Our People



We were proud to appoint 23 new partners this year – our largest partner intake in two decades. Scroll through to learn about our next generation of leaders.

New partner Q&A

  • Wissam Abwi

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Wissam is an experienced corporate and M&A lawyer with specialist focus on the real estate industry. He advises on investments in real assets via joint ventures, consortia, capital partnerships and strategic platforms, pooled vehicles and wholesale funds.  He also acts on the acquisition, disposal and restructuring of real assets held through corporate or trust vehicles.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Acquisition of Myer Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD for US pension fund, Teachers Insurance and Annuities Association of America (TIAA). The deal involved setting up a new Australian fund structure that would be managed by TH Real Estate (fund managers) and would facilitate future capital raising and acquisitions.  The acquisition structuring was particularly complex and involved detailed tax and duty considerations and the deal requires foreign investment approval and Ministerial consent.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    An issue in FY16 has been the recent changes to the foreign investment rules which have addressed some issues but created other issues.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    My clients are predominantly active in the real estate sector, which has become highly competitive – particularly for core office and retail assets – so opportunities are presenting themselves in the development space or in non-core assets.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...has been a great transition.  MinterEllison has a great reputation and has a vibrant and collaborative culture.  My team and our clients have fully supported the move and I am looking forward to growing from strength to strength with the firm.

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    Wissam Abwi

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Wissam is an experienced corporate and M&A lawyer with specialist focus on the real estate industry. He advises on investments in real assets via joint ventures, consortia, capital partnerships and strategic platforms, pooled vehicles and wholesale funds.  He also acts on the acquisition, disposal and restructuring of real assets held through corporate or trust vehicles.

  • Karl Blake

    Human Resources, Melbourne

    Karl is a leading industrial relations and employment lawyer. He assists clients on industrial relations disputes, enterprise bargaining, employment litigation, contract and policy documentation, discrimination and workplace health and safety.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Assisting a client to resist protected industrial action ballot orders on the basis that they are not available for multi-employer agreements. The work is significant because it raised questions about the construction and operation of the Fair Work Act 2009 that have not been considered before and will likely result in new law being made by the Fair Work Commission or the courts.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The continued growth in claims brought by individual employees against their employers or former employers.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    As many of our clients head into enterprise bargaining, the issue will be whether they can grasp the opportunity to make significant change to their labour models to improve productivity and efficiency.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    … provides not only the opportunity to provide excellent service to our clients but also a chance to work alongside colleagues who are smart, collaborative and who share a vision to ensure the firm achieves its full potential.

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    Karl Blake

    Human Resources, Melbourne

    Karl is a leading industrial relations and employment lawyer. He assists clients on industrial relations disputes, enterprise bargaining, employment litigation, contract and policy documentation, discrimination and workplace health and safety.

  • Con Boulougouris

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Con specialises in public and private M&A transactions and strategic joint ventures, representing primarily corporate clients. He has significant industry experience, particularly in engineering & construction, food & agribusiness, real estate and gaming & leisure.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Since joining MinterEllison, I have worked on a number of high profile public and private M&A transactions but one transaction I particularly enjoyed was the $361m take-private offer by Steinhoff Asia Pacific for ASX-listed Fantastic Holdings. The timetable was tight, and there were some innovative deal protection arrangements.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    In 2016 global M&A activity is down 20% so far compared to 2015. There has been an increasing number of aborted deals, and deals that were successful took much longer to close. Interestingly, despite the slowdown, our share of M&A deals in Australia has grown significantly and I think this is testament to our ability to get deals done in a difficult economic and regulatory environment.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    M&A is likely to heat up in 2017 if the flurry of activity towards the end of 2016 is any indication. The key driver for increased M&A activity is likely to be target boards and shareholders becoming increasingly pragmatic in assessing offers that incorporate a reasonable control premium. However, Australia’s foreign investment laws, which require government approval in certain circumstances, are emerging as a potential deal execution risk, with agribusiness and infrastructure deals in particular likely to become harder to close.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison...

    ... is about putting the client at the core of everything we do, and this enables us to service our clients in an integrated manner, drawing on the different legal specialisations found with a large law firm. Our clients can be assured that all members of our integrated teams (whether M&A, finance, property, employment or competition) are at the top of their respective fields.

