A global firm has welcomed five professionals to the partnership across its Sydney and Melbourne offices.
Herbert Smith Freehills has welcomed new partners Heidi Asten, Elizabeth Charlesworth, Andrew Griffiths, Richard Wilkinson and Erin Wyeth, who have been promoted to their new positions from the firm’s project finance, projects and environment and planning teams.
Ms Asten is based in HSF’s Melbourne office and brings to her new role extensive experience in all aspects of environmental and planning law.
She has advised governments and private clients on all areas of federal and state environmental and planning approvals, as well as heritage and land access matters. She also specialises in Indigenous cultural heritage issues.
Ms Charlesworth is an experienced project finance expert based in Sydney.
She specialises in greenfield developments for energy and infrastructure matters and assets, as well as acquisitions and divestments of such assets.
Her career has seen her act for both financiers and sponsors on a range of transactions across the sector, covering the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Mr Griffiths is also Sydney-based and brings to the partnership significant knowledge across a wide range of construction and infrastructure projects, as well as public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Australia and the UK.
He has acted for governments, project sponsors and contractors across a variety of sectors, including roads, rail, healthcare, education, defence, transport, power, water treatment and property development.
Mr Wilkinson works in HSF’s Melbourne office but has experience advising clients in multiple jurisdictions across Australia.
His extensive project delivery experience extends to PPPs, including engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, design and construction contracts, alliance agreements, operation and maintenance agreements, as well as off-take, connection and joint venture agreements.
Ms Wyeth is a specialist projects legal professional based in Melbourne. She brings to the partnership specialist knowledge in infrastructure and project development, with a particular focus on secondary market privatisations and PPPs.
She also has experience working on projects across Australia and in the Middle East.
HSF regional managing partner for Asia and Australia, Sue Gilchrist, said the five new partners represent the great depth of talent in the firm’s senior ranks.
“Recognising internal talent, and promoting the people our teams want to be led by and our clients want championing their projects and transactions, is fundamental to the strong and sustainable future of our firm,” Ms Gilchrist said.
“It’s also particularly pleasing to see that our talented female lawyers have such a strong representation in this round of promotions, and in areas of practice that are traditionally male-dominated.
“On behalf of the firm, I’d like to congratulate our new partners, each of whom have committed to all that we believe partnership in a great firm like ours entails, and who possess the integrity, passion and dedication to become successful future leaders here.”
HSF global head of practice – finance, real estate and projects, Jason Ricketts, said the five new partner appointments across the three teams came at an “opportune time”, following the recently announced departure of a number of partners from those practices.
“Following the announced departures we took the opportunity to look afresh at the way we approach the market, consider the immediate and future needs of our clients and contemplate the ideal resourcing strategy going forward,” Mr Ricketts said.
“We’ve had a growing pool of very senior, extremely experienced lawyers in those teams and we are delighted that we have been able to provide this opportunity to this very talented group of practitioners.
“These five new partners bring vigour, as well as fresh insights and perspectives that will inspire our people, excite our clients and help ensure that we remain the leading global infrastructure and renewables practice in the region.”
Pictured top, left to right: Heidi Asten and Elizabeth Charlesworth. Pictured middle, left to right: Andrew Griffiths and Richard Wilkinson. Pictured bottom left: Erin Wyeth.