The Legal 500 Asia Pacific: Australia, 2023 edition


The Legal 500 has released its Asia Pacific rankings for the 2023 edition and Piper Alderman has been recognised across 12 areas of law including Corporate and M&A, Data protection, Dispute resolution: Class actions, Dispute resolution: Litigation, Energy (transactions and regulatory), Fintech and Financial services regulatory, Infrastructure projects and construction, Intellectual property, Labour and employment, Natural resources (transactions and regulatory), Real Estate and Restructuring and insolvency.

Piper Alderman is also named as a ‘Firm to Watch’ for Environment and planning in the 2023 edition.

The directory ranks firms into tiers based on a number of factors including complexity of matters handled, size of practice and client feedback received.  We are humbled by the testimonials received from our clients and express our sincere thanks for their participation in the research process.

2023 Rankings

Corporate and M&A

Following the opening of its Perth office in July 2021, Piper Alderman has subsequently brought Paul Sartori across from Allion Partners to steer the newly minted site. July also saw a spate of internal promotions to senior associate level – including Bahar Agar and Clea Cole in the Sydney and Melbourne offices, respectively – significantly increasing its bench strength nationally. Adelaide-based James Dickson and Melbourne-based James Macdonald continue to stand out as the key names at leadership level.

‘Talented, skilled, and commercial advisors. Good range of dedicated resources.’

‘Provide prompt, high quality and trusted business and legal advice. Our company seeks and values the insight and advice received by the Piper Alderman team.’

‘Practical and commercially pragmatic partners who get the job done.’

Alasdair McLean knows our group well, is readily available and always willing to talk through situations no matter how big or small.’

‘Always available and on-time. Innovative and solved problems. Easy to interact with and a good listener.’

‘Smart and hard-working.’

‘The team at Piper Alderman works collectively towards a common goal – that is the best outcome for their client. Their prompt, clear advice assists clients to make decisions to ensure that the legal process is a smooth one.’

Maria Capati is a wonderful asset to Piper Alderman. Her knowledge regarding the transport industry, specifically the bus and coach industry, is second-to-none.’

Data protection

Practitioners at Piper Alderman are particularly active in the IT and financial services sectors. Recently engagements for Sydney-based financial services partner Michael Bacina include assisting a number of entities with their privacy compliance, including partnering with TotalCyber to provide data breach training to companies. At the associate level, Craig Subocz is regarded as a ‘highly knowledgeable and skilled’ practitioner, supporting practice co-chair Tim Clark in Melbourne, who notably advises on data protection matters and privacy compliance. Sydney-based practice co-head Andrea Beatty has vast experience in privacy law, counting large banks and retail chains among her clients.

The knowledge of the practice is outstanding and the ability to articulate the value proposition is second to none.’

‘The lawyer we have been working with for many years has a deep understanding of our business and provides excellent advice.’

‘The team were very understanding of the sensitivities involved and gave advice that was both helpful and pragmatic, and gave a clear view of our liability risk.’

Florian Ammer was direct and hands on in evaluating our scenarios, which saved time and quickly provided us with a clear path to proceed.’

‘The level of service from initial introduction, briefing conversations through to provision of the services I requested was highly professional. The people I dealt with, especially Craig Subocz, were highly knowledgeable and skilled in their areas.’

Dispute resolution: class actions

Class actions have steadily grown into a key focus for Piper Alderman‘s dispute resolution and litigation team, which is jointly led by Anne Freeman and Ian Nathaniel in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. Brisbane-based Greg Whyte‘s recent engagements include the major Queensland energy class action, a proceeding in which Lillian Rizio provided key support. Sydney-based Martin del Gallego and partner Kate Sambrook are also highly recommended.

Anne Freeman stands out for her dedication to her cases and clients. She works very closely with the client on strategic issues, but remains across the detail of the legal and factual issues to guide the work of her team.’

