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Cowell Clarke takes team from Piper Alderman

Commercial law firm Cowell Clarke has bolstered its employment law offering in Sydney with the addition of a team from BigLaw firm Piper Alderman.

user iconLauren Croft 10 August 2023 Big Law
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The move will see a team of three come across from Piper Alderman: a director, associate director, and associate, all joining the Cowell Clarke Pitt Street office.

These latest appointments follow Cowell Clarke’s acquisition last month of Sydney-based Andrews & Holm Lawyers, which added two new directors and five lawyers to Cowell Clarke’s CBD office. In addition, the new appointments follow the promotion of employment specialist Cassie Burfoot to director. The group capability now comprises three directors and six lawyers across Sydney and Adelaide.

Joe Murphy has been appointed as a director and brings 23 years of legal experience to the firm, specialising in workplace relations.


He has advised on matters across Australian tribunals and courts, including the Fair Work Commission and the federal courts of Australia as well as having represented clients in the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Coroner’s inquests.

“Cowell Clarke stands as a centre of excellence in the legal industry, and its focus on making the lives of its people and clients easier through technology is truly commendable, setting the stage for unparalleled success and growth for all stakeholders,” Mr Murphy said.

“We look forward to becoming an integral part of a firm that not only values its team members but also prioritises the utmost satisfaction and success of its clients, with a view to the future.”

Zoe McQuillan has been appointed as an associate director – and in her 20-year career to date, has worked with small businesses and multinational companies across a variety of industries as well as for and with employer associations, including the NSW Business Chamber (now Business NSW) and ClubsNSW.

Lastly, Chinthana Malalasekera joins Cowell Clarke’s Sydney office as an associate. Over the past seven years, he worked in the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office before moving across to private practice and specialising in employment law at several Sydney-based law firms.

Cowell Clarke managing director Rob Comazzetto said the firm would continue to build its Sydney legal offering moving forward.

“Businesses and organisations face an increasingly complex workplace and employment environment. With these new appointments, Cowell Clarke is strengthening its expertise and resources to provide our clients with access to experienced and recognised leaders in this high-demand field,” he said.

“We welcome Joe, Zoe and Chinthana to our expanding Sydney team.”

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