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Holman Fenwick Willan expands in mining with partner hire

22 February 2012

Leading international law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) is delighted to announce the recruitment of Western Australia’s former Attorney-General and Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes, who joins the firm’s Perth office as a Partner in the Corporate, Projects & Finance practice, effective 1 March 2012.

Cheryl joins HFW from Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (HPPL), where she was appointed as the Executive General Manager – External Affairs, Government Relations and Approvals, in 2010. In this role, Cheryl helped to secure most of the necessary government and regulatory approvals for the company’s major mining and infrastructure projects, including the Roy Hill Mine Rail and Port, as well as other Hancock coal developments.

Earlier in her career, Cheryl was Western Australia’s longest serving female State government minister (1993 to 2001), including her time as the State’s first female Attorney-General and its Minister for the Environment. As Minister, Cheryl was responsible for a range of reforms in the environment, justice and labour relations portfolios.

Having completed her law degree at the University of WA in 1983, Cheryl was admitted to appear before the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1984 and the High Court of Australia in 1986. Cheryl was the first female solicitor to serve in the WA State Parliament, following her election as the Member for Kingsley in 1989, a position she held for 17 years, until 2005.

Richard Crump, HFW’s Senior Partner said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Cheryl Edwardes to the firm. Her expert knowledge and vast commercial experience in environmental regulation, climate change and native title rights perfectly complements the firm’s long-established and rapidly expanding practice in mining, resources and energy, both in Australia and internationally. This is the latest in a number of lateral hires we have made in the resources sector and demonstrates our commitment to providing clients with the legal services they need to grow and develop their businesses in this exciting sector.”

Gavin Vallely, Managing Partner of the firm’s Australian offices commented: “Cheryl brings a powerful combination of experience in negotiating major mining and infrastructure projects, along with a thorough understanding of statutory processes and the working of government. This depth brings an added dimension to the service we can offer both domestic and international clients in the resources sector. I am delighted she has chosen to join HFW for the next stage of her career.”

Cheryl Edwardes said of her move: “I am very happy to be joining a firm of HFW’s calibre. With an already established presence in Perth and an excellent and growing reputation in the resources sector, I believe the experience I bring will enhance the service we can offer to mining clients. I look forward in my new role to continuing my relationship with Gina Rinehart and advising her and others at Hancock Prospecting.”

For further information please contact Anna Cousins, Asia-Pacific Marketing Manager, on +61 (0)3 8601 4568 or