Chris is a commercial lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in corporate transactions and advice. He is a Partner at Hall & Wilcox and leads the firm’s UK desk.
His transactional experience covers advice to clients on both public company takeovers and private M&A deals, including business and share sales, auction processes, equity investments and joint ventures. He has also advised clients on IPOs and other fundraising activities.
With particular expertise in advice and transactions in the finance and insurance sectors, Chris has acted 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 also advises local companies and their owners on transformational deals and other matters, including succession planning, third party investment, joint ventures, management equity deals, shareholders agreements and outright sales.
He has acted for numerous overseas investors into Australia, in particular those from North America and Japan.
Chris is a dual-qualified lawyer admitted to practice in Australia and in England and Wales. Before joining Hall & Wilcox he was a Partner for nine years in the Corporate Division of a large Australian law firm. He has also worked as a Corporate Counsel for a leading global financial institution.
- Acted for Focus Financial Partners (the leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management businesses) on wealth management investment in Australia.
- Acted for IAG on major M&A transactions including:
- the sale of its Accident & Health International underwriting agency to Tokio Marine;
- the sale of its retail warranty business to The Warranty Group; and
- its acquisition of the Wesfarmers insurance underwriting business in Australia and New Zealand.
- Assisted AMP, Macquarie Bank, Suncorp, NAB, CBA, Westpac/BT and ANZ on numerous transactions and other matters affecting their advice businesses.
- Acted for Outsourcing Inc. of Japan on its acquisition of a majority interest in leading Australian workforce service provider, Beddison Group.
- Assisted NSW Treasury on its $5 billion plus 99 year lease of each of Ports Botany and Kembla.
- Acted for Count Financial on its $375 million acquisition by scheme of arrangement by Commonwealth Bank.
- Acted for Suncorp-Metway on the sale of its Tyndall asset management business to Nikko Asset Management of Japan.
- Acted for TAL Dai-ichi Life (formerly Tower Australia) on its $160 million acquisition of InsuranceLine.
- Assisted Macquarie Private Capital on its $116 million privatisation and sale by scheme of arrangement/trust scheme.
- Acted for Moelis Australia in its $29.5 million acquisition of real estate funds manager, Armada Funds Management.
- Acted for Channel Capital on its buyback of Highbury Partnership’s interest and the hybrid investment by Kudu Investment Management in Channel.
- Advised the owners of several large privately owned businesses (including, Dimeo Cleaning Services and AM Group) on their restructures and multi-phase sale processes to institutional and private equity acquirers.
- Acted for AON on the sale of its Australian salaried adviser financial advice business.
- Acted for AUB Group, a listed insurance broking aggregator, on numerous acquisitions.
- Acted for CHG Meridian of Germany on its $110 million acquisition of Commonwealth Bank’s fleet management business.
- Acted for AMP on the demerger of its UK business.
Awards and recognition
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021Recommended – Corporate law, Mergers and acquisitions
- Law Society of New South Wales
Mergers & Acquisitions | 29 Oct 2020
M&A Plus Insurance – Please mind the gap: managing the timing considerations of warranty and indemnity insurance
In Australia, warranty and indemnity (W&I) insurance has become increasingly popular in the context of private M&A transactions. Typically, the buyer takes out a W&I Insurance policy (W&I Policy) to protect against financial loss arising from a breach of seller’s warranty or under an indemnity.