White & Case has recruited yet another partner in Australia from Herbert Smith Freehills.
Hamish Macpherson, who had been a Herbert Smith partner since 2005, is the latest partner to leave Herbert Smith after an entire 10-person team left the firm to establish White & Case’s offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Macpherson will join the global commercial litigation practice in Sydney.
Macpherson, who co-led Herbert Smith’s global construction and infrastructure disputes practice with Dubai partner Craig Shepherd, has advised large Australian construction groups Lendlease Corp. and Multiplex on disputes arising from real estate and infrastructure developments before Australian courts.
In the fall of 2016, White & Case stunned the market by poaching a 10-partner full-service projects team from Herbert Smith for the launch of offices in Melbourne and Sydney. The remaining partners at Herbert Smith, led by then-projects partner David Templeman, made a rare move and sued the departing partners over a noncompete clause in their partnership agreement. (Templeman became a consultant with the firm in January.)
As a result of the lawsuit, the lawyers did not officially become White & Case partners until September 2017—a year after they resigned from Herbert Smith.
White & Case’s Sydney office, the smaller of the two outposts the firm has in the country, initially opened with project finance duo Joel Rennie and Cameron Watson. In October, the U.S. firm recruited international arbitration specialist Max Bonnell from King & Wood Mallesons.
With the departure of Macpherson, Shepherd now leads Herbert Smith’s construction disputes practice on his own from Dubai. In Australia, the firm promoted Brisbane, Australia-based construction litigation lawyer Claire Smethurst to partner earlier this month. In China, the firm hired Pinsent Masons partners Hew Kian Heong and Michelle Li last year.