Firm makes appointment amid China success

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HopgoodGanim has appointed a special counsel in Perth, at the same time as the firm has seen benefits flowing from its presence in Shanghai.

The firm has appointed public sector-focused Karen Browne as a special counsel, joining a team that provides planning, development and public sector advice to clients in Western Australia.

Browne was formerly an in-house lawyer at local government authority City of Wanneroo, and has experience advising the Public Trustee and working for other law firms in WA.

The appointment adds to the four-partner, 15-lawyer contingent the firm now has in WA, which primarily joined as part of Queensland-based HopgoodGanim's merger with Q Legal in late 2012.

In February, HopgoodGanim tapped Allion Legal for further partnership depth in the energy and resources sector in Perth, appointing Simon Panegyres as a partner.

The news comes amid success for the firm in winning more China-sourced business, having recently been engaged by Chinese company Landbridge Group on its $160m bid for WestSide.

The firm appointed senior China consultant Michael Wadley last year in a move the firm said would enhance its existing cooperation agreements with local firms Dacheng Law Offices and Zhejiang T&C.

"I think the presence in Shanghai is giving us more traction over in China," said Brisbane-based corporate partner Nicole Radice. "We had contacts and connections prior to that, but having a person on the ground is really helping us."

HopgoodGanim's Chinese and Chinese-owned clients include Norton Gold fields Limited/Zijin Mining Group, SinoCoal Resources Pty Ltd, and Bank of China.