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Three Herbert Smith Freehills partners have been recognised as the leading practitioners in Australia in their areas of expertise at the second annual Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ David Hugo was judged Construction and Infrastructure Partner of the Year. David joined other Herbert Smith Freehills winners Jason Betts, Dispute Resolution and Litigation Partner of the Year, and Philippa Stone, M&A Partner of the Year, both of whom won their respective categories for the second consecutive year.

Sue Gilchrist, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Regional Managing Partner, Asia and Australia said: “It is very pleasing for our three partners to receive the recognition they so richly deserve for the outstanding work they have undertaken over the past year.

“The awards are a testament to not only the talent, experience and expertise they possess and bring to bear every day but also the outstanding work our clients have allowed us to assist them on.

“For Philippa and Jason to win for the second consecutive year speaks to their consistent delivery of legal work of the highest standard, combined with exceptional client service,” Sue said.

Philippa is widely recognised as one of Australia’s top corporate lawyers. She consistently advises on Australia’s market-leading, highest-value acquisitions, including the A$12b Asciano transaction, Yancoal’s A$3.2b acquisition of Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied, STC’s sale of StatePlus, UGL’s response to CIMIC’s A$524.5m takeover bid and Boral’s A$2.1b capital raising.

In 2016 Jason cemented his position as one of Australia’s pre-eminent litigation and class action specialists. He was involved in the defence of 16 significant class action cases before Australian courts, more than any other class action lawyer in Australia. This work included claims against Newcrest Mining, OZ Minerals, WorleyParsons, UGL, Macmahon, Cash Converters, Wilson Security and Iluka Resources.

Jason also acted as lead partner for Johnson & Johnson and DePuy International in defending a number of class actions involving allegations of product defect and negligence in the manufacture of prosthetic hip implants. The 17-week trial was the largest product liability case in Australian legal history.

Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year in Construction and Infrastructure David Hugo has been the lead partner in providing a wide range of legal services to both private and government sector clients on both sides of the country.  Throughout 2016 David advised, and continues to advise, NSW Government (specifically, Health Infrastructure and Treasury) on the roll-out of the ‘Health Partnerships’ program; a number of privately outsourced hospital construction and health service delivery projects for various key facilities and local health districts in NSW using innovative procurement models.  

The awards were presented at a special event in Sydney on 28 April with the winners across 24 categories selected by a panel of 25 judges.