Sparke Helmore welcomes four to partnership

75% of the lawyers promoted by the firm in the recent cycle were women

Sparke Helmore welcomes four to partnership

Sparke Helmore has welcomed four additions to its national partnership.

Mia Donald, Dino Liistro and Laura Rush are now partners at the firm’s Sydney office, and Michael La Vista boosts the partnership in Adelaide. Donald and La Vista are part of the government practice group, while Liistro and Rush practice within the commercial insurance team.

A former pro bono attorney who worked for New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Donald has a wealth of experience in international immigration law. She acts for Commonwealth departments and agencies on matters involving merits and judicial review.

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Donald has appeared before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court.

La Vista is a specialist in workers’ compensation claims. He has advised a wide range of Commonwealth clients and licensees on strategic litigation and claims management in relation to liability, quantum and settlement prospects.

He has come before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court in merits and judicial review proceedings. He also worked with the Australian Government Solicitor in Canberra and Adelaide for a decade.

Liistro has expertise in professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ (D&O), commercial disputes and aviation liability claims, borne of over 15 years’ experience in these fields. His clients include insurers, insurance brokers and insureds; he has also represented airports, airlines and ground handlers.

He has handled matters involving personal injury and property damage, cargo damage and recovery claims in aviation.

Rush has handled a variety of liability issues, with a focus on complex liability and quantum issues, intentional torts, property damage and statutory classes of insurance. She has worked with both domestic and overseas insurers, brokers and intermediaries.

Her clients come from various sectors, including the education, retail, sports, hospitality and public sectors. She has appeared before NSW’s Local, District and Supreme Courts.

Sparke Helmore’s national managing partner, Phillip Salem, congratulated the new partners on their promotion.

“The firm continues to have a well-defined strategic focus on growth, including through organic growth, and bringing such outstanding people up through the ranks is incredibly important in demonstrating the depth of opportunity that exists nationally—in every one of our nine offices,” he said.

In a promotions cycle that was made up of 75% women, the firm also elevated the following 24 lawyers to special counsel and senior associates:

Special counsel

  • Alison Jury – commercial insurance, Newcastle
  • James Clohesy – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Belinda Pegolo – corporate and commercial, Sydney
  • Carly Roberts – corporate and commercial, Newcastle
  • Dianna Grant – corporate and commercial, Newcastle
  • Alanna Lucchese – government, Canberra
  • Elle Tattersall – government, Perth
  • Sue Wilkinson – statutory insurance, Perth
  • Daria Mclachlan – workplace, Adelaide
  • Julie Kneebone – workplace, Sydney

Senior associates

  • Elisa Lee – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • James Sutherland – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Jeanine Wong – commercial insurance, Canberra
  • Jennifer Wicks – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Kinga Mrozek – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Laura Bendlin – commercial insurance, Perth
  • Rachel Walls – commercial insurance, Canberra
  • Stephanie Barclay – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Steven Canton – commercial insurance, Sydney
  • Samantha Galeano – corporate and commercial, Sydney
  • Katherine Evans – government, Sydney
  • Sarah Strachan – government, Melbourne
  • Ben Gottlieb – workplace, Sydney
  • Mohamad Ardati – workplace, Sydney


Mia Donald

Dino Liistro

Laura Rush

Michael La Vista

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