GLOBAL law firm Jones Day today opened an office in Brisbane, with legal eagle Brett Heading joining as partner.
Heading previously served as chairman and partner of McCullough Robertson for more than 30 years, where he oversaw some big IPOs in that time, including the floats of Corporate Travel Management, ERM Power, Shine Lawyers, Devine and Wilson HTM.
Heading tells Brisbane Legal he looks forward to the next stage of his career, after officially leaving the firm yesterday.
"After 37 wonderful years at McCullough Robertson, I thought it was an opportunity to do something different in the twilight of my career," Heading says.
"Any leader of any organisation has to make sure others have the opportunity to lead in their particular way. It's time for others to take the firm forward."
Heading says he will bring expertise in corporate law, as well as experience in growing a business, to his new role.
"Jones Day has put together an enviable group of lawyers in Sydney and the partner in charge in Queensland is going to be John Cooper - who is a marvellous lawyer with lots of energy," he says.
"I think the quality of lawyers that they're assembling will give them a competitive advantage."
The new Jones Day Brisbane office will initially focus on M&A, major projects, and project-related disputes, with an emphasis on the natural resources, construction, transport, and agriculture sectors.
Brisbane is Jones Day's third office in Australia, and 43rd worldwide. The firm opened its Sydney office in 1998 and its Perth office in 2014.
Jones Day's Australian offices have more than 60 lawyers providing a range of services for clients, including litigation, projects and infrastructure, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, intellectual property, and restructuring and insolvency.
"Opening in Brisbane reflects the firm's ongoing commitment to Australia, Australia's role in the global economy, and the importance of Queensland as a strategic source of energy, natural resources, and agricultural products for the growing Asian economies," says Stephen Brogan, managing partner of Jones Day.
"We have clients involved in significant disputes in connection with major energy and resources projects in Queensland and sophisticated M&A transactions, many of which are cross-border.
"These clients require experienced lawyers with knowledge of the relevant industry sectors, lawyers who can identify and protect against major risks where cross-border issues are involved, and perhaps most importantly, have unfettered access to lawyers from other jurisdictions who can collaboratively work together across practices and offices as one firm worldwide to ensure that these issues are effectively and efficiently concluded."
Jones Day's partner-in-charge of Australia and Japan Chris Ahern says the new office builds on the depth of talent in the Sydney and Perth offices.
"It is 10 years to the day that Jones Day commenced practicing local law in Australia and we continue to recruit market leading lawyers to the firm so that we can best assist the firm's clients," says Ahern.
"We are delighted to welcome Brett as a partner - he has deep roots in the Queensland legal and business community and he is a preeminent corporate lawyer in that market who has a deep understanding of the issues confronting foreign investors looking to take a stake in significant Queensland projects and infrastructure.
"Queensland's economy is innately entwined with Asia and our office will be capable of serving clients on their local investments, project development, and consequential disputes."
John Cooper will serve as partner-in-charge of the firm's Brisbane office. Cooper has worked on numerous projects in the energy and resources, construction, and infrastructure sectors.
Prior to joining Jones Day in 2013, he was a lead lawyer on teams that acted for the successful Transcity JV Bid for Northern Link (now called Legacy Way) and the Gateway Upgrade Project.
Cooper has acted on many major construction disputes in Australia and is presently representing clients in disputes on major coal seam gas and coal projects in Queensland. Prior to this appointment he has served as the partner-in-charge of Jones Day's Perth Office.
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