Ladies light up Sparke Helmore’s partnership

Women made up over 60% of the lawyers elevated in the firm’s latest promotions cycle

Ladies light up Sparke Helmore’s partnership
Anella Bortone, Emma Gruschka, Naomi Simmons

Three women have been named partners in Sparke Helmore’s latest promotions cycle.

Anella Bortone, Emma Gruschka and Naomi Simmons are part of the firm’s insurance statutory lines, workplace and corporate and commercial practices, respectively. They operate from Sparke Helmore’s NSW branches in Sydney and Newcastle.

“I’m so proud to see the appointment of Anella, Emma and Naomi to our growing partnership. For such outstanding people, from different practice groups, to come through our ranks just demonstrates the depth of talent that we have developing nationally,” national managing partner Phillip Salem said.

Salem added that the three new partners are all home-grown talent.

“These three exceptionally talented lawyers – who are recognised as leaders in their respective areas of law and who are also wonderful people – have each been part of the Sparke Helmore family since shortly after their admission to practice,” he said.

Bortone focuses on the Commonwealth statutory classes of insurance claims. She manages litigated matters and offers strategic pre-litigation advice to her clients, which include insurers, self-insurers, employers, government agencies and companies.

She has helped to mount a successful defence before the High Court, and is part of the Law Council of Australia’s Commonwealth compensation and employment law committee.

Gruschka has a wealth of experience in employment and WHS matters. She has advised CEOs, HR and WHS executives and operations managers on internal investigations and disciplinary matters, as well as unfair dismissal and general protections claims.

She has tackled matters related to enterprise bargaining, terms and conditions of employment and organisational restructures; moreover, she has assisted in developing WHS policies and procedures. She has also advised on legislative compliance and worked across a variety of sectors like healthcare and government.

Simmons concentrates on local government and planning law, in which she is an accredited specialist. She has been involved in Land and Environment Court litigation, and has provided input on NSW planning and environment legislation.

She has drafted and negotiated planning agreements, and is also an experienced practitioner of environment law. She has represented in planning appeals and played roles in pollution investigations and prosecutions.

Bortone, Gruschka and Simmons are among the women who comprise 65% of Sparke Helmore’s promotions round this year. On 12 July, the firm also announced the elevation of the following 27 lawyers to senior roles:

Special counsel

  • Jon Tyne – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Alice Bain – government, Adelaide
  • Gary Khoo – government, Canberra
  • Laura Hinwood – government, Canberra
  • Tom Hillyard – government, Sydney
  • Kellie Latta – insurance statutory, Melbourne
  • Nam Nguyen – insurance statutory, Melbourne
  • Sharon Molenaar – insurance statutory, Sydney

Senior associate

  • Alex Kuczerawy – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Chanel Bou-Francis – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Frank Farsaci – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Jaimee Zeidan – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Lachlan Westhoff – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Peter Hughes – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Samantha Burris – commercial insurance, Melbourne
  • Sebastian Huynh – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Vanessa Naidu – commercial insurance, Melbourne
  • Wen Wen Qiu – commercial insurance, Melbourne
  • Inshani Ward – government, Melbourne
  • Natalia Milutinovic – government, Adelaide
  • Samuel Cummings – government, Adelaide
  • Alexandra Woodland – insurance statutory, Adelaide
  • Angel Fernandes – insurance statutory, Sydney
  • Laura Beattie – insurance statutory, Sydney
  • Pietro Nacion – insurance statutory, Melbourne
  • Ariel Curtis – workplace, Newcastle
  • Jessica Phillips – workplace, Newcastle

These lawyers took on their new mantles on 1 July.


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