Martin del Gallego is a skilled class action lawyer, with experience in Australia and the United Kingdom, and both in prosecuting and defending claims. His wide experience in the field leads to excellent results in matters he is responsible for running. He is also exceptionally easy to work with.’

Greg Whyte is an experienced litigator with excellent eye for the commercial angle to resolving disputes. Lillian Rizio is a highly practical and committed lawyer, who always runs her matters efficiently and effectively. Martin del Gallego is the leading class actions partner at the firm in Sydney, and brings considerable overseas experience to the team.’

‘The standout individuals in class actions at Piper Alderman are Greg Whyte, who can be trusted to provide an appropriate level of service for a job whether large or small; Martin del Gallego, who has a keen focus on commercial objectives and the most appropriate route with which to achieve those objectives; and Kate Sambrook, a true rising star.’

Martin del Gallego is a clever and commercially astute junior partner. Excellent judgment, and can run a matter effectively and on budget. Always available. Personable and enjoyable to work with. Highly recommended.

Kate Sambrook is a really clear thinker and problem solver who deserves to make partner. Practical, likeable, and easy to work with.’

Dispute resolution: litigation

The dispute resolution and litigation team at Piper Alderman is co-chaired by Sydney-based Anne Freeman and Melbourne-based Ian Nathaniel, with Greg Whyte heading up the Brisbane office. The team handles a range of claims, with increasing experience in funded litigation and class actions. Meriel Steadman, who joined from Mills Oakley in August 2022, now leads the litigation practice in the firm’s newly minted Perth office – established in July 2021.

‘The Piper Alderman litigation team is a leading commercial litigation practice in Sydney. Highly competent, skilled in commercial litigation, and uniformly easy to work with.’

‘Inclusive approach to dispute resolution and litigation, which avoids nasty surprises. Very capable tactically in all areas. Tenacious litigators with an enviable track record of success.’

Anne Freeman is an excellent communicator with a high level of expertise and an excellent work ethic. She is also very client focused.’

‘Very strong, responsive, and hard-working team. Commercially minded and good diversity, with a balanced ratio of male and female solicitors.’

Ian Nathaniel is a highly experienced, deeply knowledgeable and a very balanced practitioner who is very cool under pressure.’

‘The teams at Piper Alderman have a more collegiate approach than many other firms – they work well together, are supportive of each other and the client, and are innovative while being well grounded in the basics. The teams are able to pivot rapidly, which is invaluable in large or fast-moving matters.’

‘Considerate, communicative, competent, and honourable. The highest level of integrity, which is apparently self-imposed and regulated. Highly trustworthy.’

‘Well regarded in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency, and dispute resolution generally. Partners collaborate well with legal team and supporting services (ie. barristers). Very user-friendly for clients and supporting services.’

Energy (transactions and regulatory)

The multidisciplinary energy and resources group at Piper Alderman provides transactional and regulatory support to a host of clients, but the team is especially known for its expertise in electricity and gas transmission, distribution infrastructure, and generation projects. The group is led by the ‘magic circle quality’ Martin Lovell, a projects partner who regularly advises in relation to major energy, infrastructure, and construction projects. Gordon Grieve focuses on corporate governance and compliance issues for energy and resources companies, while Kathryn Walker specialises in major projects and development. Josh Steele assists clients with acquisitions and operational issues, while at the senior associate level, Juniper Watson advises with regard to connection and transmission agreements.

Josh Steele and the wider Piper Alderman have always been able to support us no how complex our innovative our queries have been.’

Martin Lovell’s team really are the A-team for achieving the very best commercial and legal outcomes in South Australian energy projects. They have strength in depth – both of knowledge and experience – in all aspects of energy transactions.’

Juniper Watson is exceptionally talented and brings a deep understanding of construction law to energy transactions.’

‘Our experience with Piper Alderman has been of the highest level of expertise, the firm has attracted the very best practitioners in their field of expertise. The energy practice are specialists in this area, led by Kathryn Walker and supported by her team of experts. The advice is sound and thorough, the cost of the advice is considered value for money and delivered in a timely manner.’

