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Exclusive: Ashurst practice head to join global rival

Exclusive: Ashurst practice head to join global rival

A senior partner who has shaped the competition law practices of two major firms has been poached by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Liza Carver is the head of Ashurst’s competition law practice in Sydney. She will be joining HSF as a partner early next year.

HSF could not confirm Carver’s start date, when approached by Lawyers Weekly, or whether she would be bringing lawyers across with her from Ashurst.

Carver leads most of Ashurst’s contentious competition law matters. She recently acted for AGL Energy Limited in a landmark decision that granted merger authorisation for AGL’s proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation, despite competition concerns from the ACCC.

This was the second time Carver had taken on the ACCC and won. In 2003, when she was a partner at Gilbert + Tobin, she successfully challenged the regulator in the Federal Court to allow AGL to acquire a partial stake in the Loy Yang Power Station.

Carver was a partner at G+T for 15 years prior to joining Ashurst in 2011.

At G+T, she helped build the firm’s well-regarded competition law practice with fellow partners Gina Cass-Gottlieb and Luke Woodward.


Big players moving on

Carver is one of a number of senior partners who have left Ashurst recently.

Only weeks prior to poaching Carver, HSF nabbed Ashurst partners Ian Williams and Damien Roberts.

In February, Ashurst also lost its head of infrastructure, Chris Mitchell, who joined King & Wood Mallesons as a partner.

Soon after Mitchell’s defection, Ashurst’s Australian pro bono head Anne Cregan quit the firm to join G+T.

Two more high-profile partners have left the firm in recent years: M&A specialist Jason Lambeth in September 2013 and global disputes partner John Emmerig at the end of 2012.

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