Former Aussie leader in running to lead global firm

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Former Aussie leader in running to lead global firm

The former managing partner of DLA Piper in Australia is one of three remaining possibilities to become senior partner of the global firm.

Andrew Darwin led the Australian team from 2013 and was also chief operating officer for the firm’s non-US operations until April 2017 when he became managing director of developing markets.

He joined the firm in 1981 and made partner in 1987, progressing to senior leadership roles which also included head of corporate managing partner for the UK, managing director of EMEA.

Along with Darwin, the firm’s head of corporate, Bob Bishop; and corporate partner Jon Hayes; remain in the process following the closure of the first round of voting last week. The election concludes on 12th February.

The firm has not seen a senior partner contest for 10 years but the race began after the departure of Juan Picon who joined Latham & Watkins in 2017.

DLA Piper has also confirmed the appointment of senior dispute resolution lawyer Natalie Caton to its partnership in Australia.

She joins from KWM with broad experience in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand including advising the special purpose liquidators of Queensland Nickel, the ACCC vs Flight Centre proceedings, the 2011 Brisbane Floods Class Action and the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program.

Cooley to launch new Asia Pacific office

Global IP and regulatory focused firm Cooley is expanding its Asia Pacific capabilities with a new office in Beijing.

It will be the firm’s second office in China and its 13th worldwide and coincides with the hire of investment funds lawyer Xun Jeng from Ropes and Gray, who will be the new location’s first resident partner.

She is joined by two Cooley’s associates who have relocated to Beijing from Shanghai where the firm opened in 2011.

“We have a history of achievement across the Asia-Pacific region and, in particular, have worked with private investment fund clients over three decades. We can now deliver on-the-ground legal resources in China’s capital city as we further expand our international capabilities,” said Mike Lincoln, global chair of Cooley’s business department.

Allens hires NRF, Corrs partners for environment, planning team

National firm Allens has hired lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright and Corrs Chambers Westgarth, to boost its environment and planning team.

Felicity Rourke joins the firm’s Sydney office from NRF. It markets her return to the firm where she started her career. She is vice-president of the NSW Environmental Planning Law Association.

Jillian Button joins from Corrs and is based in Allens’ Melbourne office. Her focus is on property development, water and waste issues and infrastructure planning.