Media Release: Three Clayton Utz lawyers among winners at Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards 2021

22 Jun 2021

22 June 2021: Clayton Utz congratulates our lawyers Dennis Mak, Alan Parnell and Shaun Chng, who were named winners in their respective categories at the Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards 2021, announced on 11 June.

About our winners

Image of Dennis Mak 

Dennis Mak -Commercial


Dennis is a Senior Associate in our Corporate team in Sydney, with experience in advising on commercial transactions, M&A and fund investments. In 2020, Dennis acted for a number of clients on key commercial agreements and high-profile transactions, which were made more challenging by a fluid and uncertain business environment. Highlights included acting for a large corporate client in respect of a significant commercial licensing arrangement, which drew high praise from the client's General Counsel. As well as his commercial legal work, Dennis is passionate about mentoring and training junior lawyers, including as part of the Clayton Utz graduate mentoring and legal foundations programs, and actively contributes to the firm's pro bono, cultural diversity and social justice initiatives.

"Winning this award is recognition of the commercial advice that Clayton Utz provides to its clients, and the opportunities provided by the firm to work on interesting and engaging matters."

Image of Alan Parnell 

Alan Parnell -Construction and Infrastructure

Alan is a lawyer in our Major Projects and Construction team, based in Sydney. Alan works with various large government and non-government clients on key projects covering water, transport, telecommunications and healthcare infrastructure. Alan was involved in projects that had critical importance in 2020, including the procurement of various contracts to effect WaterNSW's drought response, the Sydney Gateway high-capacity road connection, and nbn's operations to lift the digital capability of Australia. In addition to his legal work, Alan leads Clayton Utz's blood drives with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (and is close to his own 100th blood donation), and is involved with various organisations that focus on global poverty alleviation.

"To me, the Award is recognition of my incredible fortune to work with amazing, generous lawyers on matters that are properly meaningful to Australian society. I’m truly grateful."

Image of Shaun Chng 

Shaun Chng - Pro Bono

As Pro Bono Co-ordinator in the Clayton Utz Brisbane office (in addition to practising as a Corporate lawyer), Shaun is the point of contact for all pro bono matters and the team leader of various pro bono clinics. In response to the significantly increased demand for pro bono assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaun worked even more closely with the community legal sector to help meet this overwhelming demand. Highlights included establishing a new partnership between CU and LawRight to assist refugees/migrants facing domestic violence to apply for victims' compensation, and creating new referral pathways with various CLCs in response to increased elder abuse matters. He also co-ordinated lawyers to remotely staff Caxton Legal Centre's Employment Clinic so it could continue its weekly operations during lockdown, and established a new pro bono clinic with the LGBTI Legal Service.

"Winning this award is a recognition of the firm's and our partners' immense support and outstanding vision in Pro Bono, allowing me to champion pro bono work every day in my life as a corporate lawyer."

We also congratulate our other Clayton Utz finalists on being shortlisted:

Akmal Chunara - Technology 
Tom Gardner - Insolvency 
James Harford - Real Estate
Sarah Jones - Construction and Infrastructure 
Sarah Martine - Intellectual Property
Charisse Matthews - Employment and Workplace Relations 
Blair McEwan - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Caitlin McJannett - Native Title, Planning and Environment 
Aaron Moss - Government  
Francesca Teng - Intellectual Property

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.