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HFW expands its service capability in Australia

21 January 2019

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has expanded its service capability in Australia with the hire of a specialist industrial relations and employment team including two new partners.

Gavin Vallely, Managing Partner Australia, HFW:

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Sant, Brendan Milne and their team to HFW. Mark and Brendan are very accomplished and highly regarded practitioners who will deliver a first class service in industrial relations and employment matters which is a key requirement for our clients in all of the industry sectors in which HFW operates.”

Richard Crump, Global Senior Partner, HFW:

“This is another important step in the continued development of our Australian business. We have been in Australia for more than a decade and our practice in the country has grown tenfold over that time. We have ambitious plans to continue our growth in Australia and aim to double the size of our business within the next four years.”

The new offering will enable HFW to provide all aspects of employment law, from day-to-day HR enquires to strategy impacting on business objectives and reputation to its clients, including the management of enterprise agreement negotiations and workplace disputes.

The team of eight lawyers and two support staff, previously at Dentons, is headed up by one of Australia’s leading employment lawyers, Mark Sant. Mark has more than 25 years’ experience advising clients on complex employment and industrial relations issues, including enterprise bargaining, workplace restructuring, workplace investigations and employment related litigation.

Brendan has represented clients in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment and industrial relations matters. He has particular expertise in industrial disputes and enterprise bargaining, and has acted for clients in a number of significant matters including in the management of boycotts.

Mark Sant, Partner, HFW:

“Australian industrial relations and employment law is becoming increasingly complex and with so many legislative changes, it can be hard for clients to keep up. We are expecting a surge in demand for our industrial relations expertise in light of the union movement’s focus on addressing long term wage stagnation and the prospects that the Australian Labor Party, if elected later this year, will make changes to industrial relations laws to give unions and employees more options to address this very significant issue. The team is really excited to be joining a dynamic and fast-growing firm that demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit in the way it delivers for its clients. HFW is a great fit for our team and our clients and has a very exciting strategy.”

The team joins HFW during a period of significant change in Australia’s employment law. In 2018 alone, there were key developments relating to casual employment; the approval of enterprise agreements; protection for whistleblowers; the labour hire industry; modern slavery protections; family and domestic violence leave; and flexible working arrangements. And with an impending Australian federal election and a potential change of government, further significant changes are expected in 2019.

HFW was one of the first international law firms to establish an office in Australia, opening its first office in Melbourne in 2006. The firm now has 24 partners and more than 90 legal personnel across three Australia offices, having launched in Sydney in 2009 and Perth in 2011.

Press Contact
Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson
Head of Communications