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Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has promoted ten lawyers in Australia to its global partnership, effective 1 May 2023.

The promotions – the firm’s largest in Australia for the second consecutive year – reflect Herbert Smith Freehills’ ongoing commitment to investing in its people. 

The new partners will bolster the firm’s market-leading practice groups and further strengthen its capabilities in key strategic growth areas including private capital, energy transition and ESG.

The new Australian partners are:

Jane Ballard, Perth – Energy and Resources: Jane advises clients on transactions and projects in the energy and natural resources sectors, including in relation to oil and gas, pipelines, power, renewables, decarbonisation, new energy and mining. Within these sectors, Jane’s experience covers mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, commodity sales and transportation. Jane has previously worked in the firm’s London office and is qualified in both England and Australia.  

Melissa Gladstone, Sydney – Disputes (Class Actions / Commercial Litigation): Melissa is a commercial litigator specialising in class actions and contentious regulatory work. She has extensive experience defending ASX200 companies in some of Australia’s largest class actions and complex commercial litigation. Melissa is also a valued advisor to her clients on matters of class action and regulatory risk, providing clear and commercial advice to clients across a range of sectors, particularly financial services, mining and consumer.

Elizabeth Henderson, Sydney – Corporate (Venture Capital and M&A): Elizabeth is co-head of the firm’s Venture Capital practice in Australia. She advises on transactions over the full life cycle of business creation and expansion, including early stage and expansion capital raising, acquisitions for growth, M&A and other liquidity transactions. Over her career, she has had extensive experience in public and private M&A, equity and debt capital transactions, commercial agreements and joint ventures across a wide range of industries, including technology, financial services, media and infrastructure. Prior to joining HSF in her current role, she held a number of senior management roles at a leading Australian bank, including in its technology group.

Tom Hoare, Sydney – Corporate (Private Equity): Tom specialises in advising financial sponsors, listed companies and founders on private treaty transactions, and he has experience acting in relation to leveraged acquisitions, disposals, restructures, capital raisings, joint ventures, management equity and W&I insurance. Prior to joining the firm, Tom worked for a number of years at the Macquarie Group and has also garnered valuable in-house experience from a secondment as legal counsel at a leading Australian private equity firm. 

Anne Hoffmann, Sydney – Disputes (Insurance and Financial Services): Anne is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer with a particular focus on the insurance and financial services sectors. She has advised clients in a number of complex commercial litigation proceedings in Australia and overseas relating to a wide variety of issues. She has acted for policyholders on claims and coverage issues in relation to all types of insurance and financial services firms in investigations and proceedings brought by regulators including ASIC, APRA and ACCC.

Michael Lake, Sydney – Disputes (Construction and Infrastructure): Michael is a construction and infrastructure dispute resolution specialist. His sector experience is broad, with a particular focus on infrastructure (road, rail, social infrastructure), energy transition, and commercial construction projects. Michael advises on issues arising at all stages of a project’s lifecycle, and regularly during project delivery. He has a strong track record of effectively managing and resolving disputes when they arise, using both formal and alternative dispute resolution processes.

Amelia Morgan, Sydney – Corporate (M&A): Amelia advises clients on a range of corporate transactions, including public and private mergers and acquisitions and both domestic and cross-border transactions. She has acted on some of the largest and most transformative Australian public and private M&A deals in recent years across various industries and sectors, including the energy, financial services and consumer sectors. Amelia is the author of ‘Takeover Funding: The Rhyme of the Modern Mariner’ in Towns Under Siege, a major book on contemporary issues in takeovers. Amelia is also the co-editor of, and a contributing author to, a new book on corporate law to be published in late 2023.

Stephanie Panayi, Sydney – Competition, Regulation & Trade: Stephanie is a seasoned competition and consumer lawyer with extensive expertise in mergers and merger remedies, cartel investigations and litigation, joint venture arrangements, investigations and enforcement action by the ACCC and complex anti-trust litigation. She also brings international and in-house experience to bear for clients, having previously worked at the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore and at a major Australian bank. Stephanie advises clients across the banking and finance, telecommunications, retail, transport, media and regulated industries.

Adam Roberts, Sydney – Finance (Real Estate, Corporate and Acquisition Finance): Adam specialises in banking and finance matters across a variety of sectors, with a focus on domestic and cross-border real estate, corporate and acquisition financing transactions. He has acted for lenders and borrowers on some of the largest and most complex financing transactions in the Australian market.

Lauren Selby, Sydney – Corporate (Head Office Advisory): Lauren specialises in providing advice to Boards and corporate head offices on public company governance, including legal and regulatory requirements, market practice and emerging trends. She has significant experience in advising clients on continuous disclosure obligations, board issues (including directors’ duties, board composition and effectiveness, and board reporting), shareholder activist campaigns, stakeholder engagement, and shareholder meetings. She has also worked on the corporate governance and executive remuneration aspects of IPOs and mergers and acquisitions.

The firm’s incoming Executive Partner for Australia and Asia, Kristin Stammer, said: “Developing and promoting the next generation of talented lawyers ensures that we can continue to do outstanding work for our clients and deliver on our ambitious firm strategy.

“I congratulate each of these new partners on their promotion. They each have the wide-ranging abilities and experience required of a successful partner. Of course, they are all technically excellent, but they also possess strong business acumen, proven client relationship capabilities and outstanding leadership skills.

“They are well respected by their colleagues and clients, with a strong track record of collaboration and positive contributions to our culture. I wish them every success as they enter the partnership and embark on this next stage of their careers at the firm.

“The new partners work in our market-leading practices, as well as many of them in our key growth areas, including private capital, energy transition and ESG. These areas play to our strengths and represent huge opportunities for our clients and our business, which is why we continue to invest heavily in them.”

Key contacts

Kristin Stammer photo

Kristin Stammer

Executive Partner, East, Sydney

Kristin Stammer