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Herbert Smith Freehills names five partners in Australia

The promotions follow the recent departure of 13 lawyers for a rival firm in the past three months.

Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted five lawyers to partners in Australia, filling the vacancies arising from the departure of 13 practitioners for rival firm White & Case. 

Four of the five new partners specialise in infrastructure and project finance, while one, Heidi Asten from the Melbourne office, advises on environmental and planning law. 

Elizabeth Charlesworth is a Sydney-based project finance lawyer who focuses on both greenfield developments and acquisitions and divestments. Andrew Griffiths, also Sydney-based, is experienced in advising on construction, infrastructure projects and PPPs in Australia and the UK. 

Richard Wilkinson and Erin Wyeth are both Melbourne-based, offering expertise respectively in contract structuring and project delivery, as well as secondary market privatisations.

“The opportunity to accelerate the promotion of the five lawyers across the three teams came at an opportune time, and followed the recently announced departure of a number of partners from those practices,” said Jason Ricketts, global head of practice – finance, real estate and projects. 

Also, Alison Dodd, a Melbourne-based senior associate, has been promoted to executive counsel, with her focus on infrastructure projects across renewables, power, mining, transport and water sectors. 

White & Case said in September it had hired 10 new partners from HSF for the expansion of its global energy, infrastructure & project finance practice and Asia-Pacific business. Later in November, set to open its new outposts in Sydney and Melbourne, it officially launched its Australia practice with three more new hires from the same company. The firm said it aimed to “build a top-tier energy, infrastructure and project finance practice in Australia, with a pivot north towards Asia more generally”. 

An HSF spokesperson said at that time the firm was well prepared for the staff changes with a sound succession plan in place.