Australasian Law Awards: 2017 winners revealed

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The annual Australasian Law Awards were held at The Star Sydney last night with the best firms, in-house legal teams and deals revealed.

Sponsored for the third consecutive year by official partner FTI Consulting, the event was attended by a full house of 676 of Australia’s top legal professionals. Awards were presented in 34 categories covering firms, in-house teams and deals.

Journalist and author Peter Fitzsimons was back in the hot seat as MC for the night. Guests were entertained with a surprise performance by singing waiters act The Three Waiters as well as acoustic band Luke Zanc Trio, who created a unique spin on classic tunes.

Clayton Utz was one of the big firm winners last night, featuring in several winning deals and taking home the JLT Employee Health & Wellbeing Award as well as two individual awards – Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (30 or under) for rising star Thomas Dougherty, and Scarlis Pringle Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 Employees) for the firm’s chief executive partner, Rob Cutler.

Across the Tasman, Fonterra Co-operative Group’s in-house team proved unstoppable, winning Russell McVeagh NZ In-house Team of the Year for the third consecutive year. It was IFM Investors that picked up the Clayton Utz Australian In-house Team of the Year, while the prestigious Australian In-house Lawyer of the Year award, sponsored by FTI Consulting, went to Brookfield’s Claire Bibby for the second year in a row for her contribution to the legal profession.

In a year marked by several significant deals, the award for Australian Deal of the Year went to the Acquisition of Asciano by Brookfield and Qube. One of the largest ever takeovers executed in Australia, the deal involved a line-up of the country’s best firms: Allens, Baker McKenzie, Bell Gully, Clayton Utz, Gilbert+Tobin, Herbert Smith Freehills, Jones Day, King & Wood Mallesons and MinterEllison.

Congratulations to all of last night’s award winners. Photos and video coverage from the event will be available next week at www.auslawawards.com.au and in an upcoming special edition of Australasian Lawyer. 

2017 Australasian Law Awards winners:

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year      
Winner: Arrium Group insolvency

Property, Infrastructure and Projects Deal of the Year  
Winner: Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing and Investa Property Group

Debt Market Deal of the Year        
Winner: SMART ABS Series securitisation

Energy & Resources Deal of the Year       
Winner: Merger of Queensland electricity distributors to create Energy Queensland

Equity Market Deal of the Year      
Winner: VIVA Energy REIT IPO

M&A Deal of the Year         
Winner: Acquisition of Asciano by Brookfield and Qube

International Deal of the Year       
Winner: ABI acquisition of SABMiller

Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year
Winner: Salvos Legal

JLT Employee Health and Wellbeing Award        
Winner: Clayton Utz

Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year      
Winner: Harmers Workplace Lawyers
Highly Commended: Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors

AIG Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year            
Winner: Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Australasian Lawyer IP Specialist Firm of the Year         
Winner: Bird & Bird

FTI Consulting Boutique Firm of the Year
Winner: Nexus Law Group

Resolution Institute Arbitrator of the Year         
Winner: Alex Baykitch

Resolution Institute Mediator of the Year           
Winner: Stephen Lancken

Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (30 or Under)         
Winner: Thomas Dougherty, Clayton Utz
Highly Commended: Holly Sara, Jones Day & Stipe Vuleta, Chamberlains

Young In-House Lawyer of the Year (30 or Under)        
Winner: Louise Young – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

LOD Banking & Financial Services In-house Team of the Year
Winner: National Australia Bank Group Governance & Legal Team

Sparke Helmore Lawyers Insurance In-house Team of the Year          
Winner: AIA Australia
Highly Commended: Chubb

Gilbert + Tobin Investment Bank In-house Team of the Year  
Winner: Macquarie Capital Legal Team

Russell McVeagh NZ In-house Team of the Year            
Winner: Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

FTI Consulting Australian In-house Lawyer of the Year
Winner: Claire Bibby, Brookfield

NZ Dealmaker of the Year  
Winner: John Strowger, Chapman Tripp
Highly Commended: Silvana Schenone, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Scarlis Pringle Australian Dealmaker of the Year
Winner: Philippa Stone, Herbert Smith Freehills

NZ Deal Firm of the Year
Winner: Chapman Tripp

Australian Deal Team of the Year
Winner: Allens - Mergers and Acquisitions

Law Firm Leader of the Year (≤200 employees)
Winner: Sandra Gibson, LOD - Lawyers On Demand

Scarlis Pringle Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 employees)
Rob Cutler, Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz Australian In-house Team of the Year
Winner: IFM Investors Australian legal team

Australian Deal of the Year
Acquisition of Asciano by Brookfield and Qube

State /Regional Firm of the Year
Harwood Andrews

Australian Law Firm of the Year (1 - 100 Lawyers)
Salvos Legal

GlobalX Australian Law Firm of the Year (101 - 500 Lawyers)
Mills Oakley

FTI Consulting Law Firm of the Year (>500 employees)
Herbert Smith Freehills

 

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