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Mills Oakley continues to add partners

National law firm Mills Oakley has added another three professionals to its partnership ranks, two of whom have come across from BigLaw rivals, and following what the firm says was a “record year of entrants” to the partnership.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 01 February 2024 Big Law
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Mills Oakley has appointed three “outstanding” women to its partnership (all pictured) in its insolvency, private advisory, and public law teams.

Taline Chater will be part of the national firm’s commercial disputes, restructuring, and insolvency team. She joins from MinterEllison, where she served as a special counsel for more than 15 years, and she will be based in Mills Oakley’s Sydney office.

Emily Baggett will sit on the firm’s public law team. She comes across from Moray & Agnew’s Sydney office, where she worked for nearly nine years and was a partner for three and a half years.


Donnelle Hestelow has joined Mills Oakley’s private advisory team in Perth. Most recently, Ms Hestelow served as a principal at specialist estate planning practice Estate Partners in Perth, a role she held for close to a decade.

The news continues what has been a period of substantial growth for Mills Oakley, which now has 154 partners across its offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

As reported by Lawyers Weekly, it hired four partners and a consultant in December, nabbed senior lawyers from MinterEllison in late September, four partners from rivals and a Sydney-based boutique practice in October and two additional partners in the same month, another five partners from BigLaw firms in September, and three new partners in March.

The firm also promoted 55 lawyers to more senior roles in mid-June and spoke to Lawyers Weekly about its growth strategy in October of last year following the acquisition of a number of boutique practices to enhance its litigation, corporate, and insurance capabilities.

In December, Mills Oakley chief executive John Nerurker said: “We are on track to become Australia’s leading national law firm.”

“Our strategy is very deliberate. We play the long game.”

Speaking about the newest partners, Mr Nerurker said: “Taline, Emily and Donnelle are strategic additions to the partnership at a time of continued growth aimed at providing our clients with the best legal services available nationally.

“We are committed to offering new partnership opportunities to women at Mills Oakley as we recognise that diversity contributes to our, and our clients’, success.”

Ms Chater noted: “The dynamic changes in the market offer unique opportunities and challenges for our clients, and I am very much looking forward to being part of the highly regarded Mills Oakley national team.”

Ms Baggett said: “The pulling together of top legal practitioners in the public law space into what I consider to be the premier public law team was irresistible.”

And Ms Hestelow added: “I’m confident that joining the private advisory group will give clients the very responsive and full-service delivery that Mills Oakley can provide.”

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