Global firm's Sydney partners to lead new advisory business

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Two Sydney-based Norton Rose Fulbright partners are launching an advisory business.

Simon Currie, the firm's global head of energy, and Vincent Dwyer will lead the business focused on providing strategic consulting and guidance, and transaction services to the energy sector. It will also be a start-up and growth accelerator for the sector.

“The energy sector is being transformed. Large energy companies are rebranding and changing their focus. New players are entering the sector as it converges with other sectors such as real estate, transport, infrastructure and agriculture,” said Currie.

The advisory business will work with the law firm but will be a separate business to avoid conflict of interest. Currie and Dwyer will be the senior consultants.

“Our firm believes that there is a demand for a more holistic approach to the provision of specialist services to clients and we are very pleased to be able to support this innovative venture, which will allow Simon and Vincent to utilise their extensive market knowledge in new ways, as well as retaining their relationship with Norton Rose Fulbright,” explained Wayne Spanner, Norton Rose Fulbright’s managing partner in Australia.

Ashurst makes commitment to financial inclusion
Ashurst has launched a new program to address financial inclusion in Australia.

The global firm’s commitment to the Financial Inclusion Action Plan aims to help the 3.3 million people across the country who do not have access to mainstream financial institutions.

"Our FIAP focuses on the areas we believe Ashurst can make the greatest contribution to financial inclusion in Australia, such as specific priorities for our pro bono clients, training for our staff and providing legal support on the FIAP programme to other participating organisations,” said managing partner Paul Jenkins. We believe this will make a tangible difference and I am proud that Ashurst is the first global law firm to sign up to this initiative."

The FIAP programme is led by not for profit community organisation Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact and EY, on behalf of the Australian Government as part of its G20 and United Nations commitments to increase income equality.

Don’t be bullied by judges says Bar Association
Barristers that are bullied by judges should ask for support from their representative body.

The Bar Association in England & Wales says that it strongly condemns any form of bullying or inappropriate treatment of its members by judges or other legal professionals.

Chair of the Bar Andrew Walker QC says that the association acknowledges that judges, like others in the legal profession, are under pressure and may take out frustrations on barristers. But he said bullying has no place in courts.

He added that there are steps that barristers can take when faced with inappropriate treatment.

"Our advice is always to be civil but firm with any bullying judge, opponent or clerk; to seek advice about it; and to report it,” he said. “Both the Bar Council and Bar leaders are committed to making sure that bullying is addressed and not tolerated.”