You've progressed at ABL from starting out as a grad to now being appointed Senior Associate. What do you see as the advantages of advancing your career in this way within the one firm and, specifically, at ABL?
ABL’s culture enables young lawyers to take on responsibility early in their career and to immerse themselves in different transactions, supervised by different partners. This helps you to develop a diverse skill set but also to form trusted relationships across practice areas. For me, this has allowed me to form strong relationships throughout the firm, which I can continually leverage to ensure our clients receive comprehensive, robust and strategic advice.
You moved to Australia from New Zealand to take up a role with ABL, as have a number of lawyers at different levels in the firm. Are there opportunities for you to leverage existing relationships formed in both countries?
New Zealand and Australia have close geographical, economic and cultural ties which open up a wide range of opportunities for commercial relationships. Property finance investment into New Zealand is attractive for many Australian developers and financiers. By leveraging existing trans-Tasman relationships and develop new ones, I’ve been able to advise on a number of cross-board transactions.
“Forming strong, enduring relationships with clients is very important to me as a lawyer”.
Having started out as a graduate in the commercial team, what encouraged you to move into banking & finance?
Forming strong, enduring relationships with clients is very important to me as a lawyer, and I found that the consistent and regular deal flow from property developers, fund managers and non-bank lenders in the banking & finance team was a terrific platform for cultivating the trust and understanding that allows these relationships to develop. It’s rewarding both personally and professionally, and means that commercial advice can be tailored to the needs of different clients.
What are some of the highlight transactions you've worked on that have contributed to your promotion to Senior Associate?
There are two transactions that come to mind. Firstly, the corporate and debt restructure of ASX listed entity LawFinance, which allowed me to draw on the skills I acquired during my time in both the corporate and banking & finance teams, while also demonstrating my ability to negotiate with various financiers and equity holders to ensure a positive outcome was reached for all involved.
Advising Charter Hall and Host Plus in connection with the acquisition of ALE Property Group was another pivotal transaction for me. The $1.66 billion buyout proposal was a mammoth transaction, which involved significant and complicated due diligence of structured financing arrangements and negotiating both joint venture arrangements and syndicated debt facilities.