In Australia, Herbert Smith Freehills is a leading firm with a client base that includes major international organisations and the majority of Australia’s top 100 listed companies. We value our strong relationships with these clients, relationships that in some cases go back over 150 years.

From offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, our national network of around 800 lawyers and 190 partners advise on: capital markets; competition; compliance and regulatory; construction; corporate; corporate governance and head office advisory; dispute resolution; employment, pensions and incentives; energy; environment and planning; finance; insurance; intellectual property; investigations; investment funds; mergers and acquisitions; mining; private equity; projects and infrastructure; real estate; restructuring, turnaround and insolvency; and tax.

The strength and depth of our teams across both dispute resolution, transactional and advice work enables us to match the most appropriate team to our clients’ unique challenges.

Our clients come from a diverse range of industries including:

  • construction
  • consumer products and retail
  • energy
  • financial services
  • financial buyers
  • government and public sector
  • infrastructure
  • leisure and sport
  • manufacturing, industrials and services
  • mining
  • pharmaceuticals and healthcare
  • real estate
  • technology media and telecommunications
  • transport


  • AXA SA on the A$14 billion acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (AXA APH) by AMP (including AXA SA's majority stake) and the subsequent A$9 billion acquisition by AXA SA of AXA APH's Asian businesses
  • Centro Property Group’s restructure, completed in December 2011, was a deal of unprecedented complexity and represented culmination of four years of work with Centro to achieve this outcome. It included negotiating in a five day lockdown at our Melbourne offices, the deal included the cross-border A$9.4 billion sale of Centro’s US asset portfolio to a fund managed by private equity powerhouse Blackstone Group, and the ‘Aggregation’ merger through stapling of several funds to create the new A$3 billion clean Centro Retail Fund, and debt to equity conversation eliminating A$5 billion of debt. It involved four concurrent, interlinked creditors schemes of arrangement and a members scheme of arrangement to aggregate Centro’s quality Australian assets into a clean triple stapled vehicle, the deal defied conventional wisdom that M&A transactions of managed investment schemes cannot be implemented through Corporations Act schemes of arrangement.
  • China National Offshore Oil Corporate (CNOOC) on its equity investments in and offtake arrangements with the QCLNG project, a significant coal seam gas project in southern Queensland
  • Lend Lease in relation to the World Trade Centre (WTC) clean-up litigation, where over 18,000 plaintiffs sued the City of New York and several prime contractors for respiratory diseases alleged to have resulting from the WTC clean-up operations. The litigation was one of the largest multi-plaintiff actions in the United States with aggregate claim demands of close to $10 billion
  • Queensland Government’s first ever A$550 million PPP project, the Southbank Education and Training precinct, recognised as ‘Best Global Project’ by Public Private Finance

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