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Three Herbert Smith Freehills partners have secured four prestigious 2018 Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards. 

Partners Philippa Stone and Jason Betts took home the Commercial Partner of the Year and Dispute Resolution and Litigation Partner of the Year Awards respectively. It is the third consecutive year that the pair have won awards at the event, being recognised as the leading lawyers in their fields of expertise.

Partner Michael Vrisakis won the Financial Services Partner of the Year Award, and also took home a second award: the Partner of the Year Excellence Award.

The gala event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney on Friday 15 June, with the winners across 24 industry categories, along with the 25th ‘Excellence’ category, selected by a panel of 24 judges.

Andrew Pike, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Regional Managing Partner, Asia and Australia said: “It is wonderful to see three of our leading partners recognised for their expertise, commitment and level of service they provide their clients.

“Philippa and Jason continue to demonstrate an astounding level of commitment to their clients and to thought leadership. The fact they have taken home awards three years in a row shows that the legal industry recognises the unique expertise and skill set they provide,” he said.

“It is great to see Michael’s expertise in the Financial Services sector recognised. In a sector that is coming under increasing scrutiny, it is pleasing to see recognition of Michael’s tireless efforts in shaping the regulatory environment.”

“It was also wonderful to see Michael taking home the Partner of the Year Excellence Award to cap off an amazing night for him and the firm.”

“These partners each lead exceptional teams, and they acknowledge that this recognition extends to their team members.

“We pride ourselves on developing the best legal talent in the market and working with partners like Philippa, Jason and Michael is a big part of this.”

Philippa is widely recognised as one of Australia’s top corporate lawyers. She consistently advises on Australia’s market-leading, highest-value acquisitions, including advising Yancoal Australia on its A$3.2 billion acquisition of Coal & Allied Industries Limited from Rio Tinto and the associated A$3.1 billion capital raising, Woodside Petroleum on its A$2.5 billion equity raising, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and other members of its consortium on the A$13.245 billion joint takeover bid of Asciano Limited, STC’s sale of StatePlus, UGL’s response to CIMIC’s A$524.5 million takeover bid and Boral’s A$2.1 billion capital raising.

Jason is one of Australia’s premier class action lawyers and also specialises in complex litigation, crisis management and regulatory investigations and prosecutions. He has acted in Australia’s largest class actions, including the majority of Australia’s major securities litigation. Jason continues to be a key class actions advisor to Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AMP, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, WorleyParsons, Iluka, Cash Converters, UGL, Macmahon and Wilson Security and is in consistently high demand from clients across all sectors. He has one of the largest class action practices in Australia.

Michael is widely recognised as a market leader and authority in the area of non-contentious regulation. His advice is routinely sought in relation to strategic management of regulatory matters, including liaising with APRA and ASIC. Michael has been at the leading edge in terms of commenting on, and inputting into the formulation and trajectory of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation.