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Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted ten lawyers in Australia to its partnership as part of the firm’s annual global promotion round. The promotions take effect on 1 May 2022. 

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

Patrick Clark, Melbourne – Competition, Regulation and Trade (Competition): Patrick specialises in advising clients on complex and contested merger clearances, having had a leading role in two successful challenges to ACCC merger oppositions, and ACCC investigations. He considers that his clients value his ability to develop a deep understanding of their business and speak their commercial language, skills that are critical to success in competition law matters. Patrick has particular experience advising clients in the energy, infrastructure and technology sectors. 

Rachel Dawson, Perth – Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety (Employment/Industrial Relations): Rachel specialises in industrial relations strategy, industrial disputes and enterprise bargaining with a focus on the mining, maritime and oil and gas industries. She is an experienced employment law litigator in the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Western Australia and appears on behalf of clients in the Fair Work Commission, the WA Industrial Relations Commission and Australian courts. 

Wendy Fauvel, Brisbane – Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety (Employment/Industrial Relations): Wendy has a broad practice in all areas of employment law and is a national expert in the field of enterprise bargaining and industrial disputes. Wendy provides advice to clients across Australia on bargaining strategy, the drafting and implementation of enterprise agreements, and responding to industrial action. Wendy also has a particular speciality in assisting private and public sector clients with complex employment and industrial relations litigation. 

Mark Hatfull, Perth – Corporate (Energy and Resources): Mark advises clients on transactions and projects in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. He has extensive experience in upstream oil and gas, pipelines, LNG (including import and regasification projects), power, renewables, decarbonisation, and mining. His core experience covers mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, construction and procurement and commodity sales and transportation.  

Nerida Jessup, Sydney – Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety (Workplace Health and Safety): Nerida is a safety lawyer who is experienced in providing advice on the management of serious safety incidents. She regularly acts in safety prosecutions and coronial inquests, and advises employers and Boards about safety governance issues. She advises public and private sector clients on work health and safety issues in a range of industries including rail, mining, construction, energy, manufacturing and financial services. 

Jason Jordan, Melbourne – Corporate (M&A): Jason advises Australian and international clients on a range of public and private transactions including takeovers, schemes of arrangement, negotiated acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and shareholder arrangements. He has worked on some of the largest and most complex public and private M&A transactions in the Australian market. Jason’s public M&A expertise and experience includes being the current co-author of the Takeovers chapter of Robson’s Annotated Corporations Legislation and previously acting as an adviser to the Takeovers Panel on legal and commercial issues. 

Olga Klimczak, Perth – Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety (Employment/Industrial Relations): Olga has expertise advising on employment, industrial relations, diversity and workplace health and safety issues in the energy and mining sectors. Her experience includes advising on recruitment, termination of employment and post-employment restraints, workplace investigations, performance and discipline issues, occupational health and safety, and regulatory investigations and prosecution. 

Alex Mackinnon, Melbourne – Corporate (Equity Capital Markets and M&A): Alex has over a decade’s experience advising Australian companies on a range of corporate transactions focusing on initial public offerings, secondary raisings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructures. Whilst Alex has worked on some of Australia’s landmark initial public offerings he also has a particular interest in high growth technology companies and has advised on numerous pre-IPO capital raisings and follow on IPOs in this sector. 

Niresha Mudalige, Melbourne – Real Estate (Commercial Property): Niresha specialises in commercial property matters across a variety of sectors, with a focus on acquisitions and disposals, commercial contracts, development projects and commercial and industrial leasing. Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills in 2017, Niresha was senior in-house counsel at Viva Energy (previously Shell Australia’s downstream business) responsible for all property and environmental legal matters in Australia. She also has a keen interest in legal and digital transformation.  

Aoife Xuereb, Melbourne – Disputes (Commercial Litigation/Class Actions): Aoife is an experienced commercial litigator with specialist expertise in defending class actions and product liability litigation. She has defended ASX200 and multinational companies across a variety of sectors in some of Australia’s largest class actions and in complex commercial litigation. Aoife has also practised in Ireland.    

Herbert Smith Freehills CEO Justin D’Agostino said: "This is a diverse, outstanding group of bright, talented lawyers and future leaders of our firm. In a world that's changing very rapidly – and with many challenges on the horizon – these new partners have demonstrated the skills and leadership qualities that we need to cement our position as a leading international law firm."

Chair and Senior Partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage added: "Our talented new partners presented a brilliant opportunity to invest heavily in the future of our firm, to ensure we continue to have the depth and experience to deliver the best service to clients, challenge ourselves to step our innovation up yet another notch, and achieve the aims of our Ambition 2025 strategy."

"The skills of these outstanding lawyers further enhance our firm's traditional strengths and invest in strategic growth areas such as private capital, energy and infrastructure, ESG, digital and legal transformation. The talented and energy of this diverse group reflects the depth and breadth of our global business and have the expertise and experience to support our clients' evolving needs and strengthen our client base." 

Executive Partner, East, Andrew Pike said: “I’d like to congratulate these ten talented individuals on their promotions to the firm’s global partnership. They have all the attributes to be leaders in their fields and the skills to meet the emerging needs of our clients. I look forward to seeing their careers continue to blossom."

This year’s global appointments include 34 new partners across 14 cities - the largest cohort of partner promotions in the firm's history. Fourteen (41%) of this year's partner promotions are women including six of the ten new partners in Australia.  

Andrew Pike said: “We are proud to have been the first large commercial law firm in Australia to have appointed a female partner in the 1970s and so seeing our Australian offices now reach 36% female partners and exceed our 35% target is important progress.” 

 The other new partners across the firm’s international network are:


·       James Allsop, Tokyo – International Arbitration/Corporate Crime and Investigations  

·       Cellia Cognard, Jakarta – Corporate/M&A*  

·       Harry Evans, Singapore – Corporate (TMT/Life Sciences) 

·       Jin Kong, Hong Kong – Corporate (Capital Markets)*  

·       Dan Waldek, Singapore – International Arbitration/Construction and Infrastructure Disputes


·       Cameron Dunstan-Smith, Johannesburg – Corporate Crime and Investigations  

·       Phil Hanson, Dubai – Projects and Project Finance  

·       Jonathan Ripley-Evans, Johannesburg – International Arbitration  

·       Laurence Vincent, Paris – Corporate/M&A  

·       Chris Walters, Dubai – Corporate/M&A   


·       Dhananjaya (DJ) Chak, London – Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance   

·       Kathryn Coveney, London – Real Estate  

·       Joseph Dennis, London – Private Equity  

·       Heidi Gallagher, London – Corporate/M&A  

·       Lyn Harris, Belfast – Alternative Legal Services (Disputes)  

·       Josh Lom, London – Corporate (Tax)  

·       Ajay Malhotra, London – Banking Litigation 

·       Antonia Pegden, London – Disputes (Insurance, Professional Negligence and Pensions) 

·       Rebecca Perlman, London – Corporate (ESG and Impact Investment) 

·       Siddhartha Shukla, London – Corporate (Cross-border M&A/Tech)   

·       Sebastian Taylor, London – Real Estate  

·       Andrew Wells, London – Disputes (Intellectual Property) 

·       Nick Wright, London – Employment  


·       Jonathan Cross, New York – Corporate Crime and Investigations  

 Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung   

·       Stephanie, Jakarta – Corporate/M&A 

Key contacts

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage photo

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage

Chair and Senior Partner, Sydney

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage
Justin D'Agostino photo

Justin D'Agostino

Chief Executive Officer and Partner, Hong Kong

Justin D'Agostino
Andrew Pike photo

Andrew Pike

Partner, Sydney

Andrew Pike