K&L Gates grows with double-partner hire in Melbourne

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K&L Gates has grown its energy, infrastructure, and resources team in Melbourne after bringing in two new partners.

Luke Westmore and Zac Kerr move to the firm from Mills Oakley. Westmore said that he and Kerr were attracted to K&L Gates’ fully integrated global platform.

Westmore, who has more than 16 years’ experience, has practiced in both Australia and the UK. He was a special counsel at both Gilbert + Tobin and DLA Piper in Melbourne, general counsel at Roaring 40s Renewable Energy in Melbourne, and associate at both Chadbourne & Parke and Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer in London.

Westmore has a particular focus on complex energy and infrastructure projects. He has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating of project documentation, including EPC contracts, power purchases, and operation and maintenance agreements.

Kerr has a focus on transport, energy, water, and social infrastructure projects, including greenfield and brownfield developments, secondary market sales, and drafting and negotiating project documentation for construction, operation and maintenance, feedstock, offtake, tolling, and other revenue agreements, the firm said.

Before Mills Oakley, Kerr was a senior lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills. He was also a lance corporal with the Australian Army.

Both Westmore and Kerr act for sponsors, financiers, and contractors on PPPs and the development and procurement of transmission and distribution assets, toll roads, power stations, railways, ports, airports, and wind, solar, hydroelectric, telecommunication, and industrial projects. They work on projects in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the US.

Nick Nichola, the managing partner of K&L Gates in Australia, said that the arrival of Westmore and Kerr comes at an opportune time.

“Last year was the biggest year ever for renewable energy construction investment, with 2018 expected to exceed that record,” Nichola said.

K&L Gates recently welcomed real estate partners Jennifer Degotardi and Sam Brown in Sydney and labour, employment, and workplace safety partner Steven Amendola in Melbourne.

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