White & Case opens in Sydney with ex-HSF partners

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White & Case has confirmed the opening of its Sydney office and has put in place the 10 former Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partners, who will initially serve as senior lawyers.

Following the conclusion of a recent high-profile litigation case in Sydney, White & Case has confirmed the 10 project finance partners defecting from HSF have joined the firm as senior lawyers initially, due to restrictive covenants of the HSF Australia partnership deeds.

The new hires from HSF are Brendan Quinn, Andrew Clark, Alan Rosengarten, Josh Sgro, Tim Power, Jared Muller and Joanne Draper in Melbourne; Joel Rennie in Sydney; Fergus Smith in Hong Kong; and Matthew Osborne in Singapore.

In the newly opened Sydney office, Rennie will be joined by former fellow HSF senior lawyer Cameron Watson, who joined White & Case last year and was promoted to partner in January 2017.

The opening of the Sydney office is thought to have been delayed by the HSF’s legal challenge. It comes four months after the launch of the firm’s Melbourne office in November 2016, with Melbourne-based former HSF senior associates Adeline Pang, Ged Cochrane and special counsel Michelle Keen, who have joined the US firm as partners.

The court case was filed by HSF in February against eight of the 10 partners who are leaving to launch White & Case’s Melbourne and Sydney offices.

On 2 March, New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Robert McDougall ruled in favour of the 166 HSF partners who brought the claim, and the global LLP. The decision came on the day the eight partners were supposed to officially start at White & Case, having completed a six-month notice period following their resignations last September 2016.

The court ruling means they can join the firm from 2 March, but as non-partner practitioners for six months. They are also now subject to restrictions that stop them from poaching HSF’s clients and employees until 2 September 2017.

White & Case Asia Pacific head Eric Berg said: “These individuals are market leading lawyers who have unparalleled experience advising on top tier projects throughout Australia, Asia-Pacific and other international jurisdictions.”

White & Case head of global energy, infrastructure and project finance Art Scavone said: “Adding lawyers of this caliber is a unique opportunity for the firm and represents a significant step as we grow our role advising clients across the Asia-Pacific region on their most complex, cross-border matters.”

The group of 10 former HSF partners are understood to have around £20m in combined revenue. Following their resignation in September 2016, 34 lawyers and several support staff have reportedly resigned to join White & Case in Australia.

The post White & Case opens in Sydney with ex-HSF partners appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law.



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