Exits confirmed at HDY ahead of merger

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A top firm has wooed a group of five partners from a competitor ahead of its merger with a larger, global law firm.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has hired Patrick O'Grady, Cameron Cheetham, Craig Ensor, Ben Emblin, and Michael Catchpoole from Henry Davis York (HDY), which is merging with Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF). 

Experts in all aspects of capital structuring in front-end lending, restructuring, workout, insolvency, and recovery, the team has acted in significant deals including Channel 10, the insolvency related to Salim Mehajer, the restructuring of McAleese Ltd, the scheme of arrangement of Emeco Ltd, and the international insolvency of Lehman Brothers.

“Corrs has achieved significant success in the restructuring and insolvency space over the past few years and, with these appointments, we are now positioned as the market leader in this area. Patrick, Cameron, Craig, Ben and Michael are each in their own right incredibly experienced and well respected, and we are thrilled they are coming across to Corrs as a team to provide our clients with the very best. We know that a number of clients presently serviced by this team will also now be working with Corrs into the future and we are excited to welcome them into the Corrs client community. With the arrival of the new safe harbour legislation, we are expecting to see an increasing demand for broad based multifunctional restructuring skills, and we will be extremely well-equipped to provide this,” said Corrs partner and CEO, John W.H. Denton AO.

The five partners join Corrs' restructuring and insolvency practice, which is led by partners Jason Salman and Mark Wilks.

The development comes after four partners from NRF were picked up by Pinsent Masons earlier this month. The hires will expand the firm’s network in Australia with a new office in Perth. According to The Australian Financial Review, NRF COO Tony Brennan is also leaving the firm at the end of the year.

In July, Maddocks hired special counsel Bronwyn Maynard in Sydney. Maynard spent seven years at HDY, where she was most recently also special counsel.

NRF recently told Australasian Lawyer that partner exits are normal ahead of mergers.

The lateral hires, however, significantly shrink HDY’s banking, restructuring, and turnaround practice ahead of the union. The practice will be left with 12 partners and nine special counsel.


Patrick O'Grady


Cameron Cheetham


Craig Ensor


Ben Emblin


Michael Catchpoole


Related stories:
NRF says partner losses common ahead of mergers
NRF, HDY partnerships approve merger

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