Kathryn Walker is a stand-out partner. Her advice is fearless, not just what you want to hear. Well thought through and complete in detail. Nice person and easy to deal with. Available and facilitating, however large or small the matter at hand.’

‘The Commercial team at Piper Alderman has exceptional experience in the energy sector, spanning oil and gas, power generation, and natural resources. The deep experience spans joint venture operations, State and Federal regulatory regimes, and international operations.’

Martin Lovell is focused and commercial. He works to achieve required commercial outcomes and avoids unnecessary work. This makes the experience of engagement rewarding and cost-efficient.’

Fintech and Financial services regulatory

As well as advising on the regulatory, compliance, and commercial arrangements pertinent to financial services providers, Piper Alderman’s wide-ranging expertise extends to assisting with blockchain and cryptocurrency issues. Also, in the fintech arena, Sydney-based Michael Bacina has been helming the firm’s burgeoning volume of NFT-related mandates. Shannon Adams heads up the overall practice group from the Adelaide office.

Andrea Beatty’s knowledge of Australia’s consumer credit regulations is exemplary.’

‘Partners are particularly accessible and involved in engagements.’

‘Professional service. Very efficient and always seem to be available when I need them.’

‘I’ve worked with Piper Alderman on a broad range of matters – the team at Piper Alderman go above and beyond, and the quality of legal work is exceptional across the board.’

‘Where they particularly excel is their rare and impressive commercial savvy and understanding of the nuances and impacts of the latest technology trends, and how those apply to the business and legal environment.’

‘Piper Alderman are able to provide very useful nuanced advice and legal work that addresses the latest market conditions and technology landscape very effectively. This is particularly valuable to us.’

Michael Bacina and his team have been exceptionally fruitful to deal with. The commercial work that they do is very thorough. We have come to them with some very complicated matters dealing with very cutting-edge subject matter, and they are very fast to understand our needs and show a deep comprehension of the particulars and consequences.’

Infrastructure projects and construction

Sought out by private clients and government bodies alike, Piper Alderman advises on some of the most high-profile construction and infrastructure projects in Australia, with particular expertise in electricity transmission, defence infrastructure, road, and rail matters. In addition to heading up the national projects, infrastructure, and constructions practice, Martin Lovell co-chairs the energy and resources team. Kathryn Walker focuses keenly on major infrastructure and renewable energy projects, providing advice on construction and infrastructure matters. Megan Calder is another key name, with a deep understanding of construction contracts, project delivery, and dispute resolution.

Megan Calder is outstanding. She is responsive, intelligent and effective. Megan understands the client’s needs and ensures those needs are meet when providing legal services. She ensures risks are managed and contained. Megan provides legal solutions to commercial issues and understands construction.’

Martin Lovell and Juniper Watson stand out for their considerable expertise across all legal matters of construction and infrastructure. However, what really sets them apart is their understanding of our business, operating environment and objectives. Their advice takes into account all legal, commercial and practical matters, meaning it’s always accurate and appropriate – from both a legal and company perspective.’

Kathryn Walker has always provided practical advice which assisted in a practical solution being achieved. She is also very approachable and patient.’

Juniper Watson has been outstanding in her can-do attitude. Her ability to listen and then clearly (often on the spot) articulate the issues and solutions is admirable. She passionately advocates for her clients. She clearly enjoys what she does and cares about the outcome.’

Megan Calder is very practical, hard-working, and really cares about the outcome for her clients. Very responsive and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Piper Alderman’s construction team are experts in their area. They are attentive and provide astute advice. They are responsive and provide excellent legal service.’

‘Piper Alderman’s infrastructure projects and construction team are not just subject-matter experts – they really understand our business and what’s important to us. This means they provide advice which is not only technically accurate, but also consistent with our approach and objectives.’

