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Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted eight talented lawyers to Executive Counsel or Special Counsel roles in Australia as part of its annual global Counsel promotion round. The appointments take effect from 1 May 2021.

Executive Partner, East, Andrew Pike said: “These promotions are a testament to the high degree of talent within the firm in Australia and across our global network.

“Our new Counsel are experts in their fields, with specialised knowledge and exceptional client service skills. They are a great asset to Herbert Smith Freehills and our clients and I wish them all the best as they step into their new roles.”

The new Australian appointments are:

Executive Counsel

Cecilia Mehl – Corporate (Equity Capital Markets), Melbourne: Cecilia specialises in equity capital markets and has experience advising listed and unlisted companies and managed investment schemes on a range of large, complex transactions including initial public offerings, secondary capital raisings, corporate restructures and public and private M&A. She also advises clients on a range of general corporate, corporate governance and ASX listing rule matters.

Kate Meikle – Disputes (Commercial Litigation / Regulatory Investigations & Inquiries), Sydney: Kate is a litigation and disputes lawyer with significant expertise in regulatory investigations, commissions of inquiry and complex commercial disputes. She has advised major financial institutions, corporations and individuals in relation to regulatory enforcement proceedings and inquiries and has acted for entities in the mining, media and technology sectors. Kate has excellent insight into client-focussed outcomes and challenges faced by financial service providers after working as an in-house counsel during the Banking Royal Commission and completing secondments at several other large financial institutions.

Adam Parkin – Finance (Asset Finance), Sydney:  Adam is a finance lawyer, specialising in structured and asset finance. He has extensive experience advising airlines, lessors, lessees, borrowers and leading Australian and international banks on a broad spectrum of complex leasing, structured finance and corporate finance transactions, in particular in relation to aviation, shipping, equipment financing (including yellow goods) and cross-border leasing. 

Amy Repse – Finance (Corporate Finance, Debt Capital Markets & Securitisation), Melbourne: Amy is an experienced finance lawyer specialising in corporate loan facilities, debt capital markets transactions and structured financings in Australia, Europe/Asia and the United States. She has more than 14 years’ experience advising borrowers, lenders, issuers and arrangers across a range of industries and regularly advises on complex domestic and cross border financial transactions.

David Rowan – Real Estate, Perth: David is an experienced real estate lawyer. He has acted on a range of high profile and complex real estate transactions, including sales and acquisitions of significant commercial assets, major leasing transactions (representing both lessors and lessees), development joint ventures and development management arrangements. David also advises on tenure acquisition and requirements for major infrastructure and development projects (including renewable energy projects) and on other tenure and property related matters.

Leah Watterson – Disputes (Class Actions), Melbourne: Leah is a commercial litigator with expertise in class actions, corporations and securities law, corporate governance and regulatory matters. She has acted for numerous ASX listed clients facing complex multi-party securities class actions, ASIC investigations and contentious regulatory matters. Leah has extensively considered the issue of causation in securities class actions and her work has been published in leading texts and journals.


Special Counsel

Catherine Pase – Employment, Industrial Relations & Safety (Employment), Melbourne: Catherine is an expert in the field of industrial relations and has a broad practice in all areas of employment law. She has experience advising clients on enterprise bargaining strategies, industrial disputes and complex workplace relations projects and initiatives. Catherine also regularly acts as an advocate for her clients in both industrial and employment litigation.

Ellen Tarasenko – Real Estate (Environment, Planning & Community), Melbourne: Ellen advises on a wide range of projects, including urban renewal and redevelopment schemes, renewable energy projects and major transport infrastructure developments. She specialises in developing strategies for gaining necessary approvals and advising on compliance with planning, heritage and environmental laws, and manages planning litigation in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Planning Panels Victoria.

Executive Counsels and Special Counsels are highly skilled and experienced senior lawyers. While the roles are commensurate in level, Special Counsels differ from Executive Counsels in that they specialise in a particular niche area of law.

These Counsel appointments follow the recent promotion of 23 lawyers to Herbert Smith Freehills’ global partnership, including six in Australia, and the promotion of Bianca Janovic to Pro Bono Counsel (Australia).


Key contacts

Andrew Pike photo

Andrew Pike

Partner, Sydney

Andrew Pike

Australia Brisbane Melbourne Perth Sydney Andrew Pike