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DLA Piper

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice handles a range of banking and finance work, though it particularly prides itself on its experience in project finance and surety bonds. Property finance is another key area of activity: Hugo Thistlewood acted for HSBC and Campus Estates on the A$46m financing of a 346-bed student accommodation facility in Melbourne, and on the subsequent conversion of the construction loan to an investment loan. Alex Regan advised Speedcast International on financing its $67m acquisition of WINS. Onno Bakker, Simon Huxley and Kate Papailiou are also recommended. Monique Stella left to join Mills Oakley Lawyers in June 2017.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The four-partner team at DLA Piper is mostly ECM-dedicated, and is distinguished by its sector strengths in technology, venture capital, healthcare and life sciences. Department head David Ryan advised Catapult Group International on its A$100m equity capital raise; alongside Catherine Merity, Ryan also assisted Silver Heritage Group with its A$25m IPO, and advised it on its $20m bond issuance to OCP Asia. Mark Wilshaw and Scott Gibson are the key partners in Perth; Gibson acted for LiveHire on its A$10m IPO, while Wilshaw advised Kalium Lakes on its A$6m IPO. Senior associates Kelly Morrison, Rosamond Sayer and Elliott Cheung are also recommended.

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Competition and trade
Competition and trade - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s team includes practice head Simon Uthmeyer and Fleur Gibbons, who ‘has a sharp intellect and the capacity to maintain a complete view of the issues at hand’, and is ‘particularly strong in the regulatory space’. As well as acting for clients such as Pfizer, Etihad Airways and the AFL, the group regularly advises the industry regulator; special counsel and ‘extremely dedicated’ Leanne Hanna, who ‘is always prepared to go the extra mile’, took the lead on the ACCC’s prosecution in the Federal Court against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) on the grounds of alleged secondary boycott conduct. Uthmeyer and senior associate Sophia Grace represented the ACCC in appeal proceedings initiated by the Port of Newcastle Operations. The firm’s recent caseload also includes merger clearance issues, high-value transactions and utility price determination resets. Other noteworthy clients are the Australian Energy Regulator, Mondelez and Toyota.

Leading individuals

Simon Uthmeyer - DLA Piper

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Construction - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a focus on cross-border construction work and covers the full range of sectors, including transport, social infrastructure and property development. It advised Acciona Ferrovial on its bid for the design and construction of the tunnel and stations for Melbourne’s new metro system, a construction project that involves a A$6bn metro tunnel including five new underground stations. H.R.L Morrison & Co and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec received advice in their roles as consortium participants in the A$380m Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre expansion, which involves the construction of 20,000sqm of multi-purpose event space. Fremantle Football Club instructed the practice on the A$120m design, construction and maintenance of the Australian Football League (AFL) sporting oval. Noted lawyers include John Gallagher, David Harley, Richard Edwards (whose focus is on contentious work), David Nancarrow and Jim Delkousis. Jane Hider left to join Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Leading individuals

John Gallagher - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

Technology is a sector of particular strength for DLA Piper’s practice, which is based across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. James Philips and David Hallam assisted Surbana Jurong on its A$451m acquisition of SMEC. On the private equity side, Grant Koch acted for KKR Asia on the A$1.7bn sale of its stake in GenesisCare to China Resources Group and Macquarie Capital. The Perth office, where Marc Wilshaw and Scott Gibson are the key partners, counts mid-market public M&A as a particular strength. Wilshaw advised Teranga Gold on its A$86m takeover of Gryphon Minerals. David Ryan is also recommended.

Leading individuals

James Philips - DLA Piper

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘considerably supportive’ department has ‘great depth of legal knowledge’ and ‘a genuine understanding of broader commercial and political issues’. Gitanjali Bajaj, Richard Edwards and the ‘outstandingLiam Prescott (in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane respectively) are recommended for international arbitration, a distinguishing strength of the practice. ‘Sharp, responsive and readily available’ group head Rani John is ‘incisive, tenacious and pragmatic’; she counts the International Olympic Committee and one of the four major Australian banks as clients. The team changed significantly in late 2016 and early 2017: though it lost four insurance litigators, it saw financial services expert Jonathon Ellis, insolvency specialist Ryan Hennessey and mining and energy experts Tom Ritchie and Shane Murphy arrive from Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, McCullough Robertson and Herbert Smith Freehills respectively. All four are special counsels.

