Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright hires three senior lawyers amid surge in regional energy projects
Last Updated: 31 October 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced today an expansion of its Asia Pacific energy and resources offering, with three key appointments in the corporate and M&A and banking and finance teams in Australia.

They include a strengthening of the national corporate practice through the appointment of oil and gas and M&A partner Natalie Lonergan in Sydney; and further growth for the global energy and resources practices with the appointments of senior international projects lawyers Karel Potgieter and Lisa Koch.

Natalie Lonergan

Ms Lonergan joins the Sydney office from Herbert Smith Freehills, where she has worked since 2012. She is a commercial lawyer with more than 20 years' experience advising Australian and international companies operating in the oil and gas sector on cross-border M&A, joint venture arrangements and general corporate advisory work. Ms Lonergan has particular experience in China inbound M&A work, with a focus on the oil and gas sector and associated regulatory approvals. She starts today.

Karel Potgieter

Experienced projects lawyer Karel Potgieter joins the banking and finance team in Sydney as a senior consultant, with a focus on financing for renewable energy projects in Australia. He has hands-on experience across different technologies that are now being adopted in Australia, such as concentrating solar power (CSP) and biomass. Karel joins from Baker & McKenzie in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was partner in the banking and finance team. He starts today.

Lisa Koch

Lisa Koch is an experienced projects lawyer also joining the banking and finance team in Sydney as a senior consultant. Lisa has extensive experience in cross-border project financings, including Chinese financing into Africa, with a particular focus on natural resources projects in developing markets, and advising on physical offtakes in the mining and metals space. She is relocating from our London office as part of our global energy, and infrastructure, mining and commodities, industry teams. She is due to begin in the new year.

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

"The addition of these three senior lawyers, with a wealth of experience across corporate and M&A, projects and banking and finance disciplines, will bolster our highly regarded and busy global energy team across both the oil and gas and booming Australia renewables sectors, as well as providing further support to our mining practice.

"Natalie Lonergan, who brings impressive experience in domestic and regional oil and gas advice, is also the fifth new corporate and M&A partner we have announced since June this year. Her appointment is part of a concerted effort to not just broaden and strengthen our national corporate practice, but renew the Australian partnership overall.

"Our upcoming combination with leading Australian law firm Henry Davis York is providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the sort of diverse and talented partnership we want for the future. We are well on track to achieve that goal and will be announcing more appointments in coming weeks."

Ms Lonergan commented:

"Norton Rose Fulbright's global approach to understanding and advising the oil and gas industry was one of the chief attractions for me. The firm's deep global coverage, and in particular, the close working relationship between Australia and other major Asia-Pacific countries, will be of tremendous benefit to my domestic and Asian clients."

The announcement follows the appointment in Australia in recent months of four other corporate and M&A partners: Martin Irwin (Sydney), Adam Edelman (Perth), Jasmine Sprange (Sydney) and Shamim Razavi (joining in Sydney from our Indonesian associate firm, TNB & Partners); and three dispute resolution and litigation partners: Ann Donohue (litigation); and Phillipa Beck (joining February 2018) and Daniel Vicano (promoted to the partnership in December 2017) in construction and engineering.

The firm also promoted 11 new partners to the Australian practice since July last year: Daniel Vicano, Raymond Lou, Matt Ellis, James Morris, Jyoti Singh, Jeffery Black, Ben Davis, Georgina Hey, John Moran, Tim Mornane and Meriel Steadman.

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