Top tier poaches two market-leading lawyers

An Australian law firm has added a pair of partners to its repertoire who have a market reputation for being leaders in their practices

Clayton Utz has just attracted two of the market's leading real estate lawyers to the firm as partners in the national real estate team.

Simon Taskunas will join the firm’s practice in Perth after a stint living in Singapore for the past eight years.

While abroad, Simon led the real estate team at Herbert Smith Freehills. He specialises in multidisciplinary real estate sector work for an Asia Pacific client base that includes institutional fund managers and sovereign, listed, and unlisted investors.

He’s also experienced in structuring and investments, M&A, joint ventures, leasing, finance and property developments across all property classes including commercial office, retail, industrial and logistics, hospitality, and high-end residential in Australia and across Asia.

The second new partner, Danielle Mildren, will join Clayton Utz’ Canberra real estate team from Minter Ellison, where she was a senior member of the firm's property team.

The talented lawyer has many years' experience acting for a range of private and government clients in all aspects of property and planning law.

This spans leasing, sales and purchases, joint venture agreements, development agreements, retirement living, agreements for lease and general property and planning advice.

Nikki Robinson, the head of the Clayton Utz national real estate team, says the pair of partners would make valuable additions to the practice.

"Simon's broad-ranging experience, particularly in major projects work and inbound investments for Asia-based clients, perfectly complements the experience of our national team. Together with Mary Pringle, Simon's addition to our Perth team means we can offer our clients an even greater depth of legal experience across the full range of real estate transactions,” she says.

In Canberra, Mildren will join a team led by Alfonso del Rio, and Robinson says she’ll add significantly to the firm’s client offering in that market.

Taskunas says a number of factors encouraged him to make the move back to Australia and to Clayton Utz.

He says the firm’s values and new generation leadership team particularly impressed him.

“I liked that they are committed to growing real estate as a key practice area in Perth and across Australia,” he says.

He will join the firm in January 2015, while Mildren is set to start this November.

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