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K&L Gates names new Australian regional managing partner

A Sydney-based partner has been appointed as the new regional managing partner in Australia of global law firm K&L Gates.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 03 July 2023 Big Law
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Nick Nichola has stepped down as the regional managing partner of K&L Gates in Australia.

It is a role he has held for nearly two decades, first for Middletons and then for K&L Gates upon the January 2013 combination of the two firms. He will remain as a partner with the global firm.

He has been succeeded by Jason Opperman (pictured), a partner in the firm’s Sydney-based restructuring and insolvency practice.

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Mr Opperman is, the firm said in a statement, a “highly regarded, market-leading lawyer” who brings over two decades of experience acting for and advising Australia’s largest banks and financial institutions on a range of insolvency, turnaround, special situations, and securities enforcement matters.

Mr Nichola said it had been “an honour and privilege” to serve as regional managing partner.

“I consider it an important career highlight to have led K&L Gates’ entry, consolidation, and expansion into the Australian market,” he said.

“The firm has gone through a tremendous period of growth and repositioning in the past decade and is, I believe, ideally placed to continue its trajectory.”

The news follows the firm’s appointment of 13 new partners since December, largely with lateral hires, as reported in April.

The firm also recently introduced electric vehicle subscriptions for its staff.

In April, Mr Nichola spoke with Lawyers Weekly about the challenges and changes of the last 10 years and also how BigLaw firms can ensure longevity, here and here.

K&L Gates global managing partner Jim Segerdahl commented: “Nick’s tenure as a leader has been a remarkable one and has been transformative for our law firm and for the career paths of many people across our platform.

“Nick is one of a kind, and all of us who have had the pleasure of getting to know him are grateful for the experience. Our firm is in a far better place than it would be without Nick’s special touch and strategic vision, and we are pleased that he will continue to play a key role within our firm as well as in the Australian leadership transition.”

Speaking about Mr Opperman, Mr Segerdahl said: “Jason is a supremely accomplished lawyer and extremely hard worker who is very focused on attracting and coordinating great talent and attracting and servicing great clients in Australia and beyond.

“He is fully committed to advancing our firm and its Australian offices, as well as the professional satisfaction and opportunities for all our colleagues, and to doing so in a collaborative and communicative fashion.”

Mr Opperman added: “I am elated to have been appointed to this role and feel energised by the enormous potential of our Australian offices, which are terrifically well placed for the future and tremendously well respected by both clients and colleagues across K&L Gates’ fully integrated global platform.

“I am excited by the prospect of what can be achieved in the next 10 years and beyond.

“I see tremendous opportunity given the strategic role Australia continues to play regionally and across the global economy, and I am committed to leading and empowering our people to seize that opportunity.

“As our clients’ operations and markets are not confined by geography, seamless delivery of legal services to support our clients wherever they have a need is critically important.

“Our prospects for the future are very bright and, with much to still be achieved, this role is a chance to lead our highly valued clients and talented people into a future we are only beginning to imagine.”

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is the editor of Lawyers Weekly. A former lawyer, he has worked at Momentum Media as a journalist on Lawyers Weekly since February 2018, and has served as editor since March 2022. He is also the host of all five shows under The Lawyers Weekly Podcast Network, and has overseen the brand's audio medium growth from 4,000 downloads per month to over 60,000 downloads per month, making The Lawyers Weekly Show the most popular industry-specific podcast in Australia. Jerome is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines book series, an admitted solicitor in NSW, and a board director of Minds Count.

You can email Jerome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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