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    Con Boulougouris

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Con specialises in public and private M&A transactions and strategic joint ventures, representing primarily corporate clients. He has significant industry experience, particularly in engineering & construction, food & agribusiness, real estate and gaming & leisure.

  • Nicole Boustani

    Financial Institutions Group, Sydney

    Nicole specialises in property, construction, corporate and REIT finance where she predominantly advises lenders on the provision of debt finance for acquisition and development.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Advising a syndicate of banks on the restructure of a portfolio of 30+ properties owned by Propertylink Australian Industrial Partnership in the lead up to the IPO and ASX listing of the Propertylink Group.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Volatile market conditions and stricter lending requirements of the big 4 banks have presented challenges for borrowers (particularly residential developers) and has contributed to a decreased appetite for funding of projects and investor loans. This has presented opportunities for Asian banks and other non-traditional lenders to establish or expand their operations in Australia.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Settlement risk, where portfolios/developments are in high-risk areas and also where purchasers are unable to complete on off-the-plan sale contracts due to funding issues. Tighter restrictions on some foreign buyers will put pressure on them to complete under exchanged sale contracts. Due diligence and the terms of sale contracts and marketing material continue to be a focus.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison...

    ...has been exciting and rewarding. I feel blessed to have the support of, and opportunity to continue working with, clients and sponsors whom I first worked with as a graduate lawyer.

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    Nicole Boustani

    Financial Institutions Group, Sydney

    Nicole specialises in property, construction, corporate and REIT finance where she predominantly advises lenders on the provision of debt finance for acquisition and development.

  • Craig Boyle

    Human Resources, Perth

    Craig is a workplace relations and safety specialist who works with clients in the construction, engineering, agriculture, transport and logistics, mining and mining services sectors.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Acting for the operator of a large grain handling and storage network in a dispute with two long-serving senior executives about breaches of their employment contracts and the Co-operatives Act 2009 (WA).  This was a very sensitive issue given a concurrent bid by a consortium to corporatise and buy the network operator.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Many employers in Western Australia are now trying to manage exorbitant wage rates and inflexibilities that are locked into enterprise agreements struck during the mining boom. Many of them face a significant challenge in re-adjusting wages and conditions to financially sustainable levels.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    The main challenges will be to control labour costs in a way that does not negatively impact on workforce productivity or compliance standards, particularly workplace health and safety.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...has made me feel empowered – by the excellent leadership in the Perth office, the great support of the national HR&IR team and the genuine collegiality of all the other partners I have met to date.

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    Craig Boyle

    Human Resources, Perth

    Craig is a workplace relations and safety specialist who works with clients in the construction, engineering, agriculture, transport and logistics, mining and mining services sectors.

  • Kemsley Brennan

    Insurance & Corporate Risk, Sydney

    Kemsley practises is in the area of claims management of specialty and casualty insurance. He acts for insurers, reinsurers, brokers and corporates on coverage issues, claims management, coverage reviews and insurance risk management.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Participating in Allianz AGCS's global innovation underwriting workshop in Munich. I was the only global panel lawyer invited to present at the workshop, which focused on product innovation.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The insurance industry is undergoing significant disruption driven by product innovation, alternative distribution models, pricing, greater regulatory intervention impacting capital investment and consolidation.  Insurers are looking to maintain their profitability through reduction of operating expenses both at an underwriting and claims management  level.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Insurance clients need to continue to invest in technology, develop products that represent ‘true innovation’ and work closely with business partners to improve operational efficiencies without impacting customer focus. Insurers need to spend more time with customers to identify and evaluate their risk needs. They need to harness the efficiencies of electronic claims management platforms without impacting claims best practice.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...I am excited about the firm's depth of services and commitment to innovative service offerings that provide solutions for our clients, and impressed by the dedication of our team.

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    Kemsley Brennan

    Insurance & Corporate Risk, Sydney

    Kemsley practises is in the area of claims management of specialty and casualty insurance. He acts for insurers, reinsurers, brokers and corporates on coverage issues, claims management, coverage reviews and insurance risk management.

