Aussie partner picked to lead arbitration practice for mega firm

By Melissa Coade|04 October 2017

One of the newest international law firms to break into the Australian market has head-hunted a leading Australian practitioner to lead its arbitration practice in Sydney.

White & Case has named Maxwell Bonnell (pictured), a King & Wood Mallesons partner for over 18 years, as the new head of its Australian arbitration practice.

The newest addition to the White & Case partnership is a commercial litigation and arbitration expert and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as well as a fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.

According to White & Case, Mr Bonnell has worked on multiple arbitrations arising from disputes in India and has extensive experience working across jurisdictions in telecommunications, mining, energy, financial services, engineering and computer software.

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Mr Bonnell will join both the global international arbitration practice at White & Case and the existing Asia-Pacific arbitration team.

The firm said this latest appointment coincides with a 2020 strategic plan for White & Case that will focus on growing its disputes service offering.

“We now have more than 40 lawyers in our Melbourne and Sydney offices and Max, a recognised leader in arbitration, brings a practice that fits naturally with our project finance focus in Australia and with our wider disputes practice across the Asia-Pacific region,” said head of Asia-Pacific and partner Eric Berg.

A statement released by the firm indicated that plans to expand the arbitration group would also target the Asia-Pacific.

White & Case has arbitration specialists based in key centres in Geneva, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm and Washington, DC. The firm claims to have the largest international arbitration practice of any other law firm.

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“These are exciting times for our business in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Berg added.

In revealing the new partner pick, Paul Friedland, White & Case global head of international arbitration, said that Mr Bonnell was a highly ranked lawyer with a leading market profile.

“Max […] will be invaluable to the expansion of our arbitration practice in Asia-Pacific,” Mr Friedland said.

“White & Case is the leading law firm for international arbitration and our goal in Asia-Pacific, a growing market for international arbitration, is to expand the service we provide to our clients,” he said.

Aussie partner picked to lead arbitration practice for mega firm
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