Jones Day to open Brisbane Office and welcomes Brett Heading as new partner

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 14:42

The global law firm Jones Day has announced that it will open an office in Brisbane, Queensland, the energy and resources hub of Northeast Australia, effective February 1, 2016.

The Brisbane Office will initially focus on M&A, major projects, and project-related disputes, with an emphasis on the natural resources, construction, transport, and agriculture sectors. Brisbane is Jones Day's third office in Australia, and 43rd worldwide. The Firm opened its Sydney Office in 1998 and its Perth Office in 2014. Together, Jones Day's Australian offices have more than 60 lawyers practicing Australian law and providing a wide range of services for clients, including in litigation, projects and infrastructure, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, intellectual property, andrestructuring and insolvency.

"Opening in Brisbane reflects the Firm's ongoing commitment to Australia, Australia's role in the global economy, and the importance of Queensland as a strategic source of energy, natural resources, and agricultural products for the growing Asian economies," said Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day. "We have clients involved in significant disputes in connection with major energy and resources projects in Queensland and sophisticated M&A transactions, many of which are cross-border. These clients require experienced lawyers with knowledge of the relevant industry sectors, lawyers who can identify and protect against major risks where cross-border issues are involved, and perhaps most importantly, have unfettered access to lawyers from other jurisdictions who can collaboratively work together across practices and offices as one firm worldwide to ensure that these issues are effectively and efficiently concluded."

When Jones Day opens in Brisbane, Brett Heading, a senior Queensland lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, will join as a partner, bringing a depth of local experience related to transactions and capital raisings, and with particular experience in the energy, natural resources, and agricultural sectors. Mr. Heading was a member of the Takeovers Panel (the Australian regulator of issues arising in hostile corporate takeovers), and has held Government and ASX listed company board positions. He joins from McCullough Robertson where he previously served as Chairman. On the heels of the recent addition of Mark Crean, the former Deputy Senior Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills, Mr. Heading's appointment further strengthens the M&A capability of Jones Day in Australia.

"The Brisbane Office will be our third office in Australia and builds on the depth of talent we have in our Sydney and Perth offices. It is 10 years to the day that Jones Day commenced practicing local law in Australia and we continue to recruit market leading lawyers to the Firm so that we can best assist the Firm's clients," said Chris Ahern, Jones Day's Partner-in-Charge of Australia and Japan. "We are delighted to welcome Brett as a partner; he has deep roots in the Queensland legal and business community; and he is a preeminent corporate lawyer in that market who has a deep understanding of the issues confronting foreign investors looking to take a stake in significant Queensland projects and infrastructure. Queensland's economy is innately entwined with Asia and our office will be capable of serving clients on their local investments, project development, and consequential disputes."

John Cooper will serve as Partner-in-Charge of the Firm's Brisbane Office. Mr. Cooper has worked on numerous groundbreaking projects in the energy and resources, construction, and infrastructure sectors. Prior to joining Jones Day in 2013, he was a lead lawyer on teams that acted for the successful Transcity JV Bid for Northern Link (now called Legacy Way) and the Gateway Upgrade Project. Mr. Cooper has acted on many major construction disputes in Australia and is presently representing clients in disputes on major coal seam gas and coal projects in Queensland. Prior to this appointment he has served as the Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Perth Office.

"Opening in Brisbane is exciting and a natural progression for Jones Day in Australia," said Mr. Cooper. "Lawyers from our offices in Sydney and Perth are currently active on a number of significant Queensland matters for clients of the Firm and an office in Brisbane, along with the addition of Brett, will allow us to better serve those clients, look after the interests of our other valued clients, and develop relationships with other major companies with operations in Queensland. Having grown up and spent over half of my professional life in Brisbane, I look forward to being heavily involved in the development of Jones Day's practice in Queensland and working closely with Brett and our other lawyers in Brisbane."