REFLECTING ITS success at last year’s Australian Law Awards where it won 10 accolades, Mallesons Stephen Jaques took out another 10 gongs at the recent ALB Australasian Law Awards, including Australian deal of the year.
Included in its haul was Australian Deal of the Year, which it shared with Allens Arthur Robinson, Freehills Lawyers, Blake Dawson Waldron, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Slaughter and May, for their work on the hostile takeover of WMC Resources by BHP Billiton last year. Mallesons represented the underbidder, Swiss mining company Xstrata. The deal was measured on both market capitalisation and profitability.
Allens Arthur Robinson won six awards on the night, including Australian Dealmaker claimed by co-head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group, Ewen Crouch. He said the win was a great honour that reflected well on the entire team.
“The market demands that we be able to move very quickly, without sacrificing quality, and that requires great team work, expertise and commitment, as well as very timely support from the firm’s other experts.” He said a highlight of his career had been working with GPT’s leadership group.
“I think it is unique in Australian corporate history that an organisation can withstand two unsolicited merger proposals from very determined parties but propose a better alternative for its unit holders and win endorsement to forge its own future as a stronger, independent organisation,” Crouch said.
Freehills Lawyers also claimed six awards, including Australian Deal Team.
BHP Billiton won Australian In-House Team, led by John Fast who claimed Australasian In-House Lawyer. Ironically, WMC Resources won In-House Team of the Year at last year’s Australian Law Awards.
The awards ceremony was held at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney and was attended by about 350 corporate lawyers, private practitioners, investment bankers and industry heads.
Harmers Workplace Lawyers was recognised for its expertise in the area, after it was named Employment Specialist Law Firm of the Year.