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Energy (transactions and regulatory)
Energy (transactions and regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘level of service is exceptional’; the team ‘maintains strong industry contacts and understands its clients’ businesses’. It regularly handles cross-border matters, among them acting as international and Australian counsel for Shanghai-listed ENN Ecological Holdings, the largest private natural gas company in China, on its recent $750m acquisition of Hony Capital’s approximately 11% stake in Santos. ActewAGL, which owns and operates the Australian Capital Territory’s electricity distribution network, received comprehensive advice on regulatory matters, including representation in litigation. The ‘very commercially drivenDan Brown is ‘willing to go the extra mile to get the job done’, and ‘fits into and extends clients’ core transaction teams’. Kate Papailiou is a ‘sharp, pragmatic lawyer’, who is ‘efficient and commercially focused’. Head of energy Stephen Webbensures the best service is provided to clients’, has ‘excellent leadership skills’ and ‘runs a good ship’. Rhys Davis has been promoted to the partnership.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The key names to note at DLA Piper are Peter Jones and Tim Lyons, who head the IT and telecoms practice from Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. After having recently lost the majority of its Canberra office, the group welcomed special counsel and technology expert Sinead Lynch in Sydney from CMS’ London office. Melbourne-based senior associate Sarah Dolan is part of the team providing ongoing advice to the Victorian Police with regards to the BlueConnect programme and currently assisting with the procurement of an in-vehicle data recorder solution. Toyota engaged the team to handle the outsourcing of its IT infrastructure, and Catapult Group approached it to oversee the acquisition of US-based sports technology company XOS Digital. Senior associate Nicholas Boyle is also a key contact in the Sydney office and frequently supports the partners in long term contracting and licensing matters.

Leading individuals

Peter Jones - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Dolan - DLA Piper

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Insurance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘excellent’ insurance team is noted for its ‘consistent approach to providing outstanding client service in every dealing’ and was recently bolstered by the promotion to partner of the ‘highly intelligent’ James Morse in Sydney and Jock Inness-Campbell in Perth. The team acted for a captive insurer in a pair of professional indemnity claims, and Brisbane-based Sophie Devitt successfully defended two class actions in the NSW Supreme Court arising from recent destructive bush fires – an area where the department has been prominent. On the non-contentious side, the practice also provides regulatory advice and handles policy reviews under the leadership of group co-head Samantha O’Brien in Brisbane. Also singled out is practice co-head David Leggatt, who has significant experience in general and life insurance. Paul Baxter and Drew Castley left to join Hall & Wilcox, while Mark Williams and David Randazzo departed for Minter Ellison and Meridian Lawyers, respectively. Senior associate Natasha Stojanovich joined Lander & Rogers as special counsel.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s five-partner outfit is led by global co-chair of the firm’s trade mark, copyright and media group Melinda Upton, who has substantial experience across the gamut of intellectual property work, and advises a client roster including names such as Fitbit, Lotus Bakeries and Moët Hennessy. Major international clients receive advice on trade mark infringements and enforcement in relation to counterfeit products and parallel distribution, which is frequently provided by Upton and special counsel Rohan Singh. In Melbourne, Robynne Sanders is representing American entity ResMed in a Federal Court appeal filed by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare following its unsuccessful opposition to the client’s patent applications. Heading the life sciences sector group, Nicholas Tyacke regularly handles IP matters. The firm has recently divested its Canberra office, leading to the departure of a number of practitioners, among them Caroline Atkins and Anthony Willis, for Maddocks.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘strong’ practice provides ‘really good service’, and has excellent strength in depth. The ‘fantasticRick Catanzariti, who is ‘super-knowledgeable, pragmatic and reliable’, defended a large rural health service and a state government insurer against a claim for breach of employment contract. Additionally in the healthcare space, Leanne Nickels assisted a major healthcare insurer with defending an unfair dismissal claim brought against an insured party. The Melbourne-based Catanzariti heads the group jointly with Nickels and Nicholas Turner in Perth and Sydney respectively. Andrew Ball and Kathy Dalton are also recommended. Brett Feltham left to join Gadens Lawyers in August 2017.

