NRF adds 3 senior lawyers

By Emma Ryan|31 October 2017
New hire

Norton Rose Fulbright has announced it has hired three senior lawyers in an attempt to bolster its surge into regional energy projects.

The global firm revealed that it has recruited oil and gas and M&A partner Natalie Lonergan and senior international projects lawyers Karel Potgieter and Lisa Koch to its Sydney office.

Ms Lonergan has joined NRF from Herbert Smith Freehills, where she has been employed since 2012.

Throughout her career, Ms Lonergan has gained more than 20 years’ experience in advising Australian and international companies operating in the oil and gas sector. This includes cross-border M&A, joint venture arrangements and general corporate advisory work.


According to a statement from NRF, Ms Lonergan has particular experience in China inbound M&A work, with a focus on the oil and gas sector and associated regulatory approvals.

Mr Potgieter’s new role sees him join NRF’s banking and finance team as a senior consultant, where he will focus on financing Australian renewable energy projects.

Prior to beginning his new role, Mr Potgieter was based in Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office, where he was partner in the firm’s banking and finance team.

Meanwhile, Ms Koch will relocate from NRF’s London office to join the firm’s Sydney-based banking and finance team next year as a senior consultant.

According to the firm’s statement, Ms Koch has extensive experience in cross-border project financings, including Chinese financing into Africa, with a particular focus on natural resources projects in developing markets, and advising on physical off-takes in the mining and metals space.


NRF managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner welcomed the three appointments, noting that they will be of significant value to the firm.

“The addition of these three senior lawyers, with a wealth of experience across corporate and M&A, projects and banking and finance disciplines, will bolster our highly regarded and busy global energy team across both the oil and gas and booming Australia renewables sectors, as well as providing further support to our mining practice,” Mr Spanner said.

“Natalie Lonergan, who brings impressive experience in domestic and regional oil and gas advice, is also the fifth new corporate and M&A partner we have announced since June this year. Her appointment is part of a concerted effort to not just broaden and strengthen our national corporate practice, but renew the Australian partnership overall,” he said.

“Our upcoming combination with leading Australian law firm Henry Davis York is providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the sort of diverse and talented partnership we want for the future. We are well on track to achieve that goal and will be announcing more appointments in coming weeks.”

Commenting on her new role, Ms Lonergan said: “Norton Rose Fulbright’s global approach to understanding and advising the oil and gas industry was one of the chief attractions for me”.

“The firm’s deep global coverage, and in particular, the close working relationship between Australia and other major Asia-Pacific countries, will be of tremendous benefit to my domestic and Asian clients,” she said.

These latest appointments come after NRF announced it has hired four additional corporate and M&A partners, as well as three dispute resolution and litigation partners in recent months. 

NRF adds 3 senior lawyers
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