercial advice – which includes advising on accepting contract drafting in an effort to support a successful tender. He is a safe pair of hands.’

 

Key clients

RATCH Australia

Elecnor

Belectric GmbH

Acciona Construction

UGL

AusNet Services

CPB Constructors

Programmed FM

Serco Australia Pty Ltd

Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd

MM Capital Partners

Sterling and Wilson Australia Pty Ltd

Suzlon Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Canadian Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd

Venn Artibir Group Pty Ltd

Greenup Resources Pty Ltd

Doosan Gridtech, Inc.

Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios S.A.

Nekon Pty Ltd

Australia > Transport: aviation Tier 3

The experienced group at K&L Gates advises international, national, regional, and commuter airlines, major airports, high-profile corporations, and private individuals on a broad spectrum of aviation issues. These include aircraft acquisitions and finance, regulatory compliance, environmental matters, insurance defence litigation, aviation employment matters, and drone-related law. The team is led from the Brisbane office by regulatory expert Tom Young, who joined the firm in April 2021 from Norton Rose Fulbright, along with special counsel Julie Brown. The team’s client portfolio features key hubs Sydney Airport, Brisbane Airport, and Cairns Airport.

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Testimonials

‘The practice’s team consists of experienced, well-versed professionals. They make cogent arguments with respect to legal frameworks and suggest reasonable solutions to complex matters.’

‘Tom Young and Julie Brown have been primary points of contact. Both Tom and Julie are consummate professionals regarding aviation matters. Both are approachable and easy to deal with, and attentive to discussions, requirements, and outcomes while seeking specialist guidance for matters beyond the pure legal argument.’

‘My main contact was Tom Young. His strengths are an ability to grasp a range of complex issues that are outside of his normal expertise and manage a diverse group of experts across various disciplines to achieve a timely outcome.’

Key clients

Brisbane Airport Corporation

Jandakot Airport

Western Sydney Airport

Cairns Airport

Sydney Airport

CareFlight

Australia > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

K&L Gates combines board advisory and corporate governance work with a strong mid-market M&A capability, alongside notable work for venture capital investors and target companies. The geographically diverse team has a range of sector focuses, including in the energy and resources, sport, technology and life sciences industries. The team is led by Melbourne-based Cameron Abbott, while Tom Young in Brisbane focuses on aviation and transport work, and Sydney-based Richard Chew advises technology and IT clients.

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Key clients

Cannatrek Ltd

CAPGEMINI SE

Cluey Learning Pty Ltd

EdApp Pty Ltd

The Optical Company Pty Ltd

Pioneer Credit Limited

Poko Holdings Pty Ltd

Radio Rentals SA

United Global Logistics Pty Ltd (VISA Global Logistics)

Australia > Financial services regulatory Tier 4

The asset management and investment funds group at K&L Gates works with a range of major international financial institutions, advising global investment managers, private insurers, and superannuation funds, on a comprehensive range of regulatory issues. Such matters include the distribution of financial products, fintech, payment systems and regulatory investigations and enforcement. Led by financial products expert Jim Bulling in Melbourne, the team’s client portfolio includes Human Financial and Medibank Private Limited. The group is supported by credit regulatory specialist Daniel Knight in Melbourne and Kane Barnett, in Sydney, who advises on fund formation and investment.

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Testimonials

‘The team is very practical in forming their legal solutions, and has always worked collaboratively with us.’

‘Daniel Knight is great to work with because he has really good industry knowledge and is practical in forming legal solutions that could be applied by us. In addition, Daniel is always professional and genuinely a nice person.’

‘Jim Bulling and Felix Charlesworth are very responsive, clear and decisive in their advice.’

‘The team provide a very personalised service in that they are always available to advise on a whole range of matters that are important to our company. We never feel like we are asking silly questions, even if they may seem straightforward to experienced lawyers. They take the time to explain things in very simple and easy-to-understand terms, with no legal jargon within their advice. During the pandemic they have really used technology to their advantage and have made themselves even more available than before by using online meeting platforms. 

‘Daniel Knight is the most helpful partner I have had the pleasure of working with. He is always available to answer calls and emails and will always make time for our queries. He was available for a last-minute meeting with a third party with very little notice and was able to present our side very well. In the advice he provides to us, he considers not only the questions we have asked but is also forward-thinking and provides advice for other possible scenarios that could arise in the future too.’

‘This firm and practice has deep domain expertise in the field where we’ve required advice. They are pragmatic and deliver high-quality advice in a timely fashion. The partners understand the business, its challenges and as such feel like an extension of our team.’

‘Dan Atkin operates as an extension of our core team, offering up strategic insights and pragmatic solutions to challenges we face. Kane Barnett has been very thorough in delivering outstanding quality work.’

Key clients

EML Payments and Novatti Group Limited

Human Financial

Medibank Private Limited

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

Patrizia AG & Phoenix

New Quantum

Aware Super

Kingfisher Mobile Limited

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

TrueLayer Limited

Wingate Group

SecondQuarter Ventures

Stafford Capital Partners

CSIRO) and CSIRO Financial Services Pty Ltd trading as Main Sequence Ventures (CSIROFS)

ReGen

Intuit Inc.

Sniip

Payoneer

InfiniGold

Rent.com.au

Funding.com.au

Payton Capital

180 Markets

Australia > Real estate Tier 4

Based in Sydney, K&L Gates has expertise in commercial, residential, industrial and mixed-use developments, providing comprehensive support which includes handling capital transactions, planning and environment issues and tax structuring. It is particularly invested, however, in assisting clients with their expansion programmes, capital reallocation strategies and strategic divestments. Jennifer Degotardi has a strong practice in government-led real transport and infrastructure projects, in which she advises on a wide range of corporate and regulatory matters. Samuel Brown is recommended for his experience in the investment and project development space.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Steele

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The practice can handle large matters and small matters. Regardless of the scale or size of the matter, the practice treats all matters with the same attentiveness and level of expertise.’

‘The practice is also our ‘go to’ practice for complex matters, or transactions that require a bespoke, robust, and commercial approach. This is of great comfort for a client, as we know we can go to the practice for all our matters.’

‘K&L Gates has invested in technology enabling the use of e-contracts for large-scale apartment buildings. It allows all stakeholders to access a dashboard and view the progress of apartment projects in real-time. It’s a more efficient way of doing business and has also brought down the cost of conveyancing significantly. It also increases productivity for us as the client so we can focus on our core business expertise rather than legal administration. It also provides a very accessible and cost-effective level of transparency.’

‘Will Grinter has provided top-tier, seamless service. What is most impressive is that when we brief Will and K&L Gates, we know that we are being represented by the smartest people. There is great comfort in knowing that when entering into a transaction worth millions of dollars. ’

‘The team understands our corporate risk structure and provides advice accordingly.’

‘K&L Gates are good performers and represent reasonable value for money.’

‘Our main contact is Randall Gerkens (Melbourne). Randall has a wealth of experience in property transactions and is an outstanding negotiator bringing a laser-like focus to solving the critical issues.’

Key clients

Lendlease

NSW Government (including the Transport cluster, Land and Housing Corporation and DPIE)

Local Government Super

Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd

AGL

RATCH Australia Corporation

NSW Ports Pty Ltd

Port of Brisbane

Brisbane Airport

Telstra Corporation Limited

Hamton Group

Bensons Property Group

National Australia Bank

Moelis

City of Sydney

Evolution Trustees Limited

Springfield City Group

Salta Properties

Icon Developments

John Hancock Financial Services Inc.

Nineteenth Shako

Real I.S.

Atlassian

Schiavello Group

Nutrien Ag Solutions Ltd

Generator Property Management

Munich RE

Opal Aged Care

Australia > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 4

K&L Gates handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency and distressed situation matters, working in a variety of sectors including the retail, financial services, and aviation industries, notably advising aircraft lessors on the high-profile insolvency of Virgin Australia. The team also maintains productive relationships with long-term banking clients, and regularly acts for administrators. Jason Opperman leads the team in Sydney and is an experienced practitioner with particular strength in the financial services and banking sectors. Melbourne’s Andrew Chambers is regularly involved in litigation, including recovery proceedings, alongside an active advisory practice, while Stephen Hume specialises in banking and insolvency work.

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Testimonials

‘Great tacticians and fantastic with clients.’

‘The K&L Gates restructuring and insolvency team is very knowledgeable across different jurisdictions and takes a keen interest in delivering advice that is relevant for our industry and business needs.’

‘Strong people skills.’

‘Build quick rapport with witnesses.’

‘I have direct access to partner Jason Opperman. He has many years experience and understands the culture by which we operate and provides advice and support giving consideration to our needs. Through his efforts, we have achieved many outstanding results. He is supported by a good team who work to achieve our outcomes.’

‘From Partner through the team, there is good access to whoever is working on our matters. K&L Gates provides a high level of service and understands our needs and outcomes and work with us to provide the best outcomes possible. The team are friendly and helpful.’

