JWS takes in two more partners

Firm expands projects and construction and corporate M&A practices with lateral hires in Sydney

JWS takes in two more partners
Avendra Singh and Richard Graham

Johnson Winter & Slattery (JWS) has expanded its projects and construction and corporate M&A practices with lateral hires from two top firms.

The firm has announced the appointments of partners Avendra Singh and Richard Graham in Sydney. The appointments follow those of partners Bruce Adkins and Stuart Clague in January and Peter Smith this month.

Singh joined the firm’s projects and construction practice from Squire Patton Boggs last week. Graham will move to the JWS corporate M&A team from Clifford Chance in May.

“We are increasingly seeing clients looking to work with independent firms that offer a full-service practice. Because of the strength of our platform, quality of our people and ability to deliver cost-effective commercial outcomes, more clients are turning to us for their most complex legal matters,” said Peter Slattery, JWS managing partner.

He said that the firm is highly focused on strengthening its capabilities through several strategic lateral hires.

“This has included appointing five new partners already this year, strengthening our expertise across mergers and acquisitions, projects, energy and resources, and restructuring and insolvency,” he said.

Singh’s expertise is multi-jurisdictional and handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including urban renewal, residential and commercial property, public utilities, public infrastructure, representing major developers, public and private owners, design consultants, project managers, contractors and subcontractors.

His recent mandates included representing Spain in two enforcement proceedings connected to Investment Convention ICSID arbitrations. He also recently represented a public roads authority in a dispute worth more than $100m with an international engineering company.

Graham brought to the firm more than two decades’ experience as a transactional M&A lawyer working across industries that include energy and resources, IT, telecoms, hospitality, healthcare, aged care, and retirement living. He also specialises on advising on major transactions in real estate and infrastructure.

Graham, who says that JWS is a “growing firm with a bright future,” advising Australian and multinational companies, sovereign wealth funds, and financial investors. However, his practice has also services large family offices as well as governments. He has advised AXA Investment Managers, Fujitsu, Mitsui, VINCI Airports, and CBRE Global Investors.

Graham’s recent work includes advising Mondelez on its $460m sale of its Australia and New Zealand grocery business, including Vegemite, to Bega Cheese. He also recently advised Lend Lease Prime Life on the restructure of its management rights over 12 retirement villages. He also worked on the restructure and sale of 80% of APA Group’s gas distribution network in Queensland, a deal that’s worth about $500m.

“During a period when the legal industry in Australia has undergone significant transformation, JWS has carved out its place in the industry as a ‘go-to’ firm for clients undertaking large and complex transactions – both domestic and cross-border – as well as for clients needing assistance with complicated regulatory matters.  At the core of this success – and the attraction for me – is the firm’s genuinely full-service and national platform, delivered by recognised quality practitioners at all level,” he said.

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