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White and Case launches Australia practice

The US law firm has hired three lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills, following on the recruitment of 10 partners from the same company announced in September.

White & Case has launched an Australia practice with three partners joining from London and Sydney-based rival Herbert Smith Freehills. 

The US law firm has appointed Adeline Pang, Ged Cochrane and Michelle Keen as partners in its global energy, infrastructure and project finance unit. They will be based in White & Case’s new Melbourne office, which is due to open on 1 December. 

The firm described Pang and Cochrane, formerly senior associates at HSF, as experts on energy and infrastructure project development and acquisition and project financing respectively. It added that Keen, previously a special counsel at HSF, will focus on environmental planning and permitting. 

The appointments are part of the firm’s efforts to expand its infrastructure practice and its Asia Pacific business. White & Case said in September that it had hired a team of 10 new partners from HSF to join its offices in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

These reportedly included HSF’s Melbourne-based partner Brendan Quinn, project partners Josh Sgro, Andrew Clark, Alan Rosengarten, Joanne Draper and Jared Muller, regulatory partner Time Power and Sydney-based projects partner Joel Rennie. Hong Kong-based finance partner Fergus Smith and Singapore-based projects partner Matthew Osborne are also understood to have joined White & Case. 

Quinn will lead the firm’s project finance team in Asia-Pacific while Clark will be its head of projects and finance for the region, according to reports. 

In addition to the Melbourne outpost, White & Case plans to open a new office in Sydney in early 2017.

White & Case had not responded to queries by press time.

A HSF spokeswoman assured the firm was well prepared for the staff changes with a sound succession plan in place. “The team in Asia Pacific and globally remains incredibly strong, and these departures provide opportunities for other talented lawyers in the team to step up,” she said.