This will be DWF's fourth Australian office after opening in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2017, following mergers with Triton Global and Kaden Boriss. The development marks the next major phase of growth for DWF Australia and its wider Asia Pacific presence, which also includes a Singapore office, which opened in 2017 with a four-lawyer team from Eversheds Sutherland.
The new hires bring wide-ranging and multi-jurisdictional expertise in corporate, regulatory and litigation service lines, allowing DWF to establish a larger commercial practice in the region and enhance capability in its primary sectors, particularly real estate, insurance and financial services. Corporate partner Mark Hickey, who has served as Sparke Helmore's Chairman since 2014, joins as Chairman of DWF Asia Pac, a new position for the business, and will take a lead role in the development of the Newcastle office.
Mark is joined by partner David Reid, a senior corporate lawyer who also serves as the current Deputy Chair of Basketball Australia; corporate partner Vi-Ky Lam, who has experience advising clients across the financial, tech and energy sectors; corporate director Jason Lambeth, named one of Australia's 'Best Lawyers 2018' for his work in corporate & governance matters; banking partner Ben Burney, recognised as one of the leading finance lawyers and institutional account managers in the Australian market (ranked as a leading lawyer in the AFR’s ‘Best Lawyers 2018’, the Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2018 and AsiaLaw Profiles 2018) to head up the Banking and Financial Services Group for Asia Pac; and banking partner Adam Fuller, who is also ranked as a 'Best Lawyer' 2018. DWF is also joined by Brisbane-based safety lawyer Matt Smith, who is regarded as one of the top safety practitioners in Australia and who will lead the already very successful Safety and Industrial Group, with Jamie McPherson, who joined as Managing Partner of DWF Australia following its merger with Kaden Boriss, to build a leading safety team. In addition, DWF has appointed Kirsten Farmer, an insolvency and restructuring partner from HWL Ebsworth, who was recently named in 'Best Lawyers 2018' for her specialist work in insolvency and reorganisation law.
Managing Partner of DWF Australia Jamie McPherson said: "I am very pleased to welcome this talented and forward thinking group of individuals to DWF and believe that they will greatly assist us in realizing our vision to change the face of legal and connected services in Australia and internationally."
This development will also allow DWF to continue embedding its Connected Services business in Australia. Connected Services is a division of DWF which encompasses a range of solutions including technology and research and development, which are complementary to the business's core legal services, and already has a strong presence in Australia with its Sydney-based DWF Claims team.