White & Case has continued to poach from Herbert Smith Freehills for its Australia offices.
Brad Strahorn, who made partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in 2016, has joined White & Case’s global commercial litigation practice in Sydney. A construction and infrastructure dispute specialist, he focuses on domestic and cross-border disputes arising from projects.
White & Case’s raid of Herbert Smith Freehills started in the fall of 2016, when the U.S. firm recruited a 10-partner full-service projects team in Asia—eight in Australia and two based in Hong Kong and Singapore—to launch in Australia with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. In May, Hamish Macpherson, Herbert Smith Freehills’ former global construction and infrastructure disputes co-head, also made the switch. White & Case now has 16 partners in Australia.
Herbert Smith Freehills, in a rare move, sued the departing partners over a noncompete clause in their partnership agreement. Because of the lawsuit, the lawyers could not officially become White & Case partners until September 2017—a year after their resignation.
Despite the departures, Herbert Smith Freehills is still one of the largest firms in Australia, with about 155 partners across offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Herbert Smith Freehills is the 2012 combination of legacy U.K. firm Herbert Smith and legacy Australian firm Freehills.