  • Owen Cooper

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Melbourne

    Owen is a construction specialist with experience in the transactional, contract administration and litigious aspects of complex infrastructure projects.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Working with Plenary Group on the $300m Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion project. It's a significant project for Melbourne and is part of a growing trend by governments to seek greater flexibility for project financed developments to deliver major capital works part way through the long term operating phase.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    One growing trend in infrastructure is the interest of various state governments in considering unsolicited proposals from the private sector where there is demonstrable uniqueness and value for money can be demonstrated.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    The capacity of the infrastructure market and its advisers to handle ‘mega’ projects is being tested in the short term, particularly in transport with major rail and road projects being simultaneously tendered and delivered across the east coast of Australia.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...I love it! I have learnt from market leading practitioners and now have the opportunity to lead a team of enthusiastic, energetic people who are constantly willing to test themselves and do whatever is needed to deliver our best advice to our clients.

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    Owen Cooper

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Melbourne

    Owen is a construction specialist with experience in the transactional, contract administration and litigious aspects of complex infrastructure projects.

  • Penelope Eden

    Insurance & Corporate Risk, Brisbane

    Penny specialises in health and aged care law, advising on domestic and international acquisitions, the management of medico-legal claims, and a range of industry issues including proactive risk management and the drafting of hospital policies.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Numerous home care acquisitions for established aged care operators, overseas investors and retirement village operators.  Home care is a game changer in the aged care sector and there is so much activity happening.  It’s an exciting time to be involved.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Aged care operates within a highly regulated legislative environment and is currently undergoing the most significant legislative change since 1997.  These reforms coincide with the government’s major policy trends – ageing in place and the delivery of services in the community, the shift of funding control to the consumer and consumer directed care – and even more change is slated for 2018 and beyond.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Funding is the biggest challenge currently facing operators, not only in residential aged care with the squeeze on ACFI, but also in home care with the change from block funding to an activity based funding model.  Never before has an industry been the subject of such a large paradigm shift – moving from a regulated grants based approach, to a consumer-driven, competitive market environment.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    …means I get to work with people I truly respect, who are generous, energetic and who continuously inspire/challenge me to do better.  At MinterEllison, my contribution is valued, excellence is rewarded and relationships extend beyond a piece of legal advice. 

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    Penelope Eden

    Insurance & Corporate Risk, Brisbane

    Penny specialises in health and aged care law, advising on domestic and international acquisitions, the management of medico-legal claims, and a range of industry issues including proactive risk management and the drafting of hospital policies.

  • Kip Fitzsimon

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Perth

    Kip specialises in the infrastructure, mining, and energy and resources sectors, advising sponsors, lenders, government and a broad range of contractors on the development of large and small scale construction projects.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Advising the State of Western Australia on the proposed sale of the Port of Fremantle. It is the largest deal happening in the state and encompasses complex legal, political and commercial considerations. 

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    More payment disputes are being adjudicated under the Construction Contracts Act 2004.  A contracted construction market means that mid-cap builders are under huge financial constraints and need to ensure they get paid on time.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    The economic climate in Western Australia is challenging with the slowdown of the mining and resources industries, but it creates opportunities for government to explore new ways to boost the economy and for the private sector to optimise efficiencies within their business.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...means being part of a truly collaborative partnership. In the Port deal I have experienced firsthand partners from all offices pitching in to deliver results to our client, WA Treasury. 

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    Kip Fitzsimon

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Perth

    Kip specialises in the infrastructure, mining, and energy and resources sectors, advising sponsors, lenders, government and a broad range of contractors on the development of large and small scale construction projects.

  • Michael Gajic

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Michael specialises in public takeovers and schemes of arrangement, private acquisitions and disposals, as well as equity capital raisings.

    Signature project in FY16?

    The proposed scheme of arrangement under which our client Vitaco will be acquired by a Chinese consortium. It's the first scheme in Australia outside of the resources sector to feature a Chinese bidder. Our innovative approaches to credit risk and deal protection mechanisms ensured that the deal was accepted by the market.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    FIRB approval has become a genuine deal risk rather than a box ticking exercise. Foreign investors need a well-considered strategy and target companies need to assess the risk presented by bidders that need FIRB approval.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Foreign interest in the agribusiness and food sectors will drive M&A activity in FY17. Australian companies that are acquired by larger foreign players have the opportunity to leverage that size to expand into new international markets.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...means we genuinely put the client at the centre of everything we do.

