Posts

Sydney

K&L Gates Hires Sydney Finance Partner From Hogan Lovells

Global law firm K&L Gates continues to expand its finance practice with the appointment of Richard Hayes as a partner in the Sydney office. Hayes, who brings a dedicated focus on acquisition and funds financings and general corporate finance, joins K&L Gates from Hogan Lovells.

With admissions and extensive experience in Australia, England, and New York, Hayes represents many international organizations with their multi-jurisdictional financing arrangements. His lender clients include global investment banks, commercial banks, and debt funds while, on the borrower side, he supports private equity and other investment firms and corporations.

For over 25 years, Hayes has advised clients in relation to the financing of acquisitions, refinancings, restructurings, recapitalizations, and work-outs. With current market conditions having forced these latter practices to the fore, the ability to work with the practitioners at K&L Gates was pivotal in Hayes’ decision to join the firm.

“My practice is truly international and I look forward to leveraging the strength of K&L Gates’ global platform, including collaborating with the firm’s highly regarded restructuring and insolvency, tax, and corporate teams, to the benefit of my clients,” said Hayes.

Nick Nichola, K&L Gates’ Managing Partner, Australia, stated: “Richard’s appointment provides our finance practice with a broader service offering and significantly deeper coverage in relation to the financing of acquisitions and debt capital markets generally. Richard has a reputation for taking on tough and complex work. As our clients respond to the challenges of 2020, he is the ideal lawyer to assist them in achieving the best possible risk mitigation and in seizing the opportunities that are available in today’s market.”

The arrival of Hayes builds on other recent appointments in Australia since late 2019, including Melbourne corporate partner Harry Kingsley, Perth corporate partner James Clyne, and financial services partners Kane Barnett and Paul Faure in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. K&L Gates’ corporate practice also has continued to expand across the firm’s global platform in recent months through the appointments of new partners in BostonFrankfurtHong Kong, and Paris, with the firm having welcomed a total of more than 25 new partners and of counsel during 2020.

DLA Piper Boosts Australian Restructuring Practice

DLA Piper has hired restructuring partner Lionel Meehan for its Melbourne office ahead of an expected spike in pandemic-related restructures.

Meeham, who starts on August 1, joins from his own boutique insolvency and restructuring firm Edwin Legal. He has experience in financial restructuring, large-scale insolvency and commercial law, and knowledge across the resources, construction, financial services and fintech sectors, DLA Piper said.

Before founding Edwin Legal in October last year, Meehan was a partner at Ashurst in Australia for a decade and a senior associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London for five years.

“Given the current global economic conditions and the recently announced temporary changes to Australian insolvency laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect to see an increase in global restructuring activity,” said DLA Piper’s managing partner in Australia, Amber Matthews.

“Lionel will form a key part of our international restructuring practice, supporting clients across the Asia Pacific region.”

Meehan’s experience in front-end restructuring and special situations, as well as transactional banking and back-end insolvency, will be a valuable addition to DLA Piper’s Australian and global Restructuring practice, said firm’s Australia head of finance, projects and restructuring in Onno Bakker.

Skadden closes sole office in Sydney

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has confirmed it is closing its Sydney office – the US firm’s only base in Australia. The six-staff office will shut down in the first half of this year with all staff understood to be departing from the firm aside from co-head of Skadden Arps corporate finance group Adrian Deitz who will remain based in Sydney and operate as part of the firm’s Singapore and Hong Kong team.

The rest of the corporate-focused team, which comprises one partner, one retired, two counsel and one associate are understood to be reviewing their options.

Skadden Arps first launched in Sydney in 1989 and since represented Australian and New Zealand clients on the US aspects of cross-border transactions, such as corporate finance and M&A deals.

Highlight deals for the office, listed on the firm’s website date back to 2014 and include representing the Commonwealth of Australia and Medibank Private on Medibank’s A$5.679bn initial public offering and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange; and advising Meridian Energy in its partial privatisation and $1.6bn initial public offering by the government of New Zealand, which was done in 2013.

The news follows two of the founders of Clifford Chance’s Australian arm, including the firm’s Sydney managing partner, confirming they are stepping down from their roles at the Magic Circle firm on Tuesday (9 February).

Elsewhere down under, Clyde & Co hired two partners from Norton Rose Fulbright in a bid to build up its occupational health and safety team in Sydney, with Michael Tooma and Alena Titterton joining along with eight other lawyers. This followed the firm’s appointment of a 30-lawyer team late last year, also in the Sydney office after it picked up five partners who joined the firm with another 25 lawyers, all from Lee & Lyons.