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K&L Gates Names New Regional Managing Partner Following Stepping Aside of Long Time Australia Leader

3 July 2023

Sydney – Ten years after global law firm K&L Gates LLP's entry into Australia through its combination with national firm Middletons, the firm's long time Regional Managing Partner, Australia, Nick Nichola has relinquished the role upon the conclusion of his current term on 30 June 2023.

Nichola, who has spent the past 18 years in the national managing partner role, first for Middletons and then for K&L Gates upon the January 2013 combination of the two firms, will remain a partner with the firm, and is succeeded in the Regional Managing Partner, Australia role by Sydney Restructuring and Insolvency partner Jason Opperman.

Nichola began his tenure as national managing partner of Middletons in January 2005, becoming the inaugural regional managing partner for Australia following the firm's combination with K&L Gates in 2013. 

Having overseen a period of significant transformation for the Australian offices during a time of great change for both the legal industry and economy, Nichola passes on the leadership baton with K&L Gates perfectly placed to continue its recent growth in Australia, having appointed 13 new partners in the past seven months.

"It has been an honour and privilege to hold the position of Regional Managing Partner, Australia, with K&L Gates," stated Nichola. "I consider it an important career highlight to have led K&L Gates' entry, consolidation, and expansion into the Australian market. The firm has gone through a tremendous period of growth and repositioning in the past decade and is, I believe, ideally placed to continue its trajectory."

K&L Gates' Global Managing Partner Jim Segerdahl commented: "Nick's tenure as a leader has been a remarkable one, and has been transformative for our law firm, and for the career paths of many people across our platform. Nick is one of a kind, and all of us who have had the pleasure of getting to know him are grateful for the experience. Our firm is in a far better place than it would be without Nick's special touch and strategic vision, and we are pleased that he will continue to play a key role within our firm as well as in the Australian leadership transition."

Nichola’s successor Opperman is a highly regarded, market-leading lawyer in the areas of insolvency and workouts who recently has served as a leader of both the firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency practice group and broader Finance practice area. He has more than 20 years of experience acting for and advising Australia's largest banks and financial institutions on a range of insolvency, turnaround, special situations, and securities enforcement matters and is recognised for his extensive knowledge in the area of cross border insolvency.

Segerdahl noted: "Jason is a supremely accomplished lawyer and extremely hard worker who is very focused on attracting and coordinating great talent and attracting and servicing great clients in Australia and beyond. He is fully committed to advancing our firm and its Australian offices, as well as the professional satisfaction and opportunities for all of our colleagues, and to doing so in a collaborative and communicative fashion."

Opperman said: "I am elated to have been appointed to this role and feel energised by the enormous potential of our Australian offices, which are terrifically well placed for the future and tremendously well respected by both clients and colleagues across K&L Gates' fully integrated global platform. I am excited by the prospect of what can be achieved in the next 10 years and beyond. I see tremendous opportunity given the strategic role Australia continues to play regionally and across the global economy, and I am committed to leading and empowering our people to seize that opportunity.

As our clients' operations and markets are not confined by geography, seamless delivery of legal services to support our clients wherever they have a need is critically important. Our prospects for the future are very bright and, with much to still be achieved, this role is a chance to lead our highly valued clients and talented people into a future we are only beginning to imagine."

To help mark this year's 10th anniversary of K&L Gates' entry into Australia, the firm's Chairman Michael Caccese and Global Managing Partner Jim Segerdahl will be visiting Australia during July for a series of client, staff, and alumni events in each of the Australian offices. 

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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