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Dentons builds on Brisbane presence with two new partners

Dentons continues to build on its Brisbane presence welcoming Craig Chapman and promoting Cara Richardson.

Craig Chapman, formerly Group General Counsel at Bank of Queensland, joins Dentons as a partner in the banking and finance team, and Head of the Brisbane office. Craig has a long and distinguished career with nearly three decades of industry experience. Craig has been selected by Australasian Lawyer as one of 2020’s leading in-house legal leaders and is also a finalist for Financial Services Lawyer of the Year at the 2020 Corporate Counsel Awards.

Cara Richardson has recently been promoted to partner in Dentons’ real estate group, and has specific experience working with large institutional companies dealing with commercial, industrial and retail leasing, disposal of businesses and land, acquisition of businesses and land and advising on property related matters.

Dentons’ Australia Chair and Australasia Region CEO, Doug Stipanicev, said the addition of Craig, and the promotion of Cara strengthens Dentons’ presence in the Queensland market, and increases the Firm’s client offering.

“Craig is an extremely highly regarded legal professional in the financial institutions sector, with a career spanning more than 30 years. We are delighted to have him join us”.

“Since opening in Brisbane, Dentons has always maintained a presence in the Queensland market and it is an important part of our client focused strategy”.

“In welcoming Craig and Cara to the partnership, we continue to build our strategy around what our clients in Queensland need, which is primarily within the financial institutions and real estate sectors. Given our commitment to the Queensland market, we are continuing to progress a number of opportunities to expand our local offering”.

Mr Stipanicev also said Dentons’ national presence across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth; and global footprint means that Dentons clients in Australasia will always have a team of experienced legal professionals ready to seamlessly continue to meet their needs.

Commenting on his move to Dentons, Craig said: “I have enjoyed my time in-house which has been incredibly rewarding and successful. I am excited to re-join private practice as a partner of Dentons with their strong history, capability and relationships in the banking and financial services sector, both in Australia and globally. I am also looking forward to the challenge of leading and growing Dentons’ Brisbane presence.”

DLA Piper advises Iberdrola on AUD893 million takeover

Global law firm DLA Piper has advised Spanish utility giant Iberdrola on its AUD893 million takeover of Infigen Energy (ASX:IFN).

This acquisition allows Iberdrola to establish a beachhead in Australia via acquiring one of the country’s most significant renewable energy companies, strongly complementing its Port Augusta hybrid farm project approved in January 2020, and positioning it to participate in the significant expected growth in the Australian renewable market.

DLA Piper’s cross-border, cross-practice team was led by Inigo Gomez-Jordana in Spain and James Stewart in Australia, supported by partners Tom Fotheringham and Lyndon Masters, as well as special counsel Roger Hawkins and solicitor Tarrant Sewell.

The DLA Piper team was able to support Iberdrola through the complexities of the Foreign Investment Review Board approval process, recently amended due to the COVID-19 disruption, and expedited an approval within weeks.

Inigo Gomez-Jordana and James Stewart noted: “We are delighted that our client Iberdrola has successfully completed the takeover of Infigen Energy. Our team was perfectly placed to advise our client on this cross-border transaction, particularly relating to strategies to address a competing bidder and obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approval. This is a fantastic result for Iberdrola, and we are excited to see them expand into the Australian market.”

Hogan Lovells strengthens Australia practice

Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce that Paul Shillington will be joining as a partner in the firm’s Finance practice on 11 May 2020, based in the Perth office. Paul has held private practice and executive roles in Switzerland, Paris and Perth, most recently with leading Australian domestic firm, MinterEllison.

Paul is an oil and gas specialist with more than 20 years’ experience acting in the energy and resources sectors on both transactional and regulatory aspects of deals. His practice focuses on providing clients with advice and assistance on asset acquisition and divestment, private M&A, JV arrangements, development activities and the strategic management of associated disputes.

Commenting on Paul’s arrival, Global Head of the Hogan Lovells Finance practice Matthew Cottis, said: “Paul’s arrival represents the latest step in our plan for the building out and strengthening of the Australian practice which is an increasingly important and attractive region for the global energy and resources sector. Paul’s cross-border experience brings enhanced capability to the team supporting both global clients with operations in Australia as well as domestic Australian companies.”