‘The team provide succinct advice on specialist legal issues. They have their finger on the pulse went it comes to construction matters.’

Intellectual property

Entrusted by a wide-ranging client roster that spans public and private companies, government, research organisations, not-for-profits, and private individuals, Piper Alderman fields a ‘diverse IP team that is very knowledgeable in trade marks across various jurisdictions.’ The group is co-chaired by the ‘highly personable and responsive’ Tim O’Callaghan, an Adelaide-based partner praised for bringing ‘a fresh perspective in the delivery of services in the brand protection space.’ In Melbourne, fellow co-chair Tim Clark is noted for his knowledge of the TMT, life sciences, and biotechnology sectors.

‘Diverse IP team that is very knowledgeable in trade marks across various jurisdictions.’

Tim Clark and Jamin Li are very attentive and responsive to urgent needs. They have a unique ability to understand commercial drivers for a business and take a practical response to resolving issues.’

‘Highly adaptable to suit changing brand needs in terms of goods, territories, frequency of services, and division of activities between firm and in-house team.’

Tim O’Callaghan is highly personable and responsive. He brings a fresh perspective in delivery of services in the brand protection space.’

‘Clear, straight, fast and detailed advice.’

‘Brings together the best mix of skills, expertise and experience to address the needs of the client. Very professional in every aspect of their work, responsive and timeliness of delivery is a strength when compared to other companies. This practice attracts very talented people.’

‘Very accessible. Understand the importance of being commercial and acts in a timely way.’

Tim O’Callaghan is very experienced. He returns calls promptly and is commercial in his approach.’

Labour and employment

The labour and employment group at Piper Alderman utilises its national presence (with locations in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) to assist a range of clients from the worlds of manufacturing, aged care, government, energy, retail, mining, and real estate. Led by the Melbourne-based Tim Lange, the team’s offering notably encompasses enterprise agreements and awards, terminations and unfair dismissal claims, and discrimination and harassment matters. In Adelaide, Erin McCarthy is recommended for her capabilities in enterprise bargaining, while the Perth-based Shane Entriken specialises in union relations matters. On the contentious side, experienced litigators Joe Murphy and Ben Motro – both of whom are based in Sydney – are especially recommended.

‘Piper Alderman’s employment team, in our experience, model the expectations of a modern law firm. They are upfront with their capacity, set realistic timeframes for delivery, and their work is always of exceptional quality.’

‘They are experts in their field and always very professional.’

Joe Murphy understands the employment law landscape and a has strong commercial sensitivity in addressing and providing guidance and advice on these matters.’

‘They operate as business, but a striking difference is in how they also make every effort to ensure what they do improves community outcomes. The team is balanced regarding its skill-set and expertise.’

‘A standout individual is Shane Entriken. Shane gives up his time selflessly and tirelessly for the good of the community. His approach to problem-solving is exceptionally comforting to clients.’

‘The standout point here is really availability and approachability and listening. Partners at Piper Alderman consult incredibly well to ensure the best outcomes for their clients.’

Erin McCarthy is straightforward, practical, and to the point. Understands the commerciality of decisions.’

Tim Lange is excellent. He is efficient, very strategic, and doesn’t waste any time. He consistently provides pragmatic and very well-thought-out advice.’

Natural resources (transactions and regulatory) 

Piper Alderman‘s cross-practice energy and resources group has extensive experience in the mining industry across all the major Australian jurisdictions. Further to its core transactional acumen, the team advises on the gamut of upstream and downstream issues, with a particular focus on corporate, commercial, project finance, environment, and native title issues. A wide range of resources companies turn to Ashley Watson for his expertise in gold exploration and mining, tenements, land access, and infrastructure matters.

‘Piper Alderman’s Partners are unique in that each Partner (we have dealt with) command skill sets and experience which allow for seamless delivery of advice and services toward each undertaking we work on together Their national network of offices has provided our Company with seamless infrastructure and additional personnel when and as required to deliver on time and budget quality commercial advice across multiple disciplines.’

