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HFW continues Australia growth with hire of leading Employment partner in Perth

15 May 2023

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW is expanding its Australian Employment practice with the hire of Partner, Simon Billing. Simon is recognised as one of the leading specialist industrial relations, safety and employment law solicitors in Perth.

Simon has over 30 years of employee relations experience both as a legal practitioner in private practice and employee relations consultant for the Australian Resources & Energy Group (AREEA). In addition to advising clients in HFW’s core sectors – particularly mining, oil and gas, shipping and maritime, engineering and construction – Simon also acts for clients in the hospitality, health, education and telecommunication sectors. He brings with him a team that includes a specialist workplace investigator.

Simon will work alongside Partner Mark Sant and the rest of HFW’s employment team in Australia and globally.

Gavin Vallely, Managing Partner Australia, HFW:

“We are delighted to welcome Simon to the firm. He is recognised throughout Australia for his expertise in workplace safety and industrial relations which are critical service areas for many of our clients.

“We see a lot of scope for growing this practice and are continuing to look for other opportunities for growth in Australia which is a focus for the firm.”

Simon Billing, Partner, HFW:

“I’m very excited to be joining HFW at this time of great challenge for its clients across the mining, resources, maritime and construction industries which will flow from the recent reforms to Australia’s labour laws as well as the recent implementation of the uniform safety laws in Western Australia. I look forward to working alongside them to successfully navigate these challenges.”

Simon’s hire follows the recent recruitment of construction Partner Ken Hickman in Melbourne. The firm’s continued expansion in Australia over the past 12 months has also included Partners joining across real estate and projectsdisputes and shipping.

HFW was one of the first international law firms in Australia, launching in the country in 2006, and now has almost 100 lawyers – including 26 partners – across offices in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. HFW Australia now accounts for almost 15% of the firm’s total annual revenue, making it the firm’s third-largest practice globally, after London and Hong Kong.

The firm’s Australian offices advise national and international clients on aviation, commodities, construction, projects, real estate, employment, energy and resources, insurance, shipping, commercial litigation, corporate, and finance.

This latest hire continues a period of sustained growth across HFW’s sectors and international network, following the recent arrivals of aviation partner Peter Coles, construction partners Slava Kiryushin in Dubai and Ken Hickman in Australia, Paris corporate partner Thomas Forin, and London insurance partners Bob Haken and Mark Meyer.

HFW’s Brazilian cooperation firm also recently merged to create Brazil’s leading aviation and insurance practice, CAR.