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K&L Gates Adds Partner to Asset Management and Investment Funds Team in Sydney

6 February 2023

Sydney – Global law firm K&L Gates has further strengthened its Asset Management and Investment Funds practice with the appointment of Matthew Watts as a partner in Sydney. Watts rejoins K&L Gates from funds management company Maple-Brown Abbott, where he was general counsel. Prior to his work with Maple-Brown Abbott, Watts held the role of Executive Legal Counsel at global asset manager First Sentier Investors.

Watts has extensive experience both in private practice and in-house, advising on investment fund formation, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, financial services regulation and Australian corporate law. He previously was a partner in K&L Gates’ Asset Management and Investment Funds team in Sydney before moving in-house.

K&L Gates' Managing Partner, Australia, Nick Nichola, said: "We are really pleased to welcome Matthew back to K&L Gates as a partner in our growing Asset Management and Investment Funds team. Matthew is the 10th new partner we have announced in Australia since the start of December and he will be joining a team that is doing fantastic work in what are rapidly developing areas of law that are in high demand from our clients."

Global Asset Management and Investment Funds practice area leader Michael Caccese said: "Matthew returns to K&L Gates after spending more than four years in-house working closely with Boards and senior management on key business initiatives. He brings to the firm and our clients a wealth of experience advising internal stakeholders on local and offshore fund establishment and restructuring, asset acquisitions, and the implementation of regulatory changes such as design and distribution obligations, breach reporting and changes to the Australian fee disclosure regime."

Watts' appointment is the latest in a string of new partner announcements in Australia over the past two months. In addition to welcoming partners James Lonie, Natalya Hards and Naomi Philp to the Corporate practice in Sydney and Lisa Lautier to the Asset Management and Investment Funds practice in Sydney in December and January, the firm also promoted five Australian lawyers to partner effective 1 January: Damiano Castelli (Real Estate, Brisbane), Alanna Fitzpatrick (Labour, Employment and Workplace Safety, Brisbane), Simon Leslie (Corporate, Sydney), Marian Ngo (Corporate, Melbourne) and Gregory Pieris (Intellectual Property, Melbourne).

The addition of Watts also continues the recent growth of K&L Gates and its Asset Management and Investment Funds practices globally. This includes the firm’s promotion of 40 lawyers across 22 offices to partnership at the start of the year, as well as the early January opening of an office in Dublin, Ireland - the firm's 48th office - led by three Asset Management and Investment Funds partners, and the addition of other new Asset Management and Investment Funds partners and of counsel in the firm’s Washington, D.C., Miami, and New York offices during 2022.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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