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper regularly acts for the government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, among others representing the client in a high-profile maritime boundary dispute in which the firm has been involved since 2014. The team also acted for ResCap Investments on a number of acquisitions, and counts Fortescue Metals Group, Batchfire Resources and Gold Road Resources among its clients. Stephen Webb, Dan Brown and David Nancarrow are singled out.

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Project development
Project development - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a focus on cross-border work, and regularly handles large-scale overseas projects, most recently advising Fluor on the $2.6bn Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project in India. The Destination Brisbane Consortium received advice on the A$3bn Queens Wharf project. The busy renewables practice saw the team advising RATCH-Australia Collinsville Solar on the development of a 43MW solar power plant in Queensland; Sydney Desalination Plant instructed the team regarding repair works after the plant suffered extensive damage in a tornado in 2015. John Gallagher and Alex Guy are the names to note.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘competent, efficient and client-focused’ team acts for clients such as the Blackstone Group, Charter Hall and the National Pension Scheme of Korea. Astrid Beemster in the Sydney office advised JP Morgan on the sale of industrial assets, and recently worked alongside Brisbane-based practice head Tim Mathers who advised Aventus Property Group on its acquisition of five retail centres. Also based in Sydney is Les Koltai who advises on high-value acquisitions and development matters. In Melbourne, Arthur Chong ‘provides sound, pragmatic advice with a commercial nous’ and recently assisted the AFL with its acquisition of the Etihad stadium in the Melbourne Docklands. The main name to note in Perth is Eagul Faigen who recently handled the joint venture, structuring and project delivery agreements in connection with the Finbar Group’s Civic Heart development in Western Australia. The Melbourne-based Jane Baddeley is also a key contact.

Leading individuals

Les Koltai - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘pragmatic’ practice is noted for its ‘great access to its global team’; it is especially capable in cross-border anti-corruption work, and has a strong line in advising high-profile financial institutions on ASIC investigations and compliance. ‘Sharp, responsive, tenacious’ group head Rani John, who is ‘a very safe pair of hands’, ‘consistently delivers very strong client service: she is always available and unafraid to roll up her sleeves’, and provides ‘strategic, commercially astute advice’. She assisted Greenhill & Co with monitoring criminal proceedings against Mr Fei Yu, who was charged with insider trading after possessing insider information supplied by a former Greenhill analyst. The Malaysia- and Australia-qualified Gowri Kangeson is an expert in anti-bribery, corruption, white-collar crime and investigations. Special counsels Jonathon Ellis and Ryan Hennessey, who are anti-bribery and corruption experts, joined in 2016 from Ashurst and Baker McKenzie respectively.

Leading individuals

Rani John - DLA Piper

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The ‘well-regarded’ three-partner team at DLA Piperknows the insolvency space well, takes a commercial approach to dispute resolution’, and is noted for its cross-border capabilities. The group is led by the ‘experienced’ Kon Tsiakis, who advised Ernst & Young as voluntary administrators (subsequently becoming liquidators) of Ceramic Fuel Cells. He also assisted Enerji with negotiating and implementing a DoCA for its recapitalisation after having been placed into administration. On the creditor side, Amelia Kelly advised Westpac, and KordaMentha as receivers, on its exposure to a property development in northern Queensland operated by Peter Bega. Atlantic is another representative client. Insolvency specialist Ryan Hennessey joined as special counsel from Baker McKenzie in September 2016.

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Tax - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Experienced income tax adviser Jock McCormack heads DLA Piper’s practice, which includes Melbourne-based James Newnham who has a strong track record assisting clients with cross-border expansions. While focused primarily on stamp duty and income tax, senior associate Eddie Ahn also supported McCormack to oversee an asset management firm’s acquisition of real estate in Sydney, and to handle a NSW co-op’s conversion to a publically-traded entity. Other work highlights include transfer pricing for intra-group financing arrangements, regulatory advice, interactions with the Australian Taxation Office, and risk assessments. Consultant Matthew Cridland left to join K&L Gates.

