Debt Market Deal of the Year

Winner: Global Infrastructure Partners acquisition of stake in Queensland Curtis LNG project

  • Firms: Allens, Clifford Chance, Norton Rose Fulbright, PWC
  • Banks: ANZ, Bank of China, BNP Paribas, CBA, HSBC, ICBC, Mizuho, MUFG, NAB, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, SMBC

Judges' comments include: “A broad, yet bespoke, transaction.”


(Presenter: Sarah Daniell, Lextechia; Tim Stewart, Allens)

Equity Market Deal of the Year

Winner: PEXA IPO

  • Firms: Allen & Overy, King & Wood Mallesons (Australia), Sidley Austin (U.S.)

Judges' comments include: “A fantastic category of finalists and an extraordinary IPO demonstrating enormous complexity and innovation; Various challenges and different drivers taken on by the team to get this deal across the line; PEXA was a large, complex dual track sale process involving  trade players, private equity and public markets spanning over multiple jurisdictions and completed under extreme time pressure, a well deserved winner; The biggest IPO in recent times. significant complexity and value.”


(Tony Sparks, Allen & Overy)

Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year

Winner: North East Link PPP

  • Firms: Allens, Clayton Utz, Herbert Smith Freehills

Judges' comments include: "A large, complex transaction involving lateral thinking, commerciality of approach, and innovation.; The largest PPP in Australian history and Victoria's largest single transport infrastructure, this deal will bring many first-to-market innovations to the PPP legal landscape; Size, complexity of parties, stakeholders and issues, as well as the unique deal elements really made this one stand out; A first-of-its-kind risk sharing regime, complex project using collaborative contracting principles and completing virtually (electronically)"


(Dan Fitts, Clayton Utz; Presenter: Sarah Daniell, Lextechia; Michael Zieglaar, Herbert Smith Freehills; Tim Stewart, Allens)

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year

Winner: Boart Longyear restructuring

  • Firms: Ashurst, Gilbert + Tobin, MinterEllison, Wharton & Garrison
  • Bank: Jefferies

Judges' comments include: "A great submission and highly complex transaction; A large, complex, multi-jurisdictional transaction which was very well-executed.; The size of this deal, with the international elements, complexity and innovation made it a stand out".


(James Marshall, Ashurst; Alinta Kemeny, Ashurst; Michael Scarf, MinterEllison)

Mid-Market Deal of the Year

Winner: Apex acquisition of Mainstream

  • Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills, Maddocks, Miles Advisory
  • Bank: Macquarie Group

Judges' comments include: "The competitive head and tension of this deal added complexity to every element. It really stands out. "


(Ron Smooker, Maddocks; Andrew McNee, Maddocks)

M&A Deal of the Year

Winner: Santos merger with Oil Search

  • Firms: Allens, Dentons, Herbert Smith Freehills, JB North & Co, King & Spalding
  • Banks: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Capital, Rothschild & Co

Judges' comments include: "High value and high profile deal, evidences complexity and breadth with the cross-jurisdictional issues in PNG. Innovation demonstrated through ESG focus; The complexity, jurisdictions, size and innovation of this made it a stand out this year."


(Presenter: Paul Hopkins, Carter Newell; Guy Alexander, Allens; Tony Damian, Herbert Smith Freehills)



Banking & Financial Services In-House Team of the Year

Winner: AustralianSuper Legal Department

Judges' comments include: "A very impressive summary of what was clearly a very busy and complex year; Demonstrates the breadth and growth of the team and the broad set of services it provides; Impressive team  of 34 and expanding, lots of complex work overseen."


(Wendy Miller, AustralianSuper)

Insurance In-house Team of the Year

Winner: Youi Insurance In-House Legal Team

Judges' comments include: "An impressive, high-performing team able to align strategic needs of the business  and implement innovative new processes with great results and all within budget; Brilliant achievements, innovation and stakeholder engagement; Outstanding innovation in in-house practice - and in insurance; Small team kicking big goals; Successfully managed a range of complex external regulatory matters, while also creating internal value and scaling operations through the introduction of various efficiency measures designed in-house. Great to see such effective partnering with the business."



Young In-House Lawyer of the Year (30 or under)

Winner: Shirley Lee, 3M Australia

Judges' comments include: "A remarkable contribution by an exceptional young lawyer to our community; Innovative approach to providing legal services inhouse and developing strategic approach to complex transactions; Shirley has made impressive contributions within both 3M, and the broader legal community; The quantity of pro-bono work completed at the same time is very impressive; A worthy recipient of this award; Excellent commercial sense and strong stakeholder relationship skills while delivering on legal requirements of the job. Very impressive to hear a young lawyer thinking outside of the box for the best commercial outcome."


