Friday 6 December 2019: Clayton Utz is pleased to announce the appointment of eight new partners,
effective 1 January 2020.
Congratulating them on their appointments, Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner Rob Cutler
said: "It's an honour to welcome Owen, Ben, Alison, Chris, Keshni, Eva, Walid and Joel to the
"They are all highly talented professionals, respected by clients and
colleagues in their areas of specialisation and for their industry experience, commerciality,
and practical, confident approach to the work they do.
"We're proud to see them promoted."
Forensic and Technology Services, Sydney
Owen joined the firm's then newly launched
Forensic & Technology Services (FTS) practice as a Director in 2017. As a specialist
in complex forensic and regulatory investigations work, Owen's experience is in high
demand from clients who need smart, responsive solutions when dealing with masses of
information. Having worked with both government and the private sector, Owen understands
how to effectively harness, manage, interrogate and make sense of large volumes of data
from multiple sources. His skills are particularly valuable in the context of regulatory
inquiries, litigation, investigations and remediation.
As a core member of the national Energy and Resources team, Ben has extensive experience in
M&A transactions, regulatory approvals, joint ventures, commodity sales, processing and
transportation arrangements, infrastructure and project development relating to oil and gas,
coal, minerals and water. Ben has played an integral role in some of the most significant
M&A and infrastructure transactions in recent years in the energy and resources
industry, as well as project development for a number of the largest oil, gas and coal
assets in Australia. Ben has been recognised as a "Recommended Individual" for Energy and
Resources Law in Doyle's Guide and was a finalist as "Special Counsel of the Year" in the
Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, 2019.
Alison Close, Major Projects and Construction,
Alison specialises in the management of technically complex construction disputes through
conventional and bespoke dispute resolution techniques. Her major projects experience spans
a range of industry sectors including transport, oil and gas, aviation and utilities. Alison
is known for technical excellence and the rapport she builds with technical and commercial
disciplines. Leveraging from her experience in litigation and arbitration, Alison is sought
after by clients for her experience in strategic management, and resolution of disputes.
Chris has advised on some of Australia's largest
and most complex projects and procurements for the Commonwealth Government. His work
covers all aspects of acquisition and support including contract development, tendering,
contract management and disputes. He takes a very commercial approach with a deep
and practical understanding of key issues such as pricing, performance, risk,
intellectual property and liability, as well as Commonwealth procurement policy.
A stamp duty specialist, Keshni has over 15
years’ experience advising clients across industries including mining and
resources, energy, finance, property and construction on the application of the stamp
duty regimes across all eight states and territories. Keshni has built a reputation with
clients for having excellent technical skills, the ability to understand their business
needs, and for providing commercially pragmatic advice. A key adviser to several top ASX
listed entities, Keshni has played a lead role on some of the largest and most complex
transactions in Australia. Her experience includes structuring and advising on M&A
transactions, key infrastructure projects, the establishment and syndication of property
trusts, private equity acquisitions, listed and unlisted trusts, corporate
reorganisation, business and asset acquisitions, private public partnerships, project
finance, infrastructure development, IPOs, insurance duty and securitisation. As
well as providing stamp duty advice, Keshni also assists clients in resolving disputes
with State and Territory Revenue Authorities.
commercial acumen, calm demeanour and ability to think laterally have made her a
sought-after transactional lawyer and led to her advising on some of Australia's largest
real estate deals, ranging from the acquisition and disposal of office, industrial,
retail and other commercial properties, through to project development and structuring.
Eva has advised on complex title matters in connection with major infrastructure
projects and has acted in some of the largest private forestry deals in Australia. Eva
has been advising institutional investors, asset and fund managers, listed and unlisted
entities and government agencies for nearly 15 years.
reputation in complex information technology, media, and telecommunications is based on
his skilful structuring of bespoke and difficult contract documentation, pre-empting and
navigating critical issues and providing reasonable, commercially-focused advice to
mitigate key risks. His work includes advising on a variety of contracts relating to
large tenders and procurements, complex outsourcing arrangements, media-rights sales,
software and intellectual property licensing, telecommunications, infrastructure and
technology-focused corporate work.
Joel's primary focus is on complex commercial
contracting, projects, corporate advisory and transactions principally in the
telecommunications, technology, logistics, and infrastructure sectors. For over 15
years Joel has acted for government organisations, large industry players and fund
managers and is a key adviser to a number of the firm's most significant clients. His
work includes complex supply contracting, access agreements, joint ventures and
licensing and distribution arrangements. He is highly valued by clients for his
detailed technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and commercial approach.