In our third edition of WWL: Australia, we feature more than 200 firms, from full-service international outfits to specialised boutiques. However, over half of the total listings come from just 10 standout firms, which we profile here.
Top-tier full-service law firm Allens ranks as one of the leading outfits in the Australian legal market. It illustrates its extensive offering in our research this year with 67 listings across 24 practice areas.
The firm’s corporate finance expertise wins widespread recognition this year, particularly when it comes to banking, and M&A and governance matters, in which the firm receives five and seven listings in our respective chapters. Capital markets transactions, corporate tax advice and litigation, and restructuring and insolvency proceedings are just some of the other related areas in which the firm excels.
Energy and natural resources is another of the firm’s strengths. This year, we feature six lawyers from Allens in our corresponding chapter, who are highly respected for their excellence when it comes to handling a range of matters across the oil and gas, power, and mining sectors.
The firm’s intellectual property practice is held in high esteem by market sources, who highlight its lawyers as go-to individuals in the Australian market for patents and trademarks matters.
Standout names at the firm include Tim Golder who is singled out as a leading light in the sports, entertainment and trademarks spheres, while Ben Zillmann is well respected for his adept handling of native title law matters. Sarah Matheson is highly sought after for her first-class patents practice, while Philip Kerr and Peter O’Donahoo are renowned figures in the life sciences sector.
A long-standing presence in the Australian market, Ashurst remains a go-to firm for clients seeking advice and representation across an array of practice areas. With a total of 55 listings across 22 practice areas in this edition, its experts demonstrate an impressive level of skill in a variety of specialisms.
The firm is particularly well recognised for its outstanding offering in the banking sector. It sees eight of its banking experts listed in our corresponding chapter, thanks to their stellar work advising clients on corporate lending, transactions, capital markets and loans.
Energy law is another area in which the firm excels, with five lawyers from its team highlighted this year for their first-rate work across the oil and gas, and mining sectors.
The firm has several key practitioners including Mark Brennan, who is recognised as one of the foremost environment specialists in the Australian market. Shawn Wytenburg is a major name in the banking sector, while Paul Newman is recognised as a first-rate energy lawyer. Tony Denholder is well known for his market-leading work on native title matters.
Full-service international giant Baker McKenzie has a strong presence in the Australian market with offices across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It performs well in this edition achieving 26 listings across 14 different practice areas.
The firm has a strong sector-focused offering, with lawyers gaining recognition this year for their excellence when it comes to construction, energy, data and banking law. It further demonstrates its corporate finance prowess with listings throughout our M&A and governance, restructuring and insolvency, and capital markets chapters.
Penny Ward ranks as one of the foremost franchise experts in the Australian market, while Martijn Wilder is held in high esteem for his leading work handling complex climate change matters. Leigh Duthie, Geoff Wood and Alex Hartmann are considered top names for construction and government contracts law.
Clayton Utz remains one of the foremost law firms in the Australian market. The firm receives a notable 81 listings across 21 practice areas, reflecting the vast expertise of its team and a considerable pool of resources for assisting clients across a spectrum of matters.
Key practice areas for the firm include corporate finance matters, where its team excels in handling major cross-border corporate transactions, as well as assisting clients across the banking sector.
The firm’s sector-focused groups also perform well, with its market-leading expertise across the energy and natural resources, environment, construction, and life sciences spaces illustrated in our corresponding chapters.
The firm also possesses strong showings in diverse areas such as labour and employment, government contracts and intellectual property – a testament to the full-service nature of its offering.
Key individuals at the firm include Global Elite Thought Leader Colin Loveday, who excels in managing class actions in the product liability defence space. Greg Williams is a prominent figure in the life sciences sector, while Ross McInnes is highly sought after for his world-class product liability defence practice. Sallyanne Everett provides clients with her enviable expertise in environmental matters, while Dale Brackin receives praise for his expert work in construction disputes and project negotiations. Sergio Capelli performs brilliantly in the government contracts sector, while Mary Still continues to impress in trademark matters.
Full-service outfit Corrs Chambers Westgarth stands out as one of Australia’s highest-performing firms in our research this year. Its lawyers secure 42 listings in total across 16 different practice areas in this edition, which bears testament to the depth and breadth of expertise on offer at the firm.
The firm excels in the construction sector and achieves seven listings in our corresponding chapter. Its lawyers receive emphatic recommendations from sources for their leading expertise in resolving construction disputes through both litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as handling regulatory issues before Australian authorities.
Energy, natural resources and mining matters are also areas in which practitioners have distinguished themselves this year. We highlight four lawyers from the firm for their work in energy
and mining transactions, project management and dispute proceedings.
In the patents and trademarks space, the practitioners demonstrate the extent of their skill in the space with a combined eight listings for their work in trademark prosecution and portfolio management, as well as other contentious and transactional matters.
Standout names at the firm include Philip Catania and Stephen Stern, who achieve recognition as prominent names in their respective specialities of data and trademarks law. Andrew Stephenson is a leading light in the construction space, while Odette Gourley achieves extensive recommendations from market commentators for her top-tier life sciences practice. John Tuck ranks prominently among peers thanks to his skill in labour and employment matters.
