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Our Commitment to Diversity
Sydney

Australia

Sydney

Level 31, 1 O'Connell Street
Sydney, New South Wales, 2000

As Australia’s most populous city, Sydney is the economic and financial hub of the nation and a truly international metropolis. Our lawyers work closely with colleagues from our Australian and global offices to provide a full range of commercial legal services to our clients.

Our team of experienced lawyers draw on their superior knowledge of local market conditions, laws and regulations, and strong international ties to provide astute and timely advice to our clients.

Working with our clients, we operate across all major sectors and industries, including major domestic and international corporations and investment funds, government departments, publicly listed companies, commercial institutions, and private businesses.

Our lawyers advise on all aspects of commercial law, with particular knowledge in capital markets, finance, financial services, insolvency, dispute resolution, corporate regulation, intellectual property, real estate, labour and employment, tax, planning, and construction.

Sydney is also one of the most important centers for international dispute resolution in the Asia Pacific region, and our team’s significant experience is reflective of this.

  • The 2020 Asia-Pacific Chambers guide recognises the firm as a leader in Australian in the areas of Competition/Antitrust; Construction; Dispute Resolution; Employment; Financial Services Regulation; Intellectual Property; Real Estate; Restructuring/Insolvency; Sports Law; and Tax.
  • The firm was ranked among leaders in Australia in the areas of Banking and Finance; Competition and Trade; Construction; Corporate and M&A; Dispute Resolution; Intellectual Property; Project Development; Real Estate; Regulatory Compliance and Investigations; Restructuring and Insolvency; Tax in the 2020 Asia-Pacific Legal 500 .
  • 12 lawyers in our Sydney office are named among the 2020 Best Lawyers in Australia.

The banking and finance team at K&L Gates acts for a range of clients including major domestic banks, alternative lenders, debt funds, professional trustees, sponsors and corporates. The key strength of the team is in complex mid-market real estate finance transactions. Jason Opperman heads up the national finance practice from Sydney, and Melbourne-based Alan Maclean is active in property finance in Victoria. In a major hire, Richard Hayes joined the Sydney office from Hogan Lovells in September 2020.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

K&L Gates’ Sydney-based team ‘will go above and beyond for all matters’ and focuses on all aspects of merger clearances and supply chain issues. Regulatory investigations into cartel allegations and other breaches of competition law form another area of strength. The department’s work gains additional credibility due to the past experience of practice head Ayman Guirguis at the ACCC. The team is noted for being active across a wide range of sectors, including automotive, financial services, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and shipping, to name a few.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

K&L Gates is active across the full lifecycle of projects from tendering and contract award through to construction and operation. Department head Sandra Steele is an expert in contract drafting, negotiation and disputes; she also holds the distinction of serving as an accredited adjudicator with the Royall Institution of Charted Surveyors. Simon Ashworth is based in Sydney alongside Steele and is a key name for energy and resources, transport and social infrastructure projects. The group prides itself on dispute minimisation and is also highly regarded for its security of payment work.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

K&L Gates 'handles the full sphere of real estate matters' including residential, mixed-use, industrial, and retail developments on which it supports clients at every stage from the initial agreement through to the sale of developed assets. Sandra Steele heads the practice which is also active on the investment front, acting on both single asset and portfolio transactions and is likewise entrusted for leasing, real estate agency law, and capital transaction matters. Other notable components of the practice include its knowledge of the build-to-rent, co-living, and micro-living sectors as well as the vast amount of work that it handles on behalf of government clients. The 'energetic' Samuel Brown, based in Sydney alongside Steele, is praised for his 'expert legal skills and extensive background knowledge'.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

Equally comfortable with contentious and advisory work in the restructuring and insolvency space, K&L Gates handles complex situations of financial distress for clients across a wide range of industries, while retaining strong links with major Australian banks and government entities. Jason Opperman heads up the team from Sydney, with support from Andrew Chambers and Stephen Hume in Melbourne. In team news, Alex Smith was promoted to partner in Sydney in March 2020; her experience includes in-house roles and secondments at major banks.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

K&L Gates has a strong profile nationally acting for US clients and advising on inbound and outbound investment. The tax team advises on all aspects of corporate and international tax, with particular expertise in cross-border aircraft finance. Betsy-Ann Howe heads up the practice and is co-global head of the firm's tax practice, and Matthew Cridland is a key name in indirect taxes, including for GST, stamp duty, payroll tax, land tax, luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

Ayman Guirguis is identified by sources as "someone who takes the big picture and looks for solutions, as well as providing excellent legal analysis." He advises across a wide field of competition issues, including merger control and a variety of regulatory matters.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

Betsy-Ann Howe advises clients on the tax elements of such corporate matters as notes issuances, divestments and acquisitions, funds and investments. According to one client: "She provides tax advice that is particularly helpful, comprehensive and great value for money. She also makes herself available at short notice, which provides us with the comfort of moving quickly without appreciable risk of adverse tax consequences for the transaction."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

Australian arm of a global practice, operating from offices both on the East Coast and in Perth, and experienced in both litigation and a variety of alternative dispute resolution disciplines. Acknowledged for its expanding sector coverage, good regional connections and mid-market appeal. Well equipped to handle large, complex, cross-jurisdictional disputes, notably active on mandates generated by the recent rise of shareholder activism in Australia and similarly prominent in the consumer class action space. Also well placed to advise in connection with ASIC investigations, Royal Commissions and other regulatory inquiries.

Full-service, globally integrated IP practice that offers patent attorney service as part of the integrated team. Experience handling a number of Federal Court disputes involving patent, trade marks and registered design infringement claims. Offers expertise in trade mark rebranding, protection strategies and portfolio management. Possesses notable strength within the fashion industry, both locally and internationally, and highly active in the domestic sports sector.

Richard Hayes of K&L Gates is characterised by a client as a "good, very professional and very, very commercial lawyer," while peers identify him as a highly visible practitioner who "does good work." He focuses principally on acquisition finance mandates, acting for both borrowers and lenders.

Tim Webster is both head of the firm's Australian litigation practice and co-head of its global disputes offering, and plays leading roles on high-profile disputes of all kinds. A client notes that in addition to having "a great reputation with respect to commercial litigation," he is "very knowledgeable, direct and to the point, and a trusted adviser."

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