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HFW continues to grow global construction practice with hire of Melbourne partner

1 May 2023

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW is expanding its construction and commercial litigation practice with the hire of Partner Ken Hickman in Melbourne. Ken re-joins HFW from Jones Day, having previously worked as an associate in the firm’s Singapore office 10 years ago.

Ken’s practice focuses on large, complex disputes acting for owners and contractors especially in the transport and infrastructure and energy and resources sectors. Ken also provides project advisory and pre-dispute strategy advice to minimise escalating claims and lengthy disputes. In addition to being based in Melbourne and working in Singapore, Ken recently practised in Perth for several years and has developed a strong reputation acting for contractors on disputes arising from large mining projects. He has recently led and co-led major litigation and arbitration proceedings for EPC contractors on significant projects across Australia.

Gavin Vallely, Managing Partner Australia, HFW:

“We are delighted to welcome Ken back to HFW. He will be a great addition to the construction and litigation practice, which is a key component of our growth strategy in Australia.”

Ken has significant experience in international and domestic arbitration, as well as other methods of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and expert determination. He has acted for owners and contractors in Australia and Southeast Asia in arbitration proceedings (ICC, SIAC, LMAA, SCMA), litigation, mediation, and expert determination. He is also regularly engaged by clients to bring and defend claims under the statutory adjudication regimes across Australia, including subsequent enforcement and judicial review proceedings. Ken was recently recognised in Best Lawyers as the “Best Lawyer Melbourne 2024 – International Arbitration”.

Ken Hickman, Partner, HFW:

“I am excited by the opportunity to re-join HFW ten years after working as an Associate in the firm’s Singapore office. HFW’s sector focus closely aligns with my practice and I look forward to assisting the firm’s clients on their projects and disputes in Australia and beyond”.

Alex McKellar, Partner and Head of Construction Australia, HFW:

“Ken’s experience in acting for international EPC contractors in disputes arising from large-scale construction, infrastructure, mining, energy and transport projects is perfectly aligned with our global focus.”

HFW was one of the first international law firms in Australia, launching in the country in 2006, and now has almost 100 lawyers – including 25 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.

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Chris Johnson
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