Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Wotton + Kearney adds team from Minters, special counsel from Barry.Nilsson. as new partner

International law firm Wotton + Kearney has nabbed a second team from a BigLaw rival in two weeks, appointing a team of five from MinterEllison, plus a special counsel from Barry.Nilsson. as a new partner, as it expands its Adelaide presence.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 23 January 2023 Big Law
expand image

Last week, Wotton + Kearney poached a team from Corrs Chambers Westgarth, bolstering the firm’s national commercial disputes offering.

Now, the firm has appointed a team from fellow BigLaw player MinterEllison, led by insurance partner Cheryl Phillips (pictured).

She has, W+K said in a statement, “broad insurance law experience and is highly regarded by our clients for her expertise in large personal injury claims, complex liability claims and dust diseases litigation”.


Ms Phillips brings with her special counsel Trudi-Ann Mercurio, senior associate Eveline Rygorowicz, solicitor Georgina Irving and practice administrator Louise Labrosciano.

The firm has also added partner Bill Conor (also pictured), who “specialises in financial lines matters, including general professional indemnity matters, and construction PI and D&O claims”, to its ranks.

Mr Conor joins from national firm Barry. Nilsson. Lawyers, where he served as a special counsel.

The news follows a massive 2022 for W+K, with its promotion of 29 professionals in December, its acquisition of a Melbourne-based boutique in November, its poaching of a team from Sparke Helmore to set up a Canberra presence in July, its sale of a minority stake to private equity firm Straight Bat in June, and its expansion into Adelaide in May.

Speaking about the new team and partners, W+K chief executive partner David Kearney said: “We’re delighted to welcome Cheryl and Bill and their team to the firm.

“Their combined expertise, together with that of our existing Adelaide team — Matthew Elson, Lani Carter and Nicholas Salagaras — will provide a fantastic legal solution for our insurance sector clients doing business locally in Adelaide and across the country.”

The appointment of Ms Phillips and Mr Conor as partners brings the firm’s partnership ranks to 71. W+K also has more than 360 insurance lawyers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Wellington and Auckland.

To accommodate the firm’s “rapidly growing” Adelaide team, W+K is moving to new premises in the city at the end of this week.