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Herbert Smith Freehills has announced five new partner promotions in Australia, effective from today.

Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths

The new partners, from the firm’s preeminent project finance, projects and environment & planning teams in Sydney and Melbourne, are experienced practitioners with well-established reputations in the marketplace:

  • Heidi Asten from the firm’s Melbourne office has deep knowledge and experience in all aspects of environmental and planning law. She advises governments and private clients on all areas of Commonwealth and State environmental and planning approvals, heritage and land access, and specialises in indigenous cultural heritage issues.
  • Elizabeth Charlesworth is an experienced project finance expert based in Sydney. She specialises greenfield developments for energy & infrastructure and assets as well as acquisitions & divestments of such assets. She has acted for both financiers and sponsors on a range of transactions across the sector covering the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Elizabeth is also a member of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Australia/Japan team with a particular focus on advising Japanese corporates and financiers on Australian and international projects.
  • Erin Wyeth
    Erin Wyeth

    Andrew Griffiths is Sydney-based and has expertise across a wide range of construction and infrastructure projects and PPPs in Australia and the United Kingdom, acting for governments, project sponsors and contractors across a variety of sectors, including roads, rail, healthcare, education, defence, transport, power, water treatment and property development.

  • Richard Wilkinson is based in Melbourne and has experience advising clients in multiple jurisdictions across Australia. His extensive project delivery experience extends to PPPs: engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, design and construction contracts, alliance agreements, operation and maintenance agreements, as well as offtake, connection and joint venture agreements.
  • is a specialist projects lawyer based in Melbourne. She specialises in infrastructure and project development projects, with a particular focus on secondary market privatisations and PPPs. She has experience working on projects across Australia and in the Middle East.
Elizabeth Charlesworth
Elizabeth Charlesworth

The firm’s Regional Managing Partner, Asia & Australia, Sue Gilchrist, said the newly appointed partners represent the great depth of talent and bench strength in the firm’s senior lawyer ranks.

“Recognising internal talent, and promoting the people our teams want to be led by and our clients want championing their projects and transactions, is fundamental to the strong and sustainable future of our firm.

“It’s also particularly pleasing to see that our talented female lawyers have such a strong representation in this round of promotions, and in areas of practice that are traditionally male-dominated.

“On behalf of the firm, I’d like to congratulate our new partners, each of whom have committed to all that we believe partnership in a great firm like ours entails, and who possess the integrity, passion and dedication to become successful future leaders here,” Ms Gilchrist continued.

Heidi Asten
Heidi Asten

Global Head of Practice – Finance, Real Estate & Projects, Jason Ricketts, said the opportunity to accelerate the promotion of the five talented lawyers across the three teams came at an opportune time, and followed the recently announced departure of a number of partners from those practices.

“Following the announced departures we took the opportunity to look afresh at the way we approach the market, consider the immediate and future needs of our clients, and contemplate the ideal resourcing strategy going forward.

“We’ve had a growing pool of very senior, extremely experienced lawyers in those teams and we are delighted that we have been able to provide this opportunity to this very talented group of practitioners.

Richard Wilkinson
Richard Wilkinson

“These five new partners bring vigour, as well as fresh insights and perspectives that will inspire our people, excite our clients, and help ensure that we remain the leading global infrastructure and renewables practice in the region,” Mr Ricketts continued.

The firm also announced today the promotion of Alison Dodd, an accomplished and highly-regarded senior associate in the firm’s projects practice in Melbourne, to executive counsel. Alison has deep expertise working on infrastructure projects across the renewable energy, power, mining, transport and water sectors. Her appointment also becomes effective from today.