This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Australia is currently one of the most keenly watched jurisdictions in the international legal market, and Clayton Utz is one of its leading firms.
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 49|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Corporate Governance||1||Oil & Gas||1|
|Labour & Employment||2||Trademarks||2|
The firm’s history dates back to 1883 when it was established by George Robert Nichols, the first native-born Australian to be admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales. Today the firm has over 200 partners and six offices across Australia, along with another in Hong Kong. The firm’s clients include a number of the top 100 Australian companies, as well as over 250 federal and state government departments, agencies and organisations.
Clayton Utz is Australia’s standout firm for construction work. Doug Jones AM in Sydney is internationally respected as an infrastructure and dispute resolution specialist, and is one of the most highly rated experts in this sector worldwide. Described as “incredibly committed and focused”, he is viewed as a “doyen” by his peers. He is also internationally recognised for the quality of his commercial arbitration practice. Andrew Stephenson is another “top-flight” name, recognised for risk assessment, contract drafting and dispute resolution work on projects throughout Asia and the Middle East. The firm has two further nominees in the Brisbane office, as well as two in Hong Kong – where Colin Dodd scores highly and Glenn Haley works in association with the firm at Haley & Co.
Clayton Utz is one of the world’s leading firms for product liability defence work, with five nominees selected in our research including Stuart Clark, the most highly nominated expert in Australia. Head of the firm’s class actions team, he is also one of country’s outstanding litigators. He worked on the successful defence of the Australian Fen-Phen class action case, among several other notable victories. Colin Loveday has an “absolutely stellar reputation” for products work and general commercial litigation, and Jocelyn Kellam is particularly commended for her product recall expertise. Both are also recognised by our life sciences research as leaders in that sector.
The firm’s corporate practice is also extremely well regarded. It recently advised Agrium on its acquisition of AWB for over A$1 billion, as well as the regulatory aspects of the subsequent sale of the AWB commodities business to Cargill for A$870 million. Lawyers from the firm also worked alongside AMP Limited’s in-house team on its A$14.6 billion merger with AXA Asia Pacific Holdings.
Rodney Halstead is national chair of the M&A group and one of the most highly recommended individuals in our Australian research, where he is also recognised for his corporate governance expertise. John Elliott heads the M&A group and is well known for the quality of his transactional work, including advising Barrick on its takeover of Tusker Gold.
The environment and planning team is also highly rated in the market. Andrew Poulos is one of four nominees to earn inclusion in our books, and is known for his advice to clients ranging from rail authorities and government agencies to electricity distributors and public corporations.
Our public procurement research also identifies four leading figures from the firm. Marko Misko is a major legal adviser to the infrastructure division of the Department of Defence, and advised on most aspects of the A$2.2 billion Melbourne City Link Project public infrastructure project. Former firm managing partner and chair of the board John Shirbin also scores highly. Doug Jones is once again selected for inclusion for his work in this area.
Gary Best heads the real estate practice and is one of three partners recognised in our publications. He is acting for Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority in relation to the acquisition and development of the Barangaroo project (formerly known as East Darling Harbour). Three further partners are selected for their insurance-related expertise, including Fred Hawke in Melbourne who has advised the Department of Treasury and Finance of the Victorian Government in related matters.
The firm’s energy and resources practice is internationally renowned, and it advised Barrick Gold Corporation on its approximately A$7.1 billion bid to acquire Equinox Minerals. Peter Wiese stands out, and he is listed alongside the “excellent” Stuart MacGregor in our mining chapter. The firm is advising ConocoPhillips, Origin Energy and Australia Pacific LNG on a A$35 billion project to liquefy coal seam gas at a proposed facility in Queensland, and Andrew Smith in the Brisbane office is very well known for his downstream oil and gas work.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.