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Clayton Utz adds team from DLA Piper

National law firm Clayton Utz has appointed a partner and two lawyers from BigLaw rival DLA Piper for its Melbourne-based litigation and dispute resolution team.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 24 May 2023 Big Law
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Matt Spain (pictured) has joined Clayton Utz’s litigation and dispute resolution team and has brought with him lawyers Lucy Walsh and Margit Baranyay.

The trio — who will be based in the firm’s Melbourne office — have all come across from global law firm DLA Piper.

Mr Spain’s appointment marks the fourth lateral partner appointment by Clayton Utz in 2023 thus far, following the addition of Susan Taylor from Amber Electric (where she served as general counsel) in January, former boutique planning firm director Wendy Evans in February, and former ABCC deputy commissioner Matthew Kelleher, also in February.


The news also follows the February appointment of Nick Cooper as Clayton Utz’s deputy chief executive partner, as well as the firm’s addition of nine new partners in its New Year’s promotion round, unveiled in early December.

Taken together, the firm has added 13 new partners to its ranks since the start of the year.

Mr Spain has, Clayton Utz said in a statement, a successful general commercial litigation practice with a particular focus on financial services disputes (particularly superannuation), class actions, regulatory investigations, and commissions and inquiries.

Speaking about the hires, Clayton Utz litigation national practice group leader Greg Williams said that Mr Spain’s practice focus, as well as his professional reputation, means that he is an “excellent” fit for the BigLaw firm.

“Matt is respected as an outstanding lawyer whose clients value his calm and considered approach to guiding them through complex disputes and matters,” he said.

“Matt’s experience and sector focus is a good strategic fit for our existing litigation offering, and we’re pleased to welcome him, Lucy and Margit to the team.”

Mr Spain added: “I’ve always admired the strength and reputation of Clayton Utz’s commercial litigation team. I’m really excited to join a team that’s trusted by clients to handle their most significant and strategic disputes and investigations.

“With Lucy and Margit coming on board as well, we’ll be able to collaborate with the firm’s strong front-end financial services teams to ensure our existing and new clients obtain optimal results.”

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