National firm expands new Melbourne office

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DibbsBarker has expanded its Melbourne office, hiring four lawyers from rival firms and the Supreme Court of Victoria three months after it opened its doors on Collins Street.

Silvana Larobina, Joseph Ip, Richard Fong, and John Heard have joined the national firm since the start of the year.

Larobina, who joins the firm as special counsel, has more than 12 years of experience in commercial litigation and insolvency. She specialises in contractual, commercial, and property disputes, as well as insolvency, restructuring, and banking litigation.

She comes from Corrs Chambers Westgarth and she has also held an in-house role at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, specialising in banking litigation. Larobina joins the firm’s banking, insolvency, and disputes (BID) team in Melbourne, which is led by partner John Stragalinos.

Ip, who joins the firm as senior associate, comes from King & Wood Mallesons. He focuses on complex leasing matters and property acquisitions and disposals. He advises developers, owners, and investors on development and redevelopment of commercial, industrial, retail and residential projects. He joins the firm’s property and projects team, which is led by Bill Burrough, senior partner and DibbsBarker board member.

The firm also welcomed Fong as senior associate from Hall & Willcox. Fong, who has more than 10 years of experience, specialises on banking and finance matters, advising banks, lenders, financiers and corporate borrowers on a range of transactions that include acquisitions, project, and property development financings as well as agri-business and self-managed superannuation fund finance.

Heard joins the firm as associate in the BID team. He specialises in insolvency, banking, and finance and has acted in commercial disputes and banking litigation. He joins the firm after being a senior associate to a judge in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

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