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    Michael Gajic

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Michael specialises in public takeovers and schemes of arrangement, private acquisitions and disposals, as well as equity capital raisings.

  • Shyama Jayaswal

    Dispute Resolution, Melbourne

    Shyama specialises in intellectual property, working with inventors and product development teams to identify, develop and protect their inventions, designs and brands.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Representing Mylan in asserting three patents relating to fenofibrate (which is used to treat hypercholesterolaemia, dyslipidaemia and diabetic retinopathy) in the Federal Court of Australia. The Mylan patents underpin a $30m+ Australian market for fenofibrate which is Mylan's biggest product in Australia.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    In the ICT space, obtaining patent protection in Australia has become more difficult in light of recent Full Federal Court of Australia decisions. While this follows a similar trend in the USA, the USA has recently adopted a more balanced approach in which more ICT inventions may be patentable.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    The pharmaceutical industry is facing a lot of change – the technology is moving into biologics which is more complex than small molecule drug products; and there will be regulatory changes to follow the technology developments that will be necessary to maintain safety, access to important drugs and lower the cost of the PBS.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison...

    ...I now really appreciate how well our team works together to propel our practice into the future.

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    Shyama Jayaswal

    Dispute Resolution, Melbourne

    Shyama specialises in intellectual property, working with inventors and product development teams to identify, develop and protect their inventions, designs and brands.

  • Caitlin Murray

    Dispute Resolution, Sydney

    Caitlin specialises in insolvency and financial services litigation acting for Australian financial institutions in workouts and reorganisations, secured and unsecured recoveries and general disputes.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Acting for the administrators of the Dick Smith Group, which went into voluntary administration in January 2016. The magnitude of losses suffered by the lenders, and the impact on employees, consumers and the retail industry were all very significant.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The proposal for significant reform of the insolvency laws, principally to encourage innovation and risk taking by minimising the concerns associated with corporate failure. The government released its proposals in April 2016 and, if passed, they will be the most sweeping changes to the insolvency regime since the introduction of the voluntary administration regime in 1993.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Increased scrutiny by regulators, shareholders, customers and third parties such as ratings agencies means that financial institutions need to monitor all aspects of their business, including the conduct of employees and senior management. The dramatic increase in the number and size of investigations by regulators over the past couple of years, and the attention drawn by Royal Commissions, means we can expect this to remain a significant challenge for the financial services industry in FY17.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...is exciting and rewarding.  I am motivated by the challenge of looking for unique and innovative ways to build my practice – helping my clients achieve their strategic goals and keeping my team engaged and motivated at the same time.

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    Caitlin Murray

    Dispute Resolution, Sydney

    Caitlin specialises in insolvency and financial services litigation acting for Australian financial institutions in workouts and reorganisations, secured and unsecured recoveries and general disputes.

  • David Pearce

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Brisbane

    David advises on the delivery of major infrastructure, property and resource projects, providing advice for the full lifecycle of the projects.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Assisting the Queensland Government with Transurban’s Logan Enhancement Project.  This is the first market led proposal supported by the Palaszczuk Government and involves a major-upgrade to Brisbane’s tollroad network.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    With the resources market subdued and a tight fiscal position, the government is looking for innovative ways to fund and deliver Queensland’s infrastructure needs.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Technology innovation like driverless vehicles promises to transform public infrastructure and companies that are ahead of the curve can exploit the opportunities that presents. Policymakers need to plan their physical infrastructure and the laws governing it to keep pace and maximise taxpayer value and satisfaction.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...means working with incredibly talented and hardworking people. It’s exciting to be part of the next generation of partners helping our clients achieve their goals.

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    David Pearce

    Projects, Infrastructure & Construction, Brisbane

    David advises on the delivery of major infrastructure, property and resource projects, providing advice for the full lifecycle of the projects.

