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Partner Profile: Robert Bileckij

Partner Profile: Robert Bileckij

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Freehills' Robert Bileckij.

Which firm are you with?

Freehills

When did you join that firm?

2001.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

1 July 2012.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?

A Freehills man from the outset, I built some great relationships here as a summer clerk and took up a graduate position the following year.

What practice group are you with?

Corporate. My particular focus is funds M&A, applying my transactional M&A and funds establishment experience to the property funds management and financial services industries.

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

The increasing number of stapled groups and large listed funds, together with the rise of sovereign wealth funds seeking investment opportunities, has seen funds work become increasingly mainstream. My observation is that this has brought a progressively more M&A mindset to the funds space, with clients in this area increasingly demanding diverse transactional experience from their lawyers.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

Working with Lend Lease on establishing the Barangaroo wholesale property fund that recently secured $2 billion in equity commitments. The project is very significant and will quite literally change the face of Sydney’s CDB and western foreshore. We had an enormously committed team working around the clock and it was very exciting and satisfying to be a part of such an immense collective effort.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

There is never a dull moment. The scene in which we operate is constantly evolving and lawyers need to be similarly nimble and adaptable. In the past few years alone we have seen a GFC, a mining and resources boom, the continuing rise of China and the most recent uncertainty in the Eurozone. With each new development come new opportunities and challenges that keep you constantly on your toes.

What do you find challenging?

My recent attempts to learn the guitar have been challenging, both for myself and anyone within earshot. A friend (who does not live within earshot) has bought me an electric. It is very loud.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Anything outdoors. In summer, it’s hard to beat a swim at the beach before kicking back with a good book.

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Partner Profile: Robert Bileckij
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