(Shirley Lee, 3M Australia)

Australian In-house Lawyer of the Year

Winner: Nicole Graham, NSW Land Registry Services

Judges' comments include: "An impressive package of projects delivered in 2021, alongside development of the team and contribution to diversity & inclusion and sustainability initiatives; Nicole has achieved more in one year than many would aspire to over several; Particularly impressive role in the innovation/transformation projects like introducing e-conveyancing; the submission demonstrates workstreams and initiatives that improve the quality and experience for those outside and inside the business.


(Nicole Graham, NSW Land Registry Services)

CLAYTON UTZ Australian In-house Team of the Year

Winner: NSW Treasury Office of General Counsel

Judges' comments include: "A stellar example of a modern government in-house legal function.; Demonstrated significant support through disruption while maintaining a high level of quality for ongoing work and continuous improvement through innovation and thought leadership; Massive team contribution in the past year to significant projects, government programs and matters, amidst other important initiatives; This is a fantastic inhouse legal team - committed, expert and focused on development."


(Esther Lee, Fiona Walmsley & Charles Cho, NSW Treasury Office of General Counsel)

NZ In-house Team of the Year

Winner: Fonterra Cooperative Group

Judges' comments include: "Impressive full-spectrum in-house legal service spanning corporate, commercial (IP) etc plus loved the ways in which team members give back to the community (legal and wider); The Fonterra team has handled a wide variety of large, complex, multi-jurisdictional and high-profile matters for the Co-Operative; The team played an integral part in Fonterra's crisis management of business continuity and people safety whilst leading a significant amount of corporate transactional activity."



RESOLUTION INSTITUTE  Australian Arbitrator of the Year

Winner: Russell Thirgood, Independent Arbitrator

RESOLUTION INSTITUTE  Australian Mediator of the Year

Winner: Nina Harding, Nina Harding Mediation Services


(Nina Harding, Nina Harding Mediation Services)

Legal Service Provider of the Year

Winner: Lawcadia

Judges' comments include: "Demonstrated clear understanding of industry needs (inhouse and law firm) and the value added by services together with continuous improvement of systems and services offered.; innovative expense management; Thought leader, excellence all round legal issues management not just focussed on time or process: holistic."


(Warwick Walsh & Sacha Kirk, Lawcadia)



NZ Deal Firm of the Year

Winner: MinterEllisonRuddWatts M&A team

Judges' comments include: ''Demonstrated involvement in significant deals and importance of involvement in transactions; Strong achievements for the year."


(Hannah Stilin, MinterEllison - on behalf of MinterEllisonRuddWatts)

SP SEARCH & CONSULTING Australian Dealmaker of the Year

Winner: Tony Damian, Herbert Smith Freehills

Judges' comments include: "Tony's deal leadership included advising on the 3 largest M&A deals of the year and providing innovative advice on the largest cash deal which have seen industries transformed – from resources to financial services through to consumer goods and building products, not to mention also publishing a text book on mergers and still found time for non-billable and community contributions."


(Tony Damian, Herbert Smith Freehills)

NZ Dealmaker of the Year

Winner: Silvana Schenone, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Judges' comments include: "A fantastic submission with impressive client testimonials. Also very pleased to see the broader contribution being made to the profession in the D&I space - not something usually seen in M&A submissions; Silvana is the "go to" adviser for blue chip clients and is always achieving the best outcomes with her strategic and pragmatic approach; Strong achievements but also a strong commitment to diversity issues."


(MinterEllison - on behalf of Silvana Schenone)

Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year

Winner: King & Wood Mallesons

Judges' comments include: "Excellent client services and continued focus on innovative solutions and development opportunities such as the micro credentials for digital literacy; Client focused innovation and drive to make a difference for its employees and in the probono space; Inclusivity, pro bono and legal tech initiatives are impressive"

Excellence in Employee Health & Wellbeing

Winner: Brave Legal

Judges' comments include: "A market-leading approach to litigation and those that serve their duties to clients in some of the most difficult and often highly stressful circumstances; A high level of innovation and commitment to the psychological and emotional wellbeing of clients and staff; Truly innovative and inspiring. This is an example of true caring and action in an industry which often thinks that "resilience" is the key to wellbeing issues. What a unique and caring initiative - a law firm where health and wellbeing are synonymous with legal resolve."


(Kathryn Duerdoth, Bree Knoester, Lucia Nguyen, & Jyoti Haikerwal, Brave Legal)

Excellence in Technology & Innovation

Winner: Gilbert + Tobin Legal Service Innovation Team

Judges' comments include: "An industry-leading offering that is accelerating the takeup of technology and the benefits of innovation in the legal profession; Broad range of impressive innovation initiatives and achievements; Demonstrated commitment to implement innovation with expansive impact ensuring change supports business objectives and continuing transformation of the way they work"


(Sam Nickless, Gilbert + Tobin)

Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year

Winner: Workdynamic Australia

Judges' comments include: "A fresh and innovative approach to supporting clients across the spectrum of employment matters; Excellent submission demonstrating depth and breadth of achievements, impressive clients, team and pro bono contributions; The growth trajectory and the success of the model of Wordynamic Australia should be commended."


