Canberra, Australia.


Norton Rose Fulbright is rebuilding its office in Canberra, Australia, having hired four government specialists as partners there, including a new office head.

Holly McAdam, Richard Morrison and Martin Taylor are partners at Australian firm Sparke Helmore Lawyers, