Tax boost for Phillips Fox
Commercial law firm Phillips Fox has boosted its tax practice with the appointment of partner Jock McCormack, who specialises in income tax. Gerry Bean, who leads the firm’s tax practice, said, “[McCormack’s] appointment strengthens our capability in our tax practice. His expertise and experience complement the team’s skills and ensure the right blend and depth of practitioners to provide a fully integrated service to our clients on both sides of the Tasman.”
McCormack’s appointment represents the latest of several high-profile additions to the Phillips Fox tax team. Over the past eight months, the team has experienced consistent growth through a number of lateral hires at partner level. The trans-Tasman tax team now consists of nine partners across eight offices in Australia and New Zealand. Lynette Smith, partner in the Wellington office, joined the firm in September. Smith specialised in tax and trust law for more than 10 years, and prior to coming to Phillips Fox she practised in the general commercial area. Eugene Choi, partner, was appointed in October and works in the Sydney office. He specialises in GST advice in large and complex domestic and offshore financing and property transactions. The team has particular expertise in advising on the taxation aspects of infrastructure projects, major property developments and investments and large-scale commercial projects. Phillips Fox numbers 180 partners and 1,500 staff across 10 offices in three countries.
IAMA gets new president
Laurie James is the newly-elected president of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia (IAMA), Australia’s leading alternative dispute resolution body. A barrister and solicitor, and chairman of partners with Kott Gunning Lawyers, Perth, James is also the deputy chairman (Western Australia) of the Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia, member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, the convenor of the Western Australian Dispute Resolution Service and the Gas Disputes Arbitrator under the Gas Pipelines Access (Western Australia) Act 1998 and Economic Regulation Authority.
HGR expands property service
Herbert Geer & Rundle has announced the appointment of Alice Spizzo as special counsel within the firm’s expanding property services practice in Sydney. The appointment further strengthens HGR’s environmental and planning team led by partner Robert Wilcher, and reinforces the firm’s capabilities in land use planning, building and sustainable development, corporate risk and due diligence matters.
Spizzo was formerly an executive director within the NSW Department of Planning, and has extensive experience in planning and environmental law, gained within both government and the private sector. She played a leading role in the development and drafting of the major changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act over the past two years, including development contributions.
TressCox grows Brisbane office
TressCox Lawyers has announced the appointment of Paul Corbiere as a consultant in the firm’s Brisbane office. Corbiere has been a partner of Clayton Utz in Brisbane for over 30 years, and specialises in property and commercial matters, and banking and finance law. He has acted in a number of large offshore commercial transactions for public companies and government and has extensive experience in syndicated loans, commercial and project finance, compliance, and drafting standard and non-standard security documentation for banks. Paul has acted for clients in Asia, including one of the PRC’s largest airlines and shippers, and for other South East Asian multinationals. TressCox commented: “This appointment is a result of the firm’s continued development of its commercial practice and is consistent with the firm’s continuing growth in the banking and finance area and offshore practice.”