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 UK is the second largest source of foreign investment in Australia and is our 8th largest two-way trading partner.

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.

Key practise areas

  • Corporate and commercial law, including accompanying the foundation or acquisition of an Australian company
  • Conducting litigation and arbitration, including in the law of damages
  • Commercial contracts
  • Corporate governance and directors’ duties
  • Joint ventures and shareholders arrangements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tax law
  • Financial Services and Insurance
  • Banking, Finance and Capital Market law
  • Private clients
  • Funds
  • Employment law, including immigration law
  • Superannuation and Pensions
  • Intellectual Property law, including trademarks, unfair competition and copyright law
  • IT law
  • Property, Planning and Construction
  • Leasing
  • Property funds
  • Environmental law and Sustainability

Experience

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.

Chris is supported by UK based consultant, Graeme Menzies. For over 30 years, Graeme led the North American Desk, dispute resolution, and international business for UK firm Mills & Reeve. He was also the Chairman and board members of SCG Legal. More recently, Graeme has been engaged by Hall & Wilcox to develop their international strategy and look at new business opportunities predominately in the UK, but also globally.

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.

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.

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.

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 Partner 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.

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 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

Christopher Brown
Partner & Head of UK Practice
  • Fluent in French - Conversational | German - Conversational

Chris Brown is a commercial lawyer with 20 plus years’ experience in corporate transactions and advice.

More about Christopher

Our team

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

Oliver is a corporate partner, whose practice focuses on mergers & acquisitions, corporate advisory, divestments, foreign investments and start-up capital raising.

More about Oliver
Ed Paton
Partner & Head of SE Asia Practice

Ed’s practice covers private mergers & acquisitions (both local and international), with particular specialism in mid-market deals in Australia, distressed M&A and inbound international transactions. Ed has significant experience running large projects including company establishment, corporate restructures and succession for large family groups.

More about Ed

Mark’s practice encompasses both litigious and non-litigious applications of employment and industrial relations law...

More about Mark

Mark has almost 20 years' experience acting for Australian and overseas financial institutions and borrowers in a broad range of finance transactions...

More about Mark

John has strong 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.

More about John
  • Fluent in Spanish

Since arriving in Australia Albert has worked on various types of commercial disputes, for a range of clients including the Greater Building Society, Newcastle Airport, Port Stephens Council and various engineering companies based in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

More about Albert

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