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Partner Profile: Ben Farnsworth

Partner Profile: Ben Farnsworth

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Allens' Ben Farnsworth.

 Which firm are you with?

Allens.

When did you join that firm?

I joined in 2000 and left to move to London in 2005. After almost five years at Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy, I rejoined Allens in 2010. I was working out of the firm’s Sydney office until the beginning of this year, when I relocated to our rapidly-growing Perth office.

 When were you made a partner of that firm?

I will join the partnership on 1 July 2012.

 Which firm were you at most recently before this firm?

Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy.

What practice group are you with?

Banking and finance, with a focus on project finance, acquisition finance and property and corporate finance. I advise financiers and sponsors on major financings in the mining, oil and gas, infrastructure and agribusiness sectors.

What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?

The most significant change is the dramatic shift in market practice and negotiating leverage from borrowers to lenders following the global financial crisis. Constraints in debt-market liquidity continue to be a major challenge for Australian borrowers, particularly in the resources and infrastructure sectors where the capital demands of current and planned projects and supporting infrastructure have grown to unprecedented levels.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

I was thrilled to be offered partnership at Allens, so that’s been an obvious highlight. Apart from that, I was pleased, last year, to be given the opportunity to relocate to Allens’ Perth practice and to work with the firm’s major clients in the booming West Australian economy on world-leading financings like the Ichthys project. 

What do you like about being a lawyer?

One of the great things about being a lawyer, particularly one who is situated in Perth, is that you are at the forefront of many of the world’s largest and most important projects. To work side-by-side with clients to help them achieve their goals and ambitions is extremely satisfying.

What do you find challenging?

Finding a coffee for less than $4 in Perth.

 What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Perth lends itself to an outdoor lifestyle, so anything that allows me to stretch my legs and spend time with my family in the sun.

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