Australian powerhouse Gilbert + Tobin demonstrates the extent of its commercial offering in our research this year. It achieves a total of 33 listings across 10 different practice areas in this edition, which cements its position as one of Australia’s leading firms.
The firm performs impressively in the field of data law, with six of its lawyers achieving recognition with WWL, more than any other firm this year. They have been selected for their excellence in advising clients on a range of matters including data protection, cybersecurity and IT issues.
M&A and governance emerges as another specialism of the firm’s, with six lawyers securing a listing in our corresponding chapter. These lawyers have distinguished themselves with their expertise in advising clients on public and private takeovers, acquisitions and IPO matters, as well as a range of governance issues.
The firm also stands out in terms of its competition offering and sees five of its lawyers highlighted for their skill in merger review proceedings, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance matters.
Standout names at the firm include Elizabeth Avery, Gina Cass-Gottlieb and Luke Woodward, who are all recognised as leading lights in competition law. Peter Leonard is highlighted as one of Australia’s elite data specialists, while John Schembri wins recognition as one of the market’s leading banking specialists.
Global firm Herbert Smith Freehills is internationally renowned for its full-service capacity, which it demonstrates this year with 57 listings across 18 different practice areas.
The firm performs impressively in the M&A and governance space, with nine listings for its lawyers. They have all been selected for their skills in a variety of corporate transactions, including IPOs, takeovers and acquisitions, as well as a broad range of governance issues.
The banking field is another area in which the firm excels, with six lawyers securing a listing in our corresponding chapter. The lawyers are well versed in navigating complex transactional and regulatory matters across the sector.
The firm also demonstrates the strength and depth of its offering in the capital markets space, with six lawyers listed for their experience and expertise in an array of financing and transactional matters.
Standout names at the firm include Peter Briggs and Stuart Barrymore, who are identified as leading names within their respective specialisms of environment and energy law. Michael Ziegelaar and Philippa Stone are singled out as key names in the capital markets space, while Grant Marjoribanks ranks highly among peers for his work in the white-collar crime and investigations space. Brenda Horrigan is held in high esteem for her top-tier arbitration practice.
King & Wood Mallesons performs impressively in our research into the Australian market this year, demonstrating the strength and breadth of its offering with a total of 83 listings for its practitioners across 22 different practice areas: the most listings of any firm in our research.
The firm excels in the banking arena, achieving 13 listings in our corresponding chapter this year. Lawyers at the firm are well versed in advising clients on a wide array of matters including corporate lending, banking regulation and acquisition finance.
This top-tier firm is also highly accomplished in the capital markets space, with 10 of its specialists recognised this year for their experience with structured finance and debt and equity transactions.
In competition law, the firm also distinguishes itself with a total of seven listings. Those selected for inclusion have proven their skills in merger control, abuse of dominance and cartel investigations before competition authorities.
Standout names at the firm include Yuen-Yee Cho, who is identified as a leading light in the banking space. David Friedlander is a top name for capital markets work, while Matthew Swinn is highly sought after for his market-leading patents practice. Heath Lewis gains recognition as a prominent name for mining matters.
Leading full-service law firm MinterEllison demonstrates its dominant position in the Australian market in our research this year. The firm receives 45 listings across 17 practice areas, showcasing the breadth of expertise on offer.
Corporate finance is a core strength of the firm, with its lawyers gaining recognition for their work across a range of areas in this edition. Corporate tax, banking and capital markets are key areas in which the firm excels. Its offering is further bolstered by top-tier M&A and governance and restructuring and insolvency teams in which three lawyers are recognised in our corresponding chapters.
The firm also has a strong sector-focused offering. It wins acclaim from market sources this year for his top-notch aviation, real estate, life sciences, energy, data and construction groups.
Key individuals at the firm include John Mosley, who ranks as one of the most prominent banking lawyers in the country. Paul Schoff is a leading light in the Australian competition market, while Jim Fox is highly rated for his labour and employment practice. Wayne McMaster is recognised by sources as a standout name for patents and life sciences matters.
Norton Rose Fulbright is known across the world for its impressive full-service offering. The firm enjoys a prominent presence in the Australian market and achieves 35 listings in 18 practice areas in this edition, as a result of an impressive breadth of expertise on offer.
Environmental law is a key area of strength for the firm, where it sees six of its lawyers recognised for their leading expertise in our corresponding chapter. Land acquisition, development and planning, as well as related litigation, are just some of the areas in which the group excels.
The firm also has a strong corporate finance offering, with lawyers from across its banking, corporate tax, M&A and governance, and restructuring practices highlighted this year for their market-leading practices.
Standout individuals at the firm include Scott Atkins, who is a top-tier name in the restructuring and insolvency market. Stephen Giles ranks highly among peers for his outstanding work on franchise matters. Elizabeth Wild is similarly impressive in the environment field, while Nuncio D’Angelo draws praise for his banking advisory practice.