Top ten firm Gadens has announced the appointment of leading Australian international trade partner Andrew Hudson as partner in its corporate advisory group in Melbourne.
Hudson joins the firm from Hunt & Hunt, where he has been involved in the customs, trade and transport practice for the past 10 years.
His appointment is part of a larger move to grow Gadens’ corporate advisory practice and profile, and Melbourne CEO says Hudson’s appointment will provide international clients with an enhanced offering.
With a wealth of experience, Hudson has acted across a large variety of high-profile cases, including acting for cricketer Shane Warne at the time a Pakistani court was brought to Melbourne to investigate the alleged “bookie affair”.
Being thrust into the media spotlight for this was both “fascinating” if not a little “terrifying”, he told Australasian Lawyer
Other interesting and eclectic cases he’s faced in his career include acting for his local residents in Carnegie on a pro-bono matter to oppose the opening of a lap dancing bar over the neighbourhood Malaysian restaurant.
“[It] was outside of my normal area of practice but we were successful -thankfully or I would have been run out of town,” he jokes. “More recently I have spent significant time overseas acting for exporters in Dumping Investigations which has often meant travelling to remote areas, learning manufacturing practices, juggling work there and at home while often working in several time zones…while still trying to be a decent father!”
In his new role at Gadens, Hudson advises all parties involved with trade and customs including importers, exporters, brokers, freight forwarders, shippers and trade financiers.
He provides advice ranging from international trade conventions, arbitrations to resolve disputes, trade financing options, commodity and freight contracts to dealing with inquiries and prosecutions by customs and other Government agencies in such matters as dumping and alleged underpayments of customs duty, together with all related litigation.
He says as a major trading nation with a history of extensive local production, Australia treads a fine line between “looking after” local production, while also trying to liberalise markets for Australian exporters.
“The conduct of the trade agenda is also deeply political and even the Coalition partners in Federal Government do not altogether agree on the agenda,” Hudson says of this challenge. “Even when the Australian agenda is set, it needs to be negotiated with other Governments overseas - and their politics. That all leads to complex Trade Agreements whose implementation can often be difficult.”
The successful lawyer says he’s always wanted to work in the legal space, other than a stint where he dreamed of being a professional sportsman (which, he jokes, he was cruelly denied by a “lack of talent”).
Hudson’s specific interest in trade and international relations was fuelled by early life experiences, he says.
“My Father was a senior officer with Australian Customs for many years including a three year posting to the London office in the mid 70’s during my early teenage years. The talk with Dad and his friends often touched on these areas of law and I realised early in life that Australia was a small part of a big world and so what happened overseas had a significant effect on our lives here – and it was an interesting mix of law, economics and politics.”
Gaden’s head of corporate advisory & tax group in Melbourne Jeremy Smith says that with the Australian Government looking at negotiation a number of new economic partnership and free trade agreements, and implementing ones already concluded or signed, there isn’t a better time to have someone of Hudson’s calibre on board.
“Gadens will play an important role in supporting Australian exporters to access new markets and expanding trade in existing markets. Having someone of Andrew’s reputation is an exciting appointment, and an asset for both our clients and firm as a whole,” he says.