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HSF names Aussie lawyer as joint managing partner for global corporate practice

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has elevated a Brisbane-based partner to be its new joint managing partner for its corporate practice, as well as the Australian regional head of practice, with commencement on 1 May 2024.

user iconGrace Robbie 16 February 2024 Big Law
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Matt FitzGerald (pictured), who has been a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in its Brisbane office since 2009, has been named as the joint managing partner of the firm’s corporate practice.

In his new role, Mr FitzGerald will work alongside London-based partner Mike Flockhart, with whom he will be responsible for leading the strategic direction of the corporate practice across the firm’s network of offices.

He specialises in merger and acquisition financial services and private equity, the firm detailed in a statement, where he has advised private companies and financial sponsors M&A, strategic alliances and joint ventures.


Mr FitzGerald succeeds Carolyn Pugsley in the role, who is set to return to full-time practice following four years in the role.

He will commence in the role on 1 May 2024.

HSF executive partner, practices, Ian Cox said: “I’d also like to thank Carolyn Pugsley for her immense contribution in entrenching our market-leading position, and we look forward to keeping [on] building on the success of the corporate practice as she returns to full-time legal practice”.

The firm declared that Mr FitzGerald is worthy of this position, having held numerous leadership roles in his 17 years with the firm, including office managing partner in Brisbane and “deputising” as regional head of practice for Carolyn Pugsley during her last period of parental leave.

The news follows after the international law firm promoted Gina O’Neill and Ben Urdang to head of e-discovery and legal technology, Joseph Cook and Tahmina Ahsan to head of disputes, and Askshaya Ravi to head of corporate and real estate for their alternative legal service practice at the beginning of January, the reappointment of its CEO Justin D’Agostino at the start of November, the addition of a tax partner from Deloitte in July, promotion of 46 lawyers to senior associate in June, and the naming of 10 new Australian-based partners in April.

Mr Cox also said: “With his specific focus on Australia, Matt will lead our corporate team to help continue to grow our reputation as the go-to law firm for the biggest M&A deals, while supporting the growing demand in mind-market M&A deals across the Asia-Pacific [region].”

Mr FitzGerald said: “I am excited to take on this critical role and lead this fantastic, market-leading team. I look forward to working closely with Mike and my colleagues as we achieve the next stage of our strategic plan and continue to help deliver outstanding results for our clients.”

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