  • Gehann Perera

    Financial Institutions Group, Perth

    Gehann advises on the structuring, documentation and financing of major projects with a particular focus on the real estate, construction and social infrastructure sectors.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Acting for the State of Western Australia on the proposed sale of the Port of Fremantle and Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility. This significant and high profile matter has been a great example of MinterEllison’s ability to bring its national expertise to a project.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The differences in the state of property markets across Australia.  While the East Coast has been in the middle of a property boom, Western Australia has experienced a flat and falling market.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    There are significant opportunities for clients who are prepared to be counter-cyclical as there are eager sellers of assets with significant potential.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    … is certainly challenging, but it is also very enjoyable to be able to influence decisions and participate in the successful growth of the firm.

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    Gehann Perera

    Financial Institutions Group, Perth

    Gehann advises on the structuring, documentation and financing of major projects with a particular focus on the real estate, construction and social infrastructure sectors.

  • Julie Purbrick

    Real Estate, Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Julie advises clients on a wide range of real estate matters including acquisitions and disposals of commercial, industrial, retail and residential property, property development and property titling matters, and commercial, industrial and retail leasing.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Assisting Mirvac with the $336m sale of the Woolworths head office at Bella Vista including development documents for a new multi-storey car park, variation and extension of the Woolworths sublease, transfer and merger/extinguishment of Mirvac’s ground lease and the ultimate sale of the freehold title.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Major legislative changes in the areas of strata law, retail law, unfair contracts, FIRB and stamp duty surcharges for foreign purchasers mean that our clients are very much focused on regulatory risks and opportunities.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Legislative changes will create some challenges for our clients in FY17, with many currently updating their documents and procedures in order to comply.  On the upside, there could be opportunities for developers with the introduction in November of new strata laws and in particular the new strata scheme termination provisions.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...means working in a supportive team environment with the help of the best and brightest in their respective areas of expertise. 

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    Julie Purbrick

    Real Estate, Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Julie advises clients on a wide range of real estate matters including acquisitions and disposals of commercial, industrial, retail and residential property, property development and property titling matters, and commercial, industrial and retail leasing.

  • Kathy Reid

    Human Resources, Perth

    Kathy advises across a broad range of employment law issues – from strategic advice to major litigation and in responding to critical HR and safety matters. She also delivers workplace training.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Successful renegotiation of a key enterprise agreement for one of Western Australia’s electricity utilities. This is a strategy we have been working on since 2014. The electricity industry is changing rapidly due to declining demand and reduced government subsidisation. The new agreement significantly reduces the utility’s labour costs and increases labour flexibility, enabling it to adapt to market forces.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The key issue for HR/IR practitioners is change management. In a difficult economic climate, our clients are having to dramatically change the way they deploy and pay for labour.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Most clients are looking forward to an upturn in the economy, which will allow them to engage more staff and reward them for their performance. Those who have been ‘employers of choice’ during tough times will be able to take best advantage of the upturn.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    … I am struck by the consultative and collegiate nature of the partnership.  It is truly a pleasure to be able to operate in such a collegiate way, with the Perth partners locally and the national HR/IR partner group.

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    Kathy Reid

    Human Resources, Perth

    Kathy advises across a broad range of employment law issues – from strategic advice to major litigation and in responding to critical HR and safety matters. She also delivers workplace training.

  • Sebastian Rosholt

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Ulaanbaatar

    Sebastian is an experienced M&A lawyer, particularly in energy and resources, infrastructure and financial services. He also manages complex legal due diligence exercises on large domestic and cross-border transactions.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Acting for Nordic Aviation Capital, one of the largest aviation finance companies in the world, on its long term lease of an ATR 72-500 to Hunnu Air – the only ATR to operate in Mongolia to date. This has added much needed passenger capacity for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine currently being expanded by Rio Tinto.  

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Increased interest by international investors in renewable projects in Mongolia, which we expect to continue as long as the government is able to provide comfort around offtake arrangements. Chinese investors have been actively looking at the development of coal-based power projects and mining companies, especially juniors who have been locked out of capital markets for the past few years, have taken active steps to reposition themselves to the market.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Mirroring global commodity markets, Mongolia's markets, especially for bulk commodities, are oversupplied and demand is not increasing materially. There will be a period of adjustment through FY17 before equilibrium is reached. There appears to be a strong consensus that commodity prices have bottomed however, and we can expect an uptick in opportunistic M&A and consolidation in the mining sector in the next 12 months.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...has afforded me this unique life and professional experience. The breadth of work, different legal system, language and culture barriers can be challenging, but I receive great support from across the firm and thoroughly enjoy working with our talented and dedicated team in Mongolia.

