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Clayton Utz partner to join KWM’s ERS team

International law firm King & Wood Mallesons has appointed an industrial relations and employment law partner from BigLaw rival Clayton Utz.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 21 February 2024 Big Law
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Cilla Robinson (pictured) is set to join KWM in mid-2024 and will be based in the firm’s Sydney office. She currently serves at Clayton Utz, where she has been a partner since 2017 and was formerly a member of its board of directors.

The hire sees KWM continue to grow its national employee relations and safety (ERS) team, with Ms Robinson bringing more than two decades of experience advising Australian and international clients, as well as being a trusted adviser to the NSW public sector, as well as advising on industrial unrest and enterprise bargaining, running complex employment litigation, and supporting broad-scale business transformation, across a broad range of sectors.

She has, KWM proclaimed, a “distinguished IR pedigree”, and her “market-leading expertise” in the Respect@Work reforms will complement and build on KWM’s existing integrated team of specialists who support clients on the full spectrum of business, commercial and legal issues that arise in the life cycle of the employment relationship, the firm detailed.


Ms Robinson has worked at Clayton Utz for more than two decades, having served as a solicitor, senior associate, and special counsel before joining the BigLaw firm’s partnership.

She is also a board member of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney.

The news follows the firm’s promotion of six to its partnership in mid-June, its addition of a construction partner from Corrs Chambers Westgarth in the same month, and its promotion of 77 lawyers to more senior roles, including 44 to senior associate, later in June 2023.

Speaking about the appointment, KWM merger and acquisition practice leader Rachael Lewis said: “We are absolutely thrilled Cilla will be joining us.

“At a time when board, executive, media and stakeholder attention is focused on the legal and reputational risks of workplace issues, and with industrial relations, employment and discrimination law reforms that will drive a raft of changes to Australia’s labour market, Cilla’s expertise will further bolster our client offering in this critical area.”

KWM chief executive partner Renae Lattey added: “We are very pleased to welcome Cilla to the KWM partnership.

“We’ve been impressed by the calibre of her expertise combined with her track record of building enduring client relationships and collaborating across teams. We are confident she will bring further dynamism and differentiation to our growing ERS practice.”