Australasian Lawyer's Hot 40 for 2014

Australasian Lawyer reveals 2014's 40 hottest private practice lawyers working in the trans-Tasman legal market

Australasian Lawyer's Hot 40 for 2014
Australasian Lawyer's Hot 40 for 2014Hot 40 2014: The 40 inspiring lawyers shaking the industry up

Australasian Lawyer reveals 2014's 40 hottest private practice lawyers working in the trans-Tasman legal market

What makes a lawyer ‘hot’? 

It’s got nothing to do with looks, if you’re curious. In compiling this list of Australia and New Zealand’s standout legal talent, Australasian Lawyer has been burning the midnight oil researching the region’s prominent dealmakers and lawyers who have made the headlines.

What this feature seeks to achieve is to profile lawyers who have stood out among their peers in some way. It’s not all about deals. All manner of achievements were considered. This included non-transaction areas, pro bono work, involvement in a landmark case or judgment, or a result that defied the odds.

Lawyers featured here could also have simply been water-cooler talk – a result of being involved in something that, from an industry standpoint, was nothing other than interesting or amusing.

Of course, being included in listings such as this is a significant achievement, but we should remember that many commendable lawyers never receive such accolades for one reason or another.

Thus, Australasian Lawyer’s HOT 40 does not purport to be an exhaustive listing of meritorious achievement.

Lawyers were chosen for this feature based on submissions received from firms; nominations made on our website (; and, in the dealmakers section, a look at those lawyers fronting significant deals that have made the news.

The Hot 40:

The intrepid lawyers breaking new ground in the legal industry

As industries go, the legal market is a tough nut to crack. Not only is it fiercely competitive – it’s becoming increasingly global. Demands on firms to provide more for less intensify every year and the cost of failing to adapt is high. In this section, we pay homage to a handful of lawyers who have reached incredible heights in the business of running a law firm. These lawyers have played key roles in their firms’ strategies to tap into new markets, transform their client base and grow their practice areas.
Name Profile Picture Firm
Stuart Fuller Stuart Fuller King & Wood Mallesons
Sue Kench Sue Kench King & Wood Mallesons
Les Koltai Les Koltai DLA Piper
John Poulsen John Poulsen Squire Sanders
Malcolm Shelton-Agar Malcolm Shelton-Agar Jackson McDonald
Stephen Webb Stephen Webb DLA Piper
John Mann John Mann K&L Gates
John Denton John Denton Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Mark Treisman Mark Treisman Chandlers Chandlers International Lawyers

The legal pros who have headlined the deals environment

It’s a tough life running the marketing function of a corporate law firm. In theory, the firm is a team, a collective where the efforts and kudos are shared in equal measure among the partners. The reality is somewhat different. Every firm has their big dealmaker – the lawyer whose name seems to appear on every significant deal. This section recognises the lawyers who have advised on not only the biggest deals, but also on deals that were newsworthy, defied the odds or were just plain fascinating.

Name Profile Picture Firm
Nick Humphrey Nick Humphrey Sparke Helmore
Lee MacDonald Lee MacDonald Ashurst
Virginia Briggs Virginia Briggs Minter Ellison
Brynn Gilbertson Brynn Gilbertson Bell Gully
Anthony Latimer Australasian Lawyer's Hot 40 for 2014
Norton Rose Fulbright
Alan Maxton Alan Maxton Allens
David Holland David Holland Baker & Mckenzie
Gavin Smith Gavin Smith Allens
Graeme Quigley Graeme Quigley Russell McVeagh
Steven Tang Steven Tang Maddocks
Daniel Livingston Daniel Livingstone Mills Oakley Lawyers
Tony Sparks Tony Sparks Allen & Overy
Roger Wallis Roger Wallis Chapman Tripp
Tracy Renshaw Tracy Renshaw Clifford Chance

Lawyers who have had a notable or career defining year

Old wisdom suggests that some lawyers are born great, others achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. Whatever was the case for the lawyers here, this section honours those who have had a reason to pinpoint 2013 or 2014 as particularly noteworthy years in their careers. This could be for a variety of reasons: a significant case, a ruling with far reaching consequences for the industry or taking on work that involved navigating some considerable hurdles.
Name Profile Picture Firm
Amanda Banton Amanda Banton Piper Alderman
Ashley Wharton Ashley Warton Ashurst
Tony Damian Tony Damian Herbert Smith Freehills
Cris Cureton Cris Cureton Squire Sanders
Ian Robertson Ian Robertson Holding Redlich
Rachel Storey Rachel Storey Rachel Storey & Associates
Colleen Platford Colleen Platford Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
Moya Dodd Moya Dodd Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
Richard Anicich Richard Anicich Sparke Helmore

Lawyers who have contributed to the greater good through pro bono work, mentoring or pursuing noble causes

Australian and New Zealand lawyers are known for having a heart – and big ones at that. Lawyers devote a sizeable portion of their time every year to advancing good causes and often this is motivated by nothing more than altruism. These lawyers haven’t celebrated diversity, advised communities or advanced charitable causes to get the spotlight, but just this once we’re giving them the pat on the back they deserve.
Name Profile Picture Firm
Athena Koelmeyer Athena Koelmeyer Workplace Law
Campbell Hudson Campbell Hudson Gadens
Darren Fittler Darren Fittler Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
Fran Rush Fran Rush Clayton Utz
Kate Jordan Kate Jordan Clayton Utz
Orla McCoy Orla McCoy Clayton Utz
Jen Crawford Jen Crawford Anderson Lloyd
Sandy Mak Sandy Mak Corrs Chambers Westgarth

To read the full feature, download Australasian Lawyer's Hot 40 2014 feature on PDF.

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