Key clients

KPMG

Administration of Virgin Australia – JP Lease, Aviation PLC, Chorus Aviation, Stellar Aviation, and Lunar Aviation

ZACD Group

dVT Group

St George Bank Limited

Bentleys (Qld) Pty Ltd

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc

RIVI Opportunity Fund, LP

American Express International Inc

KordaMentha and ARK Mines Ltd

Deloitte Financial Advisory Pty Ltd

RSM Australia Pty Ltd

Westpac

Australia > Tax Tier 4

K&L Gates works on a wide range of tax structuring matters on behalf of domestic and international corporates, investment funds, high-net-worth individuals and accountants. The team enjoys productive relationships with the Big 4 and other consultancies, and handles cross-border work, integrated closely with the firm's global platform. Betsy-Ann Howe leads the Sydney-based team, and is praised by clients for her cross-border international tax and corporate tax expertise. Matthew Cridland focuses exclusively on indirect taxes, including GST, land tax and stamp duty issues.

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Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, efficient, responsive.’

‘Matthew Cridland is a leading practitioner in the area of indirect tax. He is a wealth of knowledge, helpfully, legally creative and consistently meets deadlines.’

‘Excellent on cross border transactions.’

‘Betsy-Ann Howe is technically strong and always delivers clear advice on complex structures.’

Key clients

CaLPERS

Centennial Property Group Limited

Cluey Learning Ltd

Cornerstone

Employee Retirement System of Texas

Dicker Data Limited

Omni Bridgeway Limited

Pioneer Credit Limited

Slalom LLP

Wingate Group Holdings Limited

Powerhousing Australia

Australia > Construction Tier 5

K&L Gates’ Sydney practice primarily focuses on construction litigation and adjudication proceedings, drawing on the team’s former in-house experience in the construction, engineering and building materials sectors. Sandra Steele, who leads the team, has particular strength in contract drafting, litigation and ADR, with an emphasis on supporting clients engaged in construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Simon Ashworth has a strong reputation in public sector-led projects, including significant transport, education and healthcare developments.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Steele

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

ABB Australia

Acciona Construction

AusNet Services

Belectric

CPB Contractors

Downer EDI

Elecnor Australia

Fletcher Construction Limited

Honeywell

Icon Constructions Australia (NSW)

Illawarra Retirement Trust

Loreto Kirribilli Limited

Opal Aged Care

Programmed FM

RATCH Australia

Serco Australia

Seymour Whyte Constructions

Tenova

UGL

Marubeni Corporation and its infrastructure fund

MM Capital Partners

Sterling and Wilson Australia

Suzlon Energy Australia

Canadian Solar (Australia)

Venn Artibir Group

RimFire Energy

Belectric

Greenup Resources

Doosan Gridtech, Inc.

NewVolt Infrastructure

Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios S.A.

Nekon

AMP Power Australia

Zipby

Australia > Intellectual property

K&L Gates‘s IP offering reaches across four continents and the team is adept at conducting portfolio management, prosecutions and litigation. With expertise in the fashion, sport, technology, property, construction and life-science sectors, the team is increasingly advising and acting for international clients. Jonathan Feder leads the global IP practice with particular expertise in enforcing trade marks in the fashion industry both in Australia and overseas. Chris Round is skilled in IP registration and  litigation; and experienced patent litigator Patrick Sands joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills in May 2021, bolstering the group’s patent offering.

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Testimonials

‘The K&L Gates IP team has long been one of the leading IP practices in Melbourne, particularly in copyright and trade mark matters. They are fierce in the pursuit of their clients’ interests.’

‘The partners specialise in the sectors they target and provide value add discussions on market movements, status of the industry and initiatives implemented by similar organisations. This generates new work for the firm and provides me insight into the sector. The service provided is efficient and accurate.’

‘Jonathan Feder is exceptional in his advice. He is direct and commercial. His team innovates processes so they have clear processes and procedures. They are organised and can operate with little input/direction from me. I see and value them as part of my team.’

‘Patrick Sands, partner, I’ve worked with for many years. He is an outstanding lawyer, technically excellent, very client-focussed and commercial. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Chris Round has a very strong practice in trade marks and copyright. He is an astute practitioner, with an unstinting commitment to achieving the right outcome for his clients.’

Key clients

A2B Australia

Australian Football League

Deckers Outdoor Corporation

Directed Electronics Australia

Dreamstreet Lending

First Sentier Investors

LTJ Innovations

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

Samsonite

Seafolly (L Catterton)

Sullivans Cove

Wilson Pateras

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