DLA duo make move to mid tier

By Reporter|05 September 2013

Mid-tier Mills Oakley has nabbed two partners from global firm DLA Piper.

Tom Cantwell (pictured) will join Mills Oakley’s Melbourne property team as a partner, while Michael Down will take up a partner position in the firm’s Sydney insurance practice.


Cantwell was previously head of the Melbourne real estate team at DLA Piper. He has more than 20 years’ experience working on complex and high-value, property-based transactions for foreign and local investors, public and private property developers and all levels of government, among other clients.

He also chairs the State Taxes Committee of the Property Council of Australia.


Down acts in the areas of general liability, professional indemnity, insurance and defamation. He has acted in a number of cases before the High Court and in many matters regarding the NSW Civil Liability Act.

He regularly delivers presentations to legal and local government bodies, particularly in relation to risk management legislation, policies and procedures.

“Tom Cantwell and Michael Down are two outstanding legal practitioners in their fields of expertise,” said Mills Oakley’s CEO John Nerurker.

“Bench strength is one of our priorities as a full-service firm ... [and] we see a lot of opportunities for the firm in advising on insurance and property matters,” Nerurker added.

Cantwell and his team joined Mills Oakley on 2 September; Down and his team will start at the firm in October.

The Melbourne office of DLA also recently lost high-profile superannuation partner Heather Gray to mid-tier Hall & Wilcox.

DLA duo make move to mid tier
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