Australia: Cooper Grace Ward starts new financial year with 13 promotions including 2 partners
Last Updated: 5 July 2019

Cooper Grace Ward has started the new financial year on a high with 13 lawyers promoted to senior positions, including two partners, three special counsels, two senior associates and six associates across a number of practice areas.

The promotions are split 54% female and 46% male and increases the firm's partnership to 21.

The firm's newly promoted partners include Andrew Corkhill, from the corporate/M&A, energy and resources practice and Leanne O'Neill who is in the planning and environment, land management and use practice.

Corkhill is an experienced corporate/M&A lawyer who acts for domestic and international clients, with a particular focus on the energy and natural resources sector. He is known for his work in corporate transactions, including large-scale mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate financings. Corkhill first worked with Cooper Grace Ward during the early stages of his career before gaining experience with a national firm and then as a senior in-house counsel with oil and gas supermajor Eni in London.

O'Neill has over 15 years' experience, and advises on all aspects of land access, management and use for developers, resource companies and agribusinesses. This includes planning and development approvals and appeals, compulsory acquisition and valuation law, diversification of land use and income streams, environmental, water, vegetation and biosecurity compliance and native title and cultural heritage. O'Neill's experience includes a decade working within Queensland Government agencies, including in senior legal roles, with close involvement in the drafting of key mining, oil and gas, and water legislation.

The new special counsels are Sarah Lancaster, Hayley Mitchell and Murray Shume.

Lancaster provides advice and acts for clients in a variety of disputes with the Australian Tax Office and Office of State Revenue. She is known for technical excellence which includes representing taxpayers in disputes involving, income tax, international tax, GST, payroll tax, stamp duty and customs duty.

Mitchell is a Succession Law Accredited Specialist (Qld) and practises in estate and trust disputes, estate planning, and estate administration. She provides a broad range of advice involving executors' duties, beneficiaries' rights, problematic and contentious estate administration, and matters involving attorneys, administrators and guardians.

Shume specialises in income tax (including international tax, asset betterment cases and residency issues), capital gains tax, employee share schemes, non-commercial losses, GST and payroll tax. His vast experience includes drafting notices of objections and private ruling applications.

The new senior associates are Damian Hinkley and Mali Karunaratne.

Hinkley practises in personal injury litigation and specialises in workers' compensation, acting for WorkCover Queensland and a number of large self-insurers. He also advises insurers in complex statutory claims in relation to threshold issues and has been involved in appeals to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and Industrial Magistrates Court.

Karunaratne is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer and has advised clients in a broad range of matters that have involved contractual disputes, directors' duties, oppression and shareholder disputes, bankruptcy, corporate insolvency, trustee and fiduciary issues, misleading and deceptive conduct and disputes involving unincorporated associations.

The new associates are Adelaide Hayes, David Lowes, Melissa Mourilyan, Keegan Silcock, Zoe Trikamji and Jonathon Wright.

Commenting on the promotions, managing partner, Chris Ward said: "As the new financial year begins, we are thrilled to congratulate our team members on their career elevations. All 13 team members are highly talented with significant experience from many different industries. I'm excited to work with each of them and watch how they thrive in their new positions."

"These new promotions will boost our firm's capabilities in specialist practice areas and reinforce our position as a leading independent law firm in Queensland." Ward added.

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