‘Good team collaboration and communication is evident in their efficient delivery of services.’

Sina Kassra managed his team efficiently for timely delivery of service. His advice on compliance requirements has been excellent.’

Real estate

Piper Alderman‘s team is reputed for the uniform ‘depth of skills and experience amongst partners and associates.’ The group is led from Adelaide by ‘exceptional all-round lawyer‘ Adam Rinaldi, alongside the Brisbane-based Mark Askin, who has acted for leading property institutions and REITs in various real estate capital transactions on a national scale. Other key names to note include the Brisbane-based Lauren Abbott, who was promoted to senior associate in July 2021.

‘Hands-on approach from partners. seeking the best commercial outcomes.’

Mark Askin and Lauren Abbott work extremely well as a team. They have the experience that we can rely on.’

‘Very personal and attentive. Mark Askin and Lauren Abbott have been an absolute pleasure to work with, always going above and beyond for client needs. Couldn’t recommend more highly.’

‘They are always willing to assist and provide independent advice. Their real estate partners are knowledgeable and provide frank advice.’

Adam Rinaldi is an exceptional all-round lawyer.’

‘The team at Piper Alderman are genuinely invested in the quality of the outcomes for their clients and collaborators. They are passionate and committed. They are responsive – to the extent that it ensures a reliability not evident in their competitors.’

Mark Askin is an enthusiastic and committed solicitor that is an attribute to any matter that he is involved in. His legal and pragmatic knowledge are at the forefront of the industry.’

‘The team’s strength is the depth of skills and experience amongst partners and associates, and a dedication to securing desired outcomes for clients through considered advice and effective litigation skills.’

Restructuring and insolvency

Noted for its ‘strong presence in the insolvency and restructure sectors’, Piper Alderman is entrusted by a number of small-to-mid-cap Australian businesses out of its offices in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. Melbourne-based practice head Michael Lhuede is a seasoned contentious practitioner who regularly appears before the various courts in a range of complex matters. In Adelaide, Mike Hayes notably assists clients in the hospitality, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and retail industries with a variety of insolvency work.

‘Strong presence in the insolvency and restructuring sectors.’

‘I have worked with Cheryl Weston on a number of occasions and find her to be an excellent practitioner in the area and great to deal with.’

‘Piper Alderman are extremely responsive to time-sensitive demands, and reallocate staff as required to attend to these urgent matters. Their charging has suitable regard to the size of the dispute and, where possible, is reflective of the commercial realities of any given matter.’

Mike Hayes and Antony Disciscio are exceptional practitioners who are both extremely knowledgeable on the law, and the commercial realities of our profession, working collaboratively to identify and implement effective and efficient legal strategies.’

‘The practice provides excellent legal services combined with strategic planning to ensure that their service offering goes beyond just providing legal advice. You feel like the firm is partnering with you to resolve a dispute or achieve an outcome. The firm works collaboratively to ensure the right people with the right experience drive the outcomes.’

Joel Shaw is an excellent, experienced lawyer who brings a critical and commercial mindset to providing advice and resolving disputes. Joel stands out because he can get to the heart of an issue quickly and we can work together strategically to plan and then execute on a decided course of action. Joel is commercial and he wants to achieve the best commercial outcome given the circumstances.’

Joel Shaw worked well with my insolvency team. Always happy to talk to partner or more junior staff. Good at strategizing the best & most cost-effective way of achieving an outcome.’

‘Knowledgeable and experienced in the field. Excellent network to provide services not just locally but also interstate and overseas. Demonstrated leadership by providing industry specific training to insolvency practitioners.’

Firm to Watch – Environment and planning

Piper Alderman‘s national planning and environment team offers specialist advice on environmental compliance, native title and ESG-related issues across all Australian jurisdictions. In 2022, Paul Vergotis joined the team from McCabes.


Source: The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific: Australia