UK desk


Our UK desk is comprised of experienced lawyers and has the capacity to advise outbound investors from Australia as well as inbound investors into Australia.

Hall & Wilcox has long term experience in undertaking complex cross-border transactions bridging legal, linguistic, and cultural differences in a manner that is beneficial to our clients. We act for internationally known companies from all over the world, stock-exchange listed companies in Australia and overseas, and medium-sized companies conducting their business in Australia. We act for many of our UK clients as the Australian counsel.

Drawing on our significant experience, and our wide ranging network of contacts, we facilitate our clients’ access to relevant local experts and improve the efficiency with which transactions are conducted.

Investments in UK and Australia

Australia and the UK have a strong relationship, owing to our shared heritage, common values, aligned strategic outlook, and trade and investment links.  The EU and the UK together account for 13.2% of Australian trade, and the UK is our 5th largest two-way trading partner with AU$36.7 billion in two-way trade of goods and services between 2019-2020. (Source: 'Why Australia Benchmark Report 2021', Austrade.)

Brexit has presented a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Australia and the UK, with Australia considered a key trading partner post-Brexit.

Hall & Wilcox has assisted a number of international clients in a range of Australian transactions and has experience in advising Australian clients on entering into international transactions. We have extensive cross-border expertise and are well positioned to assist international clients wanting to do business in Australia, whether it be the acquisition of an Australian entity or the setting up of a subsidiary or branch office in Australia.

International recognition

How we can help

We are a full service, independent business law firm with a reputation as a leading law firm across a number of core areas of practice and sectors.


We frequently act for overseas clients acquiring companies in Australia. In particular, we are able to advise on:

  • establishing the most appropriate legal structures for businesses;
  • international tax issues and tax structuring advice;
  • corporate restructures, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestments;
  • employment obligations and agreements;
  • compliance obligations of companies under the Australian Competition Law;
  • obtaining appropriate visas, immigration compliance, permanent residency and citizenship issues;
  • commercial agreements including franchise, distribution, supply and service agreements;
  • protection and licensing of intellectual property;
  • commercial and residential property transactions; and
  • whether any Australian regulatory compliance and approvals are required for a particular transaction and if so, obtaining those approvals.

We have assisted Australian and UK companies in expanding their businesses and developing business connections in each other’s countries, such as:

  • Assisted Planit with the global restructure and realignment of positions including consultation nationally and a transition to the new structure by agreement with all employees and without any disputes.
  • Acted for an unlisted Australian public company seeking admission to the London AIM market.
  • Acted for the UK subsidiary of a large US outdoor advertising company in relation to various disputes arising from a multi-million pound contract for the upgrade and maintenance of the advertising estate on the London Underground network.
  • Acting for the main contractor in various disputes arising from a multi-million pound project for the transformation and upgrade of the advertising estate on the London Underground Network.
  • Acting for an international family owned food manufacturing business headquartered in Fochabers, Scotland with operations in UK, Poland, Canada and Australia, acting for the company in three acquisitions in Australia.
  • Acting for the head company of a UK based family owned global publishing business with distribution in USA, Asia and Australia. The project involves the sale of the Australian business.

Our UK team

Chris Brown is a Partner and Head of the UK desk. Chris is a commercial lawyer with 20 plus years’ experience in corporate transactions and advice. Chris is a dual-qualified lawyer admitted to practice in Australia and in England and Wales.

Chris has particular expertise in advice and transactions in the finance and insurance sectors, acting for wealth managers and life and general insurers. He advises institutional and non-institutional investors, in Australia and overseas, on acquisitions, disposals and other matters across wealth management and insurance. His clients include asset managers, life and general insurers, financial advice groups, product distributors, investment platforms and other asset administrators.

Mark Dunphy’s practice encompasses both litigious and non-litigious applications of employment and industrial relations law. Mark is skilled in dealing with matters involving: industrial disputes and their implications; drafting and advising on enterprise agreements; award interpretation and ramifications; providing advice and acting in litigious matters regarding terminations, employee discipline, unfair dismissals, adverse action claims, common law disputes, equal opportunity, discrimination and sexual harassment claims; providing advice on the effect of legislative change on businesses; drafting and advising on employment contracts and employment audits; and employment-related areas of due diligence.