(Workdynamic Australia)

Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year

Winner: Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Judges' comments include: "Congratulations on a fantastic year and well deserved recognition.  A huge congratulations to all finalists; Substantial achivements"


(Sparke Helmore Lawyers)

Boutique Firm of the Year

Winner: Ironbridge Legal

Judges' comments include: "Specialist expertise and significant client representation and complex transactions; Despite being a relatively young firm, it has been involved in key transactions for significant corporates in the insolvency and commercial litigation space; Typifies the best of a boutique approach - focused and unwavering"


(Donna Boyce, Trevor Withane & Patrick Gallego, Ironbridge Legal)

Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (30 or under)

Winner: Mannie Kaur Verma, Regal Lawyers

Judges' comments include: "Establishment of the non-profit organisation is a wonderful extra-curricular accomplishment which, on top of the excellent accomplishments achieved in the office, made this application really stand out.; An exceptional recipient of this award. Keep inspiring generations both younger and older with your drive and passion and well deserved influence; An outstanding lawyer and her work for marginalized communities should be applauded; There is clearly no shortage of energy she has for taking on difficult issues and delivering better outcomes for people; Transformational work done by Mannie in advocating for intersectionality in legal practice, well done in breaking new ground!"


(Mannie Kaur Verma, Regal Lawyers)

Law Firm Leader of the Year (<200 employees)

Winner: Kelli Martin, KLM Solicitors

Judges' comments include: "A great example of walking the talk and supporting communities; Kelli's story is nothing short of exceptional; Her ongoing extra curricular activities demonstrate a strong commitment to equity, justice and fairness in the wider community - and passion for continued growth; Whilst growing her suburban practices, Kelli has demonstrated to her employees, clients and the community her commitment to making the world a fairer and more equitable place to live particularly for women."


(Kelli Martin, KLM Solicitors)

SP SEARCH & CONSULTING Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 employees)

Winner: Tony Macvean, Hall & Wilcox

Judges' comments include: "An impressive tenure, commitment and focus on leadership, people and results; Inclusive and transparent leadership with innovative initiatives to grow engagement, profitability and resilience for the firm; Tony is an inspirational leader and a custodian of culture, his commitment to people and wellbeing is an example to all law firm leaders; Outstanding values-driven leadership style - the bedrock for a healthy culture and successful law firm."


(Tony Macvean, Hall & Wilcox)

State/Regional Firm of the Year

Winner: Travis Partners Law

Judges' comments include: "A very impressive submission in a category with many outstanding firms; Very high quality corporate, commercial, and property work; Demonstrated excellence in services across a broad range of practice areas, completing transactions not often seen outside major cities; For a small team at Travis Partners Law,  they have "punched above their weight" in the Newcastle region this year, in particular two IPOs and ASX listings."


(Amy Travis, Travis Partner Lawyers)

Law Firm of the Year (1-100 lawyers)

Winner: LegalVision

Judges' comments include: "A real and successful disruptor in the legal industry, with a great online presence contributing significantly to client education; They have tackled long acknowledged challenges such as the billable hour and under-representation of women, and turned the industry on its head, truely forging the future of legal services; The all-inclusive unlimited legal services membership for clients is innovative and should be recognised."

DYE & DURHAM Law Firm of the Year (101-500 lawyers)

Winner: Hall & Wilcox

Judges' comments include: "Great initiatives and impressive growth.; An outstanding mid-sized firm - clear strategy and absolute commitment to delivering for clients.; Strong performance across all elements."


(Tony Macvean & Fay Calderone, Hall & Wilcox)

Law Firm of the Year (>500 lawyers)

Winner: King & Wood Mallesons

Judges' comments include: "Excellent client services with continued focus on innovative solutions and development opportunities such as the micro credentials for digital literacy; KWM's pre-eminence in transactions, its client focused innovation and its drive to make a difference for its employees and in the probono space make it a well deserved winner in this extremely impressive category."

Diversity Initiative of the Year

Winners: Ashurst and Hall & Wilcox


Judges' comments include: "A great submission and well done on Ashurst for its 26 weeks full parental pay leave policy. Specific steps taken by Ashurst, setting a high standard for other law firms to follow; Together with supporting policies (including in respect of transition to work and pregnancy loss) demonstrates a meaningful commitment to inclusion and support of parents in the workplace.; The initiatives introduced are refreshing, in touch with, and recognising the real needs of modern families."

Hall & Wilcox

Judges' comments include: "An outstanding approach to diversity and particularly inclusion with included targets; Genuine steps to enhance diversity, building on foundational work already established; Very impressed with the breadth of diversity and inclusion initiatives - from gender targets at partner and board level, pro bono partner for VIC pride centre, partnering with Supply Nation to ensure indigenous businesses are included in its supply chain, and work on its parental leave policy; A broad approach with eyes to all aspects of D&I"




(Hall & Wilcox)


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