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Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted six new partners in Australia as part of its annual global partner promotions. The new promotions take effect on 1 May 2021.

The new Australian partners and their principal areas of practice are:

Neena Aynsley – Corporate (Energy, Resources and Infrastructure), Melbourne:  Neena has significant expertise in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors including thermal power, renewable energy, coal/minerals, upstream/midstream oil and gas and LNG. Her experience includes advising on large-scale projects, equity investments, joint ventures, acquisitions, divestments and commercial contracts within Australia, Asia, the UK, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Daniel Ficyk  – Projects (Energy, Infrastructure and Construction), Sydney: Daniel has significant experience advising market-leading developers, investors and financiers in relation to the procurement, delivery and operation of major energy, construction and infrastructure projects in Australia and South East Asia. His practice spans clean and renewable energy technologies (including wind, solar, run-of-river and pumped hydro, geothermal, battery storage and hybrid projects), as well as oil and gas, thermal generation and general construction and infrastructure.

Emma Iles – Disputes (Intellectual Property), Melbourne: An intellectual property specialist, Emma has extensive experience in both advisory and contentious matters including multi-jurisdictional patent disputes and international arbitrations. Emma specialises in pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent disputes and has been recognised in the Chambers guide for Life Sciences and as a rising star in the Legal 500 Guide.

Mark Smyth – Disputes, Sydney: Mark is an experienced litigator who regularly advises clients on strategic contentious matters. Mark focuses on regulatory disputes, investigations, inquiries and public law. He has worked across the firm’s global network, including a secondment to the firm’s London office. Mark is the co-author of a leading Australian textbook on public law.

Timothy Stutt – Corporate (ESG and Head Office Advisory), Sydney: Tim is the Australian lead for Herbert Smith Freehills’ ESG, Sustainability and Responsible Business practice and is a senior member of the firm’s Head Office Advisory Team. Tim specialises in corporate governance and has over a decade’s experience helping large corporations with Board advice, market disclosure, risk management, shareholder engagement/activism and other ESG matters. He received his MBA on scholarship at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, and has previous experience working as an investment analyst for a San Francisco Bay Area-based investment manager.

Christine Wong – Disputes (Commercial Litigation and Corporate Crime and Investigations), Sydney: Christine advises clients on significant regulatory, white collar crime and commercial disputes matters, including in the competition space. She has been recognised as a Rising Star in Legal 500 and Doyle’s Guide in these areas. Christine is also part of the firm’s cross-practice privacy and cybersecurity offering.

Commenting on the promotions, Herbert Smith Freehills Executive Partner, East, Andrew Pike said:

“Our annual partner promotions are an important part of our commitment to investing in talent and giving our people great opportunities to progress.

“I’d like to congratulate these six Australian lawyers on their elevation to the firm’s global partnership. These exceptional practitioners possess the keen commercial and strategic insights, industry expertise and leadership skills that our clients have come to expect from Herbert Smith Freehills. I wish them success as they embark on this new stage of their careers.

This year’s global appointments include 23 new partners across 13 cities in the firm’s international network. For the first time, the firm has promoted new partners in its Milan and Johannesburg offices. Women represent 30% of the new partners globally and 50% in Australia.

The other new partners and their principal areas of practice are:


Patrick Leyden Corporate/M&A, Johannesburg    



Irina Akentjeva Corporate/Energy, Singapore        

Antony Crockett ESG/Business and Human Rights, Public International Law, Hong Kong       

Joseph Fisher   Corporate/M&A, Tokyo    

Dana Kim International Arbitration, Corporate Crime and Investigations, Seoul  

Jeremy Shen Corporate/M&A and Equity Capital Markets, Hong Kong           



Julius Brandt Corporate/M&A, Equity Capital Markets and Notarial Expertise, Frankfurt                

Mathias Dantin - Energy and Infrastructure, Paris

Jaime de San Román - Banking Disputes and Restructuring and Insolvency, Madrid

Pietro Pouché - Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation, Milan                    

Ivan Teselkin - Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Moscow               



Michael Aherne – Pensions, London

Andrew Cooke - Commercial Litigation, London

Emma Deas - Banking Litigation, London

Simon Elliott - Real Estate, London

Chris Mann - Finance, London

Fiona Treanor - Insurance Disputes, London



Key contacts

Andrew Pike photo

Andrew Pike

Partner, Sydney

Andrew Pike