Strong growth and exceptional client and people experience reflected in record 48 promotions, including five partners


Hall & Wilcox has announced a record 48 promotions, including appointing five new partners. This is following another year of strong growth and continued focus on providing an exceptional experience for the firm’s clients and people.

The new partners are Ben Cotter, Bridget Mangan, Jacqueline McGrath, Vanessa Murphy and Nicole Tumiati. The firm now has 127 partners spread across eight offices. With four out of the five partners being female, the firm is on track to meet its target of minimum 40% female representation in the partnership by 2025.

The firm has also promoted 11 special counsel and 24 senior associates, and has made eight senior corporate services promotions.

Managing Partner Tony Macvean said the promotions were a testament to the firm’s unwavering focus on providing the best possible experience for the firm’s clients and people, as well as its commitment to its purpose of enabling clients, people and communities to thrive.

‘There are so many wonderful people at our firm, who are smart, hardworking, passionate and committed to delivering on our promise to clients every day,’ he said.

‘Our culture is about bringing our people through, not holding people back. Our successful people are well-rounded: technically strong, provide great service, build and maintain enduring client relationships, and make a meaningful contribution to their team and the firm.

‘In addition to our client-facing professionals, we also celebrate the success of our corporate services leaders and teams in supporting, challenging and driving change in our firm so our lawyers can continue to deliver Smarter Law and exceptional service to our clients.’

These promotions are in addition to the four lateral partners and 12 senior lawyers appointed since 1 January 2023. The firm has expanded rapidly over the past few years and now numbers more than 1000 people across eight offices.

A highlight of the year for the firm was winning two 2023 Client Choice Awards: Best Law and Related Services Firm ($100m-$200m revenue) and Best Professional Services Firm ($100m-$200m revenue). The firm was a finalist in two other categories: Best Provider to Financial and Insurance Services, and Most Innovative Law and Related Services Firm.

All promotions are effective from 1 July 2023.

Get to know our new partners and senior lawyers.

New partners

Ben Cotter is an experienced front end construction lawyer. He advises the full range of industry participants in relation to construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Ben has particular experience in projects relating to renewable energy, transmission assets and social infrastructure for both public and private sector clients. Ben is primarily based in Melbourne.

Bridget Mangan is an experienced insurance lawyer, with a practice focused on personal injury litigation management. Bridget manages serious injury, common law and statutory benefit claims for the Transport Accident Commission and Worksafe Victoria. Bridget works closely with these clients and has a strong reputation for providing strategic advice to assist with the resolution of complex disputes and the proper delivery of compensation in accordance with the applicable legislative framework. Bridget is primarily based in Melbourne.

Jacqueline McGrath leads the firm’s tax litigation practice, working for the Australian Taxation Office and taxpayers in revenue-related disputes in the Federal Court, Supreme Court and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She is a seasoned litigator with a unique skill set and experience across the public and private sector. Jacqueline is primarily based in Melbourne.

Vanessa Murphy has a corporate transactional, regulatory and investment funds practice. She advises on mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets transactions and regulatory matters for a range of clients. She has a particular focus on acting for regulated entities including ASX-listed companies, managed investment schemes, superannuation funds and AFSL holders. She also regularly acts for fund managers in establishing wholesale and retail funds and for both fund managers and investors on co-investment and joint venture arrangements. Vanessa is primarily based in Sydney.

Nicole Tumiati is an experienced transactional corporate lawyer with experience in mergers and acquisitions, private fundraisings, joint ventures and commercial agreements. Nicole has worked with businesses across a wide range of industries, but has particular expertise in the following sectors: professional services (including financial services/wealth); retail & FMCG (including food, beverage and agribusiness); manufacturing and logistics. Nicole is primarily based in Melbourne.

New special counsel

Sam Baring (Personal estate and business succession planning, Melbourne), James Fielding (Public liability, professional indemnity and workers’ compensation insurance, Perth), Chris Forder (Product liability and professional indemnity insurance, Melbourne), Alexandra Gallagher (Employment and workplace relations, Melbourne), Holly Lillico (Building and construction disputes, professional indemnity and general liability insurance, Perth), Victoria Ng (Workers’ compensation insurance, Melbourne), Rebecca Pickering (Construction and major projects, Melbourne), Kathryn Sharpe (Litigation and dispute resolution, Melbourne), Elizabeth Vorbach (Commercial litigation and dispute resolution, Sydney), Sining Wang (Litigation, dispute resolution and China practice, Melbourne), Melissa Zen (CTP and public liability insurance, Sydney).

New senior associates

Casey Bombara (Estate and trust matters, estate administration and planning, Perth), Grace Bowran-Burge (Workers’ compensation insurance, Melbourne), Victoria Cai (Commercial real estate and infrastructure transactions, Sydney), Rhonda Carson (Workers’ compensation, public and product liability and CTP insurance, Perth), Sonia Cheung (CTP insurance, Sydney), Grace Collis (Seafarers’ and workers’ compensation insurance, Perth), Eloise Cotchett (Workers’ compensation insurance, Sydney), Katt Faapito (Workers’ compensation insurance, Sydney), Jake Fogo (Personal injury litigation, Melbourne), Kaitlin Greer (Commercial litigation and dispute resolution, Sydney), Olivia Hunt (Personal estate and business succession planning, Melbourne), Gabrielle Joffe (Employment, industrial relations and workplace health and safety, Melbourne), Marianna Kirchmann (Public liability insurance, Melbourne), Adrian Lee (Debt recovery, security enforcement, contractual disputes and insolvency, Melbourne), Sophie Lee (CTP insurance, Newcastle), Kendall Messer (Shipping and transport law and marine insurance, Perth), Dan Poole (Pro bono, Brisbane), Charlie Renney (Investment funds, financial services and superannuation, Melbourne), Natalie Russell (Workers’ compensation insurance, Melbourne), Shyla Sivanas (Workers’ compensation insurance, Melbourne), Katherine Teague (Personal injury law and CTP insurance, Sydney), Paul Todd (Projects and construction, Sydney), Todd Waugh (Public liability, professional negligence and cyber insurance, Sydney), Lucy Wilcox (Property and projects, Melbourne).

Senior corporate services promotions

Deborah Berry (Risk Manager), Salil Chitre (Information Security Manager), Briele Heath (Head of Commercial Business Development), Sonja Johnstone (Senior Workflow Developer/Analyst), Frances Morgan (Document Support Manager), Kate Price (Head of Markets), Pious Thomas (Director – Technology), Yvette Woodward (Head of Knowledge).


Melinda Woledge

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Melinda is the Marketing & Communications Manager. She is responsible for the external and internal communication strategy.

You might be also interested in...

Corporate & Commercial | 5 Jun 2023

Hall & Wilcox advises LuckyLiquor on the launch of a new Australian gin brand, Papa Salt Gin

Hall & Wilcox has advised LuckyLiquor Pty Ltd, the new Australian subsidiary of LuckyLiquor USA, on the launch of Papa Salt Gin.

Thinking | 31 May 2023

Hall & Wilcox reaffirms commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the Yes campaign for a First Nations Voice

We are proud to support the Yes campaign in the upcoming referendum to make a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice a reality.