Next generation lawyers

Eddie Ahn - DLA Piper

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Australia: Dispute resolution

Class actions
Dispute resolution: class actions - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The team at DLA Piper is led by public liability expert Kieran O’Brien, who acted for Amaca in group proceedings to determine equitable liability relating to a partnership agreement between two asbestos manufacturers in the 1960s and ’70s. He also defended Liability Mutual Insurance in a class action against primary defendant AusNet Services relating to the 2014 bushfire near Mickleham, Victoria. Indeed, bushfire and wildfire-related matters are a key area of activity for the practice: Perth-based partner Cameron Maclean defended Western Power and its underwriter, Lloyd’s of London, in a class action alleging Western Power’s liability for a 2014 bushfire in Parkerville, Western Australia. The State of Western Australia is another of Maclean’s clients. Perth-based insurance expert Toby Barrie is also recommended.

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about DLA Piper LLP (US) in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi



Offices in Buenos Aires


Offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane


Offices in Vienna


Offices in Antwerp and Brussels


Offices in Beijing and Shanghai


Offices in Santiago


Offices in Yellowknife, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary


Offices in Bogota

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich


Offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus


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Hong Kong

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Latin America: International firms



Offices in Milan and Rome


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Offices in Kuwait City


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North West

Offices in Liverpool and Manchester

New Zealand

Offices in Auckland and Wellington


Offices in Muscat


Offices in Lima



Offices in Warsaw


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Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow, Moscow, and St Petersburg

South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg


Offices in Edinburgh


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Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Offices in Seoul


Offices in Bratislava

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al-Khobar


Offices in Bangkok


Offices in Kiev

United States

Offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, San Diego (Downtown), Boston, Los Angeles, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Austin, Houston, Reston, Virginia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, La Jolla, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego (Golden Triangle), Los Angeles, Orlando, New Jersey, Maryland, Miami, and Wilmington

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds and Sheffield

Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    Aziz Rahman considers the Ericsson bribery investigation and outlines how best to respond if you are investigated by more than one law enforcement agency
  • Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory

    Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory
  • GTDT Shipping - India

    Mr Shardul Thacker heads the shipping, oil and gas and banking practice group at Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe. Lloyd’s List ranked him third in their top 10 lawyers stating: “Highly regarded for his work in the liquefied natural gas sector, particularly for interesting and highly geared finance deals in relation to infrastructure projects, energy, ports and ships.” india_-_gtdt_shipping_

    The British Virgin Islands are rushing to pass by the end of December the new economic substance legislation to avoid the EU’s blacklist of tax haven jurisdictions.
  • Chambers Guides - Insurance 2018 - India

    India is a common-law jurisdiction. In general, Indian laws borrow heavily from, and are based on, English law. However, insurance law in India has certain unique features that deviate from English insurance law. The primary legislation of insurance law in India is the Insurance Act, 1938 (the “Insurance Act”) and the Insurance Rules, 1939 (the “Insurance Rules”).
  • AVELLUM advised largest Ukrainian brick manufacturer on restructuring and refinancing of its debt

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Private Joint Stock Company with Foreign Investments “Slobozhanska Budivelna Keramika” (“SBK ”) in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of SBK’s debt, valued at approximately EUR20 million. Atlas Advisors, an independent investment banking firm, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the SBK’s shareholders in connection with the restructuring of the credit portfolio, attraction of financing for the debt’s refinancing, and buy-out of SBK’s shares.
  • AVELLUM advises on Ukraine’s USD2 billion Eurobond issue

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the USD2 billion sovereign Eurobond issue consisting of two tranches with 5.5 and 10-year tenor. J.P. Morgan Securities, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, and Citigroup acted as joint lead managers on the transaction.
  • New Anti-Money Laundering Law

    The new anti-money laundering ( AML ) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF ), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 
  • Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Israel Chapter in The Virtual Currency Regulation Review

    Earlier this year, the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) issued two circulars, one on the taxation of digital tokens and the second addressing the taxation of utility tokens in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Additionally, in March, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) released a detailed interim report by the Committee for the Regulation of Public Offerings of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Coins (Report) (with a follow-up report due to come out around October 2018). Moreover, it is expected that before the end of 2018, legislation will come into force that for the first time will see Israeli primary legislation define virtual currencies as financial assets and mandate licensing for related services, as is later discussed in detail.