BigLaw firm Lander & Rogers has appointed the former head of industrial relations at listed company Lendlease to help the firm grow its construction arm.
Jeremy Hanrahan, who spent nine years at Lendlease in various roles, including as group head of industrial relations and manager of employee relations, is the newest partner at Landers, having been brought on in response to demand for construction-related legal expertise at the firm.
Mr Hanrahan will be based in Sydney and join the firm’s national workplace relations and safety practice, helping to grow its national construction sector offering.
The appointment follows the firm’s “largest” promotions round in its history, in June of this year.
The move, the firm said in a statement, “comes in response to increasing demand for legal expertise from Australia’s troubled construction and infrastructure sectors, which has seen the collapse of several major commercial and residential operators in recent months amid worsening economic conditions”.
Mr Hanrahan: “The construction and property sectors are subject to growing pressure, and changes to industrial relations laws will only add to the uncertainty for operators.
“The dismantling of existing industrial relations frameworks means businesses will be forced to reassess policies, systems and structures to operate in a deregulated environment. Operators will require advice in dealing with unions, employees and clients to effectively mitigate and manage IR risks on projects,” he reflected.
There is a gap, he continued, for construction-specific legal expertise.
“Clients require practical advice that considers implications across a range of business functions including legal, HR, corporate affairs, strategy, operations and more,” he said.
“They aren’t just seeking black letter legal advice — clients want to understand the legal answer together with the commercial, reputational and operational risks, and how these are best managed in practical terms.”
Welcoming Mr Hanrahan as a new partner, Lander’s workplace relations and safety practice lead Daniel Proietto said that the former’s experience and contacts in the construction sector would further enhance the national practice’s breadth and depth of expertise.
“Leveraging private practice and in-house exposure in construction and property sectors over a 20-year career, Jeremy’s appointment will significantly improve our ability to service our construction and property sector clients in complex workplace and industrial relations matters,” he said.