Ed Paton is a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial team. His practice covers private mergers and acquisitions, family business, and private equity. Ed advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, including acting for buyers or sellers in a wide range of share sales, business sales and asset sales, due diligence, family business, private equity, venture capital transactions, capital raising, and corporate and commercial agreements. Ed is experienced in cross-border transactions, including having acted for an unlisted Australian public company seeking admission to the AIM market in London, advising Baxters Food Group, a Scottish food manufacturing company, on a number of acquisitions of similar Australian food manufacturers and associated brands, acting on three separate transactions for an internationally known family business based in Scotland in the local acquisition of Australian manufacturing facilities, and acting for a US public company still run by the founding family in the local acquisition of a licensee to protect its Australian retail operations.

Oliver Jankowsky, Partner, leads our international desk and regularly advises clients from Europe, China and Korea. Oliver is a corporate partner, whose practice focuses on mergers & acquisitions, corporate advisory, divestments, foreign investments and start-up capital raising. He has particular expertise in cross-border transactions advising foreign clients on their legal needs in Australia and how to enter the Australian market.

Albert Ponte qualified as a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2003 after training with an established commercial law firm in London. He remained at the firm, practising commercial litigation until he migrated to Australia in 2012 with his Australian wife and young family. During his time practising in London Albert’s focus was on construction-related litigation and professional negligence disputes.

Mark Inston studied law in Germany, qualifying first as a German Rechtsanwalt, then as a solicitor of England and Wales, before being admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2003. Mark is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales, as well as the Law Institute of Victoria. He has almost 20 years' experience acting for Australian and overseas financial institutions and borrowers in a broad range of finance transactions, including construction and investment property finance, and all forms of corporate finance, including syndicated and bilateral loans, mezzanine and quasi equity finance, acquisition finance, asset and equipment finance, and derivatives.

John Hutchinson is a Consultant in our Corporate and Commercial team with over 25 years' experience. He has extensive corporate and transactional funds experience, having worked on deals in Australasia, Europe and the United States. John’s work is primarily focused on property fund mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and secondary capital raisings, fund restructurings, and the launch of wholesale and retail syndicates and joint ventures. John has significant technical expertise in the property funds sector, having advised on real estate portfolio and corporate acquisitions, transactional activity for wholesale and retail unlisted funds and related regulatory, governance and compliance matters. In addition, he has substantial experience in structuring, managing and executing offshore transactions.

Gemma Dehn is a Special Counsel in our Insurance team, and an experienced insurance litigator. She began her legal career in London as a construction/insurance lawyer then later re-qualified to practice in Australia. Gemma specialises in financial lines, construction and environmental product lines. She acts for insurers on a range of coverage issues and with respect to dispute management and recoveries. While on secondment within the financial lines team of a major international insurer, Gemma was responsible for a large senior claims portfolio and acted as mentor and advisor to team members. She managed a variety of claims including multi-million dollar financial institution class actions, significant fidelity losses, and a variety of professional indemnity claims.

Jeanette Lui is a Senior Associate in our Banking and Finance team. Jeanette has lived and worked in Melbourne, London and Singapore. With 10 years’ experience in working for Magic Circle and Silver Circle UK law firms, she has a vast amount of experience in advising on and managing cross border transactions. Jeanette’s practice focuses on the real estate and infrastructure sectors. She has experience in bilateral and syndicated lending, construction financing, acquisition financing and general commercial transactions. Jeanette’s experience includes advising lenders in relation to the financing of a cross-border acquisition of an Australian life sciences company by a UK company. She is admitted as a solicitor in both England and Wales and Victoria, Australia.

Key contact

  • Fluent in French - Conversational | German - Conversational

Chris advises on public company takeovers and private M&A deals; business and share sales, equity investments and joint ventures.

More about Christopher

Our team

Oliver Jankowsky
Partner & Head of International Desks
  • Fluent in German - Native speaker

Oliver is a corporate and commercial lawyer, with particular expertise in advising foreign clients on cross-border transactions.

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Ed advises on mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on mid-market deals, distressed M&A and inbound international transactions.

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Mark is an employment lawyer experienced in litigious and non-litigious applications of employment and industrial relations law.

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Mark has experience acting for Australian and overseas financial institutions, and leads the firm's Banking and Finance practice.

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Gemma is an experienced insurance lawyer specialising in construction, financial lines and environmental product lines.

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Corporate & commercial lawyer John is a consultant for the firm. His work focuses on property fund M&A.

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  • Fluent in Spanish

Albert is a commercial disputes lawyer with a focus on construction litigation. He is also a nationally accredited mediator.

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Kurt is a commercial and projects lawyer with experience assisting clients on corporate and commercial matters across a range of sectors.

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