Paul Shillington added: “I am delighted to be joining the Finance practice at Hogan Lovells. The firm’s global footprint and integrated nature provides the ideal platform for me to further develop my practice and service my clients.”

Hogan Lovells Perth

When major corporations, financial institutions, and governments need practical advice on local, regional, and international corporate and financing transactions they turn to Hogan Lovells.

Herbert Smith Freehills advises on sale of Earnd to Greensill Capital

Herbert Smith Freehills’ private equity and venture capital team has advised on the sale of 100% of Earnd to Greensill Capital. Founded by Josh Vernon and Serge Kotlyarov, Earnd’s platform enables employees to access their pay packet on-demand as they earn it, facilitated through their employer payroll systems.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner and Australian Head of Venture Capital Peter Dunne, consultant Elizabeth Henderson, and solicitor Lisa Alderson.

Elizabeth Henderson said, “Earnd is an incredible example of Australian fintech innovation and business talent. In less than two years, Earnd has grown from a small start-up into a serious challenger in the financial services space. We have enjoyed working with Earnd’s founders and investors who believed in the company and have enabled it to reach this great milestone.”

Earnd’s co-founder and CEO, Josh Vernon, said, “Peter, Elizabeth, Lisa and the team at Herbert Smith Freehills were incredible partners throughout the acquisition process. We felt as if we had a friendly yet deeply professional and competent team on our side and, for a first-time founder, they made the journey a breeze. It was nothing short of a pleasure working with them and we look forward to working together in the future.”

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in Australian venture capital. Other recent examples include:

  • Adairs Limited in its NZ$80 million acquisition of Mocka Group from its founders;
  • Deputy Group on its A$111 million Series B capital raise;
  • Culture Amp on its A$120 million Series E capital raise;
  • Nura on its A$21 million Series A capital raise;
  • Expert360 on its A$12 million Series C capital raise;
  • Roborigger on its Series A capital raise; and
  • Reejig on its Series Seed capital raise.

Pinsent Masons hires construction partner in Melbourne

International law firm Pinsent Masons has hired Phillipa Beck to expand the firm’s Construction Advisory & Disputes team in Australia.

Phillipa is a construction lawyer advising on project delivery and disputes across the energy and infrastructure sectors in Asia Pacific, including Private Public Partnerships (PPP). She joins from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Matthew Croagh, Head of Pinsent Masons Australia said, “There is a strong and expanding pipeline of major projects across Asia Pacific. Philippa brings valuable experience that is well suited to our sector-focused approach. Her skills in advising clients on mega projects developing flexible, innovative solutions that provide the foundation for a project’s successful delivery will be an asset to the firm.”

Phillipa expertise spans risk management, dispute avoidance and all forms of dispute resolution.

Fraser McMillan, Head of Construction Advisory & Disputes in Australia added, “Australia ranks as a world leader in infrastructure development, but challenges around its ability to meet infrastructure demand is set to intensify. Phillipa has the right skillset to work alongside project teams across the firm supporting clients in finding the right solutions to tackle these challenges; whether that be through joint ventures or other frameworks.”

This appointment follows the continued expansion of our infrastructure and energy team in Asia Pacific. Pinsent Masons Australia has more than 100 specialist infrastructure and energy lawyers and business professionals working across our three offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Recent major projects the firm is advising on in Australia include: the A$11 billion North East Link, Victoria’s largest roads project, the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility, Australia’s second only waste-to-energy project and the Stockyard Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the South Hemisphere.

Norton Rose advises consortium of banks on $500m bond issuance

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Dubai (DIFC) Branch, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Société Générale as joint lead managers on a US$500 million bond issuance by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC.

The notes are due February 2025 and were issued off Emirates NBD Bank PJSC’s $12,500,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme, which was updated in July 2019 and on which Norton Rose Fulbright also advised.

The Dubai-based Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by head of debt capital markets for the Middle East, Gregory Man, with assistance from senior associate, Ganna Vlasenko.

Gregory Man commented: “We are proud to have been involved in this transaction. This deal builds on Norton Rose Fulbright’s track record of advising on notable bond transactions in the region and once again provided us with the opportunity to represent many of our leading financial institutions clients.”

About Norton Rose Fulbright

We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3,700 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg.

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