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Herbert Smith Freehills has announced that Sydney partner Peter Dunne is today joining long-term client SafetyCulture as VP Corporate Development and General Counsel in a part-time capacity. Peter, who continues to work in Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading Venture Capital practice, is one of Australia’s leading venture capital and private equity lawyers, specialising in private capital raisings and M&A.

SafetyCulture, the global operations platform which empowers working teams to drive improvements in the workplace, is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Australia. Dunne recently supported SafetyCulture’s funding round which saw it reach an AU$2.2 billion valuation in May 2021.

Dunne advises on multibillion-dollar transactions, including acquisitions, buy-outs, and joint ventures and has acted on behalf of Australia’s largest technology brands. His clients include Atlassian, Canva, Deputy, CultureAmp, Linktree, Campaign Monitor, Expert 360, ShoreTrade, Gamurs, Big Red Group, Finder, Slocoach, Different Technologies, Reejig, Rosemary Health, Social Garden and others. Additionally, in 2018, Dunne led the negotiation of employee share scheme reforms for startup entities, which were ultimately adopted by the Federal Government.

In his role at SafetyCulture, Peter is responsible for establishing a corporate development team and the acceleration of SafetyCulture’s growing partnership model. Peter also continues to be a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and a co-head of the firm’s Venture Capital practice, working on a part-time basis alongside the firm’s other co-heads of VC, Clayton James, Elizabeth Henderson and Claire Thompson.

Managing Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Corporate Practice Carolyn Pugsley commented, “We’re incredibly excited for Peter to be able to take on the SafetyCulture appointment. The experience he will gain through the SafetyCulture role will further enhance the credibility and insight he brings to his continuing role at Herbert Smith Freehills. Peter has invested over several years in building a market-leading team around him, so going forward his focus will remain on providing strategic support to clients and mentoring our next generation of practice leaders.”

CEO of SafetyCulture Luke Anear added: “No one knows the VC world like Peter does. He has been instrumental in some of the biggest tech deals and his contribution to the Australian technology industry is incalculable. This is a strategic move for SafetyCulture. Peter has been advising us for years from the outside, but as our growth has accelerated, so has our need to build out the capability of our in-house team to continue to capitalise on this success. We are excited for Peter to bring his deep experience to SafetyCulture as we continue to grow and expand globally.”

Peter said, “I have been fortunate to work closely with some amazing businesses, and some incredible founders. SafetyCulture was one of the early companies I started working for in the venture space. Luke and I hit it off from the start. I love his vision and sense of energy; roll the sleeves up, and get going. HSF taught me that. It is the same at SafetyCulture. I am excited about working with an exceptional senior leadership team. I’ve always respected SafetyCulture’s vision and the big problems the team is trying to solve. I can’t wait to be a part of that.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Herbert Smith Freehills is the leading venture capital law firm in Australia, having acted on the largest and highest-profile VC transactions in the market. The firm has also been recognised as a leading VC firm in the Asia Pacific, ranking 4th by deal count for Venture Capital Deals in Asia-Pacific in Preqin’s 2019-20 league tables. HSF was the only law firm in Australia to be ranked.
  • The firm regularly acts for entrepreneurial and high growth start-up and scale-up companies and also advises investors, including venture capital firms, private equity houses, family offices and corporate venture arms of major companies on venture capital and non-control private investment.

Key contacts

Peter Dunne photo

Peter Dunne

Co-Head of Venture Capital, Sydney

Peter Dunne
Clayton James photo

Clayton James

Partner, Sydney

Clayton James
Elizabeth Henderson photo

Elizabeth Henderson

Partner, Co-Head of Venture Capital (Australia), Sydney

Elizabeth Henderson
Claire Thompson photo

Claire Thompson

Co-Head of Venture Capital (Australia), Melbourne

Claire Thompson