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Stefanie Wilkinson

Partner

Stefanie is a partner, specialising in advising ASX-listed public companies on corporate governance issues.

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Experience

The Head Office Advisory Team advises 60% of ASX 20 companies on corporate governance issues and over 30% of ASX 100 companies.
 
As a partner of the Head Office Advisory Team, Stefanie specialises in providing strategic, specialised advice and guidance in relation to public company governance across a range of industry groups, including with respect to market disclosure, market practice and emerging trends, shareholder engagement and activism, and economic, sustainability and governance (ESG) matters.
 
The Head Office Advisory Team was awarded Commercial Team of the Year at the 2018 and 2019 Australian Law Awards.
 
Stefanie is one of Australia’s leading advisers on corporate governance and executive remuneration for companies who are seeking to list on the ASX and is responsible for transitioning clients following IPO. She recently led the corporate governance and executive remuneration for the demerger of Coles Group by Wesfarmers, which was awarded 2019 Australasian Deal of the Year and M&A Deal of the Year at the Australasian Law Awards and is considered Australia’s second largest transaction. 
 
She also advised Healthscope on corporate governance and incentives through its IPO and until its most recent takeover by Brookfield, which was nominated for 2020 M&A Deal of the Year at the Australasian Law Awards.
 
Stefanie has been listed in Best Lawyers as one of Australia’s leading corporate governance lawyers in 2019 and 2020.
 
Prior to focusing on head office advisory issues, Stefanie’s main area of practice was mergers and acquisitions. Stefanie’s M&A background and on-going transactional experience assists her to advise on the Corporations Act and ASX requirements relevant to IPOs and other significant capital raisings and the structuring of major transactions involving listed companies, including related Board and shareholder approval issues. 
 
Stefanie is a market disclosure specialist and her experience includes:
 
  • responding to emerging governance issues and navigating sensitive board-level matters, including on the governance and disclosure impacts of COVID-19 
  • acting for numerous listed companies in relation to their market disclosure and shareholder engagement issues, including significant market downgrades, annual reporting , contentious annual general meetings and company transforming transactions
  • guiding companies in relation to regulatory investigations, market infringement proceedings and class actions
  • assisting with responding to shareholder activism, including environmental issues and human rights
  • advising on corporate governance issues such as directors’ duties and liabilities, board composition and effectiveness, general board policies and company policies (such as share trading and market disclosure)
  • advising on director and senior executive remuneration issues, including in connection with director and CEO performance, succession, remuneration structuring and disclosure, and insider trading obligations
  • advising on company culture matters and risk management including whistleblowing
 
Stefanie has advised on the demerger of Coles Group by Wesfarmers (2018), and some of Australia’s largest the IPOs including Netwealth Group (2017) (Awarded Best IPO of 2017 by FinanceAsia), Reliance Worldwide Corporation (2016) (Australia’s largest IPO in 2016), Inghams (2016), Autosports Group (2016), Aventus REIT (2015), Murray Goulburn (2015), Pepper Group (2015), Integral Diagnostics (2015), Adairs (2015), Lovisa (2014), Healthscope (2014) (Australia’s largest IPO in 2014 and since 2010), Aconex (2014), Japara Healthcare (2014), Regis Healthcare (2014), SG Fleet (2014), Speedcast (2014), Pact Group (2013)(Australia’s largest IPO in 2013), McAleese Group (2013), Telstra 2 and Telstra 3 (among the biggest Australian and largest worldwide offerings to date), Pacific Brands (2004), Just Group (2004), Promina Group (2003) (largest global IPO of 2003), and JB HiFi (2003).
 
Stefanie has co-authored a chapter in Chambers’ Corporate Governance 2019 Guide on governance in Australia and a chapter in Chambers’ Shareholder Rights 2019 Guide.

Background

Stefanie holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts degrees from University of Melbourne. Stefanie also holds a Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne.
 
Stefanie is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. She also acts as an advisory member of the audit committee of the Parliament of Victoria and is the Primary Compliance Officer of the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal.
 
From 2005-2011, Stefanie worked for Allen & Overy LLP in the Middle East in international mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory.