TWO NOTABLE Sydney partners have been lured across to the partnership of Gilbert & Tobin.
Joining the firm’s growing private equity practice are ex-Mallesons Stephen Jaques man Bryan Pointon, and David Watkins, formerly of accounting firm KPMG. Pointon was the head of Mallesons’ private equity practice, while Watkins was a corporate tax partner at KPMG.
Pointon comes to Gilbert & Tobin after 19 years at his former firm. He has been practising in private equity since 2001, working on many significant transactions in Australia.
Watkins was a partner at KPMG for seven years, specialising in direct taxation with expertise in structuring transactions, including IPOs and M&A. He has worked in Malaysia and Singapore and, according to his new firm, is one of few tax lawyers worldwide listed in the International Tax Review’s Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisers.
“[Pointon] and [Watkins] will give Gilbert & Tobin a clear advantage in attracting major deals in the M&A and private equity space,” managing partner Danny Gilbert said.
“We have the right culture for private equity — both innovative and entrepreneurial — and are building a significant team.”
Gilbert & Tobin was the legal adviser on some of Australia’s largest private equity deals during 2006, including the recapitalisation of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s (KKR’s) acquisition of Cleanaway and Brambles Industrial Services and the proposed take private of Flight Centre.
“Gilbert & Tobin has been a leading player in private equity for a number of years now,” Pointon said.
“It’s one of the few firms that has the capability to provide the comprehensive service demanded by clients, and has the clear advantage of having the kind of expertise that only comes from working on the largest and most innovative deals in the marketplace,” he said.