The Legal 500 Asia Pacific: Australia, 2018 edition


The Legal 500 Asia Pacific has recognised our expertise in the 2018 edition with 23 of our partners and senior lawyers recognised across 6 areas of law.  The directory ranks firms into tiers based on a number of factors including complexity of matters handled, size of practice and client feedback received.



Piper Alderman’s team consists of ‘savvy lawyers who work hard to achieve commercial outcomes’. In a contentious matter, the team acted for Melbourne Steel Erectors in an adjudication application under the Security of Payment Act against Samaras Structural Engineers in relation to Chadstone shopping centre, the largest shopping centre in Australia. Other work highlights saw the team advise Metacorp on the proposed development of the Rockley Gardens apartments in Melbourne. The ‘extremely bright’ Geoffrey Emmett is ‘a great lateral thinker’ and ‘a highly intelligent lawyer with a knack for problem solving and navigating a path through the litigation process’. Megan Calder is valued for her ‘prompt turnaround’, is ‘easy to deal with’ and ‘very experienced in litigating a variety of different claims in a variety of forums’. Robert Riddell, who joined from Dentons, and Ted Williams are also recommended.

Dispute Resolution

Piper Alderman’s ‘extremely responsive’, ‘cost-effective’ team is strong in class actions and debt recovery as well as having broad commercial litigation capabilities. The ‘highly experienced, tactically astute’ Gordon Grieve is ‘an outstanding practitioner’; he and Greg Whyte acted for DIF III Global Co-Investment Fund on its recovery of a failed investment in the acquisition of a US-listed company. ‘Very experienced, practical litigator’ Simon Morris, who heads the group, is ‘a safe pair of hands’; he represented David Kerr, an additional trustee for covenant-holders in the SEAS Sapfor Timber Scheme, in a A$50m compensation claim for losses suffered by covenant-holders as a result of one of the trustees’ professional negligence. Florian Ammer, who provides ‘exceptional advice’ and ‘rapidly gains knowledge of less familiar topics’, is recommended for contract and restraint disputes and class actions. ‘Very experienced litigator’ Michele Kramer is ‘impressive at delving into the facts and anticipating the consequences of every nuance’. In November 2017, Piper Alderman merged with Melbourne-based firm Norton Gledhill.

Intellectual Property

Appreciated for its ‘great value for money and innovative service’, Piper Alderman’s ‘responsive’ team is prominent in the life sciences and IT sectors. Head of the Melbourne office and practice leader Tim Clark represented the Australian Digital Health Agency in a patent opposition matter and is currently acting for a healthcare client in the potential commercialisation of a vaccine technology, including vendor due diligence and contractual arrangements. Tim O’Callaghan spearheads the Adelaide office and ‘is great at finding solutions instead of setting huge litigation budgets’; he is currently conducting work on the social media front, such as the enforcement of copyright infringement claims on behalf of Jukin Media, and is representing Drybar Holdings, a California-based hair salon, in brand protection and infringement prosecution in Australia and New Zealand.

Labour and Employment

The ‘up-to-date’, ‘always available’ team at Piper Alderman handles a wide range of matters, including unfair dismissals, EBAs, industrial relations and employee contracting issues. ‘Creative’, ‘no-nonsense’ practice head Tim Lange is commended for his ‘very strategic approach, deep understanding, clear communication and warmth’; he defended Farstad Shipping against a breach of contract claim and an injury claim brought by a former employee. The department’s Adelaide office is very strong: the ‘knowledgeable, approachable and practical’ David Ey is ‘very experienced’ and provides ‘detailed, well-thought-through advice’, while Erin McCarthy has ‘extensive knowledge and experience, and quickly cuts through to the main issue’. In Sydney, the ‘exceptional’ Tim Capelin ‘breaks complex issues down to a more manageable level’. The ‘very focused’ Ben Motro made special counsel in Sydney in July 2017. Bridgestone Australia, Gucci Australia and Hudson Global Resources are additional representative clients. In November 2017, Piper Alderman merged with Melbourne-based firm Norton Gledhill, welcoming employment expert Chris Hartigan to the team.

Real Estate

Piper Alderman’s team led by Lexia Wilson ‘provides high-quality and commercially sound legal advice’ to a wide range of clients including foreign investors, property funds, large corporates and government entities. As well as a number of high-value land and property acquisitions, the team oversaw the refurbishment and long-term leasing of a commercial office building in Darling Harbour, and assisted Charter Hall with several significant development agreements in New South Wales and Queensland. Other key contacts include Adelaide-based managing partner Tony Britten-Jones who advised a joint venture on leasing agreements and the main  contract of Adelaide’s VUE development, assisted by senior associates Adam Rinaldi and Lisa Olsen, as well as Melbourne-based Greg Taylor, who handles acquisitions and developments in the retail sector.

Restructuring and insolvency

Insolvency litigator Michael Lhuede is the key contact at Piper Alderman; in addition to his contentious work, he regularly advises companies and directors on front-end restructuring matters. The team acts for lenders and listed and unlisted corporates as well as insolvency practitioners. Secured recoveries are a particular strength. Litigator Frank Lancione is also recommended.