DibbsBarker woos another partner to continue Melbourne growth

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DibbsBarker has wooed another partner to continue its growth in Melbourne.

The firm has welcomed Joanne Hardwick as its fourth partner in Melbourne less than two weeks after it announced the appointment of banking and finance expert Jason Morris in the city. Hardwick came from Mills Oakley, where she was partner for the last eight years. Morris came from Allens, where he was partner for 10 years.

Hardwick, who has more than 17 years’ experience in her specialty, is an expert in insolvency and restructuring. She works with insolvency practitioners, accountants, company directors, creditors and other key stakeholders involved in or impacted by a company's voluntary administration, receivership or liquidation, the firm said.

Her practice also includes general commercial litigation and disputes work. She works on a wide array of matters, including debt recovery, shareholder disputes, breach of contract, franchising and breach of duty cases. Her insolvency work covers a range of industries, including financial services, building and construction, aged care and retail.

“With her wealth of experience, Joanne adds further depth to our restructuring and insolvency practice, which has gathered significant momentum in Melbourne since John Stragalinos arrived. The safe harbour and other reforms due to take effect next year will only enhance the opportunities that already exist in a highly active market, and together with John, Joanne will be key in enabling us to realise those opportunities,” said Scott Guthrie, the firm’s head of banking, insolvency, and disputes (BID).

Stragalinos heads the firm’s BID team in Melbourne. In April, the team added special counsel Silvana Larobina from Corrs Chambers Westgarth and senior associates Joseph Ip from King & Wood Mallesons and Richard Fong Hall & Wilcox.

“DibbsBarker opening a Melbourne office has given me an exciting opportunity to join forces with John Stragalinos, combining our skills and experience to offer a fresh alternative in the Melbourne insolvency market,” Hardwick said. “The firm’s strategy and vision are clear and the potential for growth and success here is great. I am delighted to play a pivotal role in expanding DibbsBarker’s Melbourne presence and servicing our valued clients and referrers.”

Joanne Hardwick

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