This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - AUSTRALIA
Clayton Utz has made a conscious decision to remain an independent law firm amid growing interest from international players in the Australian legal market in recent years. According to the firm, it is now benefiting from this decision, having reported a strong year in its government, litigation and dispute resolution, and major projects practices in its 2013 annual review.
|Arbitration||1||Insurance & Reinsurance||3|
|Asset Recovery||1||Life Sciences||6|
|Construction||6||Product Liability Defence||5|
|Corporate Governance||2||Public Procurement||4|
|Corporate Tax||1||Real Estate||2|
|Energy||10||Sports & Entertainment||1|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||2|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The firm’s energy and resources team is home to some of the region’s leading professionals. The practice, made up of 21 partners and more than 80 other legal employees, services clients’ activities across the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Recent work includes acting for Sumitomo Corporation and the Kansai Electric Power Company on their A$1.2 billion acquisition of Bluewaters power stations and advising long-standing client Barrick Gold Corporation on its successful completion of the divestment of its Yilgarn South assets in Western Australia to Gold Fields Limited for a total consideration of US$300 million. Peter Wiese in Perth is particularly recommended for his work in relation to upstream and downstream oil and gas, electricity and mining projects. In the same office, John King is noted for his oil and gas expertise, while Kevin O’Sullivan receives praise for his energy and mining experience with particular reference to his work in relation to transactions, project structuring and compliance issues. Graeme Dennis specialises in carbon trading and energy market regulation and reform, and provides advice on major energy projects. Brisbane-based Andrew Smith focuses on downstream issues including oil and gas, project infrastructure and financing, and acquisitions and disposals. His experience includes advising onshore and offshore oil and gas explorers and producers in respect of joint ventures, joint operations, farm-ins and production and sales agreements in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Asia and the US. Graham Taylor is the managing partner of the corporate department at the firm and is considered “exceptional” in the areas of energy and mining. Heath Lewis acts for a number of ASX and TSX-listed clients, as well as private firms in the energy and resources industry.
Life sciences is a key industry focus for the firm. Stuart Clark is a “formidable litigator” whose expertise spans commercial litigation, class actions and product liability claims. He is particularly well known for his work in the life sciences sector and his representative experience includes the successful defence of GD Searle Co and Monsanto Corporation in the landmark Gravigard intrauterine contraceptive device litigation. John Collins leads the national IP/IT practice group and is recognised for his patent litigation work in the pharmaceutical market. Colin B Loveday is head of Clayton Utz’s national product liability group and is one of the leaders of the class actions team. Ross McInnes is a “seasoned litigator” who specialises in class action cases in the pharmaceuticals and medical device areas.
Clayton Utz’s mergers and acquisitions practice handles transactions for leading national and multinational companies. The firm recently advised retailer Cotton On Group in the successful completion of its first major retail acquisition of the Supré retail fashion chain. John Elliott heads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group and has over 20 years’ experience in the field. He also advises on dealings with government and regulatory bodies. Rodney Halstead is lauded by peers for his experience in contested and negotiated takeovers, acquisitions, mergers and divestments and foreign investment. Karen Evans-Cullen is a strategic M&A and corporate advisory lawyer who is particularly well known for her work on cross-border matters. Simon Truskett advises on transactions in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region in the energy, agribusiness, health care, banking and finance, transport, manufacturing, retailing and hospitality industries.
Further recognition goes to Douglas Jones AO who is noted for his work in the areas of arbitration, construction and public procurement.
|Total Listings in WWL||76||Established||1833|
|Home jurisdiction||Australia||Total size of firm||1,452 employees|
|Number of partners||200||Number of offices||6 with 1 associated office in Hong Kong|
Clayton Utz’s pro bono programme “sets the standard for other firms in the region” and was named among the top 10 firms globally for pro bono in Who’s Who Legal’s inaugural 2013 pro bono survey. In 2013, the firm contributed 42,985 hours of pro bono legal advice – the largest amount of pro bono work the firm has undertaken to date. The firm was also awarded the NSW Law and Justice Foundation’s Pro Bono Partnership Award for 2013 for its partnership with Anti-Slavery Australia, which opened up a new path to statutory compensation for women who were sex-trafficked into Australia.
The firm is founded on the values of trust, respect and cooperation and sees diversity and inclusion as integral to its culture. A primary focus of the firm’s diversity committee is gender equality and in 2009 the firm launched Momentum, its national women lawyers’ network.
Clayton Utz aims to continue to exceed clients’ expectations and delivering an exceptional service. 2014 will see changes to the firm’s management as Robert Cutler takes over as chief executive partner from Darryl McDonough, who will step down at the end of June. Under the guidance of Cutler, the firm aims to be Australia’s leading independent law firm.
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