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    Sebastian Rosholt

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Ulaanbaatar

    Sebastian is an experienced M&A lawyer, particularly in energy and resources, infrastructure and financial services. He also manages complex legal due diligence exercises on large domestic and cross-border transactions.

  • David Schiavello

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Melbourne

    David's experience is in public and private M&A, capital raising and reductions, corporate restructures, employee incentive schemes, dividend reinvestment plans, corporate governance, and director's duties.

    Signature work in FY16?

    The recent IPO and ASX listing of ApplyDirect Limited, an emerging e-recruitment company.  It's reinforced our reputation as a leading adviser in the emerging technology space and it is always rewarding to help a client successfully execute a 'game changing' strategy.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The growing focus of corporate regulators – ASIC and ASX – on emerging companies going to market.  As a result, the directors, senior management and advisers of those businesses need to proactively address the areas capturing the attention of the regulators.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    In the challenge presented by ASIC's and ASX's focus on emerging companies lies an opportunity – our experience in dealing with the regulators, and our strong relationship with them, is a real point of difference that sets us apart from other advisers in this space.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...has allowed me to grow with my clients, and help them achieve highly successful outcomes. This has been incredibly rewarding. The support from fellow partners and staff has been tremendous as well.

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    David Schiavello

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Melbourne

    David's experience is in public and private M&A, capital raising and reductions, corporate restructures, employee incentive schemes, dividend reinvestment plans, corporate governance, and director's duties.

  • Elias Stephen

    Real Estate Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Elias is a leading adviser to the real estate sector and has acted on numerous high profile transactions. His clients include listed property trusts, real estate funds, investment banks, high net worth and private family offices, international investors and property developers.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Clients have been active in investing across all investment asset classes (commercial, industrial and retail) between $40-400m and executing large scale development projects.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Research suggests that transaction volume over investment asset classes in 2016 is down by about 20% from last year. Reduced real estate product on market has meant genuine competition for prime real estate. At times, buyers are having to transact faster.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Value means different things to different clients and is often based on their strategy for an asset, or their cost of capital. On the buy side there is a common challenge of 'value' buying in the current market. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2017.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison...

    ...has meant that each day I provide an expanded legal service to my clients. Our focus is to provide real estate clients with a national integrated service across real estate, banking, M&A, funds, construction, planning and tax – offering them the best quality legal service in the Australian market.

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    Elias Stephen

    Real Estate Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Elias is a leading adviser to the real estate sector and has acted on numerous high profile transactions. His clients include listed property trusts, real estate funds, investment banks, high net worth and private family offices, international investors and property developers.

  • Darren Sumich

    Financial Institutions Group, Brisbane

    Darren's practice includes asset/aviation finance, syndicated and bilateral corporate facilities, acquisition, cross-border and insolvency-related financing, high yield and export credit supported transactions and Islamic finance.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Acting for our long standing client Aveo Group on the financing of its acquisitions of the Freedom Aged Care Group and Retirement Villages Group.  These deals were strategically important for Aveo and involved large multi-disciplinary team.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The rapid advance of disruptive technology in the financial services space will continue to be both a challenge and an opportunity for our clients and our practice. MinterEllison’s embrace of innovation means we are well placed to unlock this potential.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...you soon appreciate that it is more than just a promotion. The encouragement and support of the partnership has been free flowing and gratefully received.

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    Darren Sumich

    Financial Institutions Group, Brisbane

    Darren's practice includes asset/aviation finance, syndicated and bilateral corporate facilities, acquisition, cross-border and insolvency-related financing, high yield and export credit supported transactions and Islamic finance.

  • Louella Stone

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Louella has substantial experience advising on multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions including acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, partnerships, auction processes, sales and takeovers.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Advising Fortius Funds Management on the sale of its 75% interest in 420 George Street and Mid City Centre, the combined purchase price was in excess of $752m and was effected by way of unit sale.  The purchase price achieved was above expectations and the Fortius chairman noted that Mid City was one of the best retail assets in the city.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Assets are increasingly hard to find for companies looking for growth through acquisition, which means that less traditional transactions are becoming more common.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Technology will hugely shift the way an M&A deal is executed.  It will likely automate certain processes, shorten transaction cycles, make the deals more cost efficient for the clients and enable a greater 'matching' of buyers and sellers.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    ...has given me a great opportunity to be part of and to witness in action MinterEllison's fantastic strength achieved through collaboration across teams.

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    Louella Stone

    Mergers & Acquisitions, Sydney

    Louella has substantial experience advising on multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions including acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, partnerships, auction processes, sales and takeovers.

  • Luke Walker

    Real Estate, Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Luke advises private and public sector clients on the environmental and planning aspects of energy, resources and infrastructure projects.

    Signature work in FY16?

    Defending our client in the largest prosecution ever undertaken in the Land and Environment Court. The proceedings involve questions of planning law that are unsettled and is likely to result in a landmark decision. There are few better ways to really get to know a client than by being in the trenches with them day in day out.

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    Increasingly sophisticated and larger regulatory teams such as the EPA and the Department of Planning.

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    Increased costs of compliance and avoiding the attention of the regulatory teams referred to above, which distract clients from their core business.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    … is turning my hair grey! But seriously, partnership is such a great thing to achieve. The firm has such a strong brand and I am very proud to be part of that. The support I have received from other partners has been first class.

    Read Q&A

    Luke Walker

    Real Estate, Environment & Planning, Sydney

    Luke advises private and public sector clients on the environmental and planning aspects of energy, resources and infrastructure projects.

  • Hamish Wallace

    Tax, Sydney

    Hamish is an experienced adviser to Australian and multinational clients in the financial services, property and retail sectors on all aspects of corporate and international tax.

    Signature project in FY16?

    Advising SABMiller on its $100bn+ global merger with AB InBev.  One of the largest consumer deals ever, there were parts of the deal structure that made it particularly tricky from an Australian tax perspective. 

    What's trending in your area of expertise?

    The evolution of government approaches to tax avoidance.  Australia has introduced a multinational anti-avoidance law and governments overseas are introducing their own versions of the so-called Google tax.  

    What challenges or opportunities lie ahead for your clients in FY17?

    The stop-start approach to tax reform.  Although most acknowledge that some type of change to the tax mix is needed, in practice genuine tax reform is difficult to achieve – and this continues to impact on business confidence.

    Being a partner of MinterEllison…..

    … has shown me that this is a place of genuine collaboration and support, across all parts of the business, and in my new role I am lucky enough to see examples of this every day. 

    Read Q&A

    Hamish Wallace

    Tax, Sydney

    Hamish is an experienced adviser to Australian and multinational clients in the financial services, property and retail sectors on all aspects of corporate and international tax.

A flexible and agile workplace

In FY16, we commenced the progressive rollout of Empower, a pivotal program underpinning our high performance culture.

Its objective is to increase flexibility and agility within our teams and also celebrate the value of diverse thinking and approaches.

Through Empower, our people create personal plans that define how and where they work so they can be at their best. These plans are actively supported within practice groups. Success of Empower is measured across three dimensions:

  • Clients – challenging ourselves to work with clients in a way that allows us to understand their business and expectations at deeper levels – including work on site.
  • Teams – harnessing the diverse strengths of team members and providing experiences that continue to build overall team capability.
  • Personal development – providing additional workplace flexibility options and initiating varied and challenging experiences that support the development of an agile mindset.

Diversity and inclusion

We were proud to launch our PRiME network in late 2015, an initiative to empower all staff to bring their whole selves to work.

The PRiME network seeks to foster an environment that is inclusive and respectful of people who identify as LGBTI, strengthen relationships with clients that share our values, and help us recruit, retain and empower talented professionals to build successful careers at MinterEllison.

Almost a quarter of our staff have signed up to PRiME as a member or ally to date.


“MinterEllison’s commitment to diversity and the PRiME initiative means I can bring my whole self to work.”

ADAM BOOT, SENIOR BUSINESS ANALYST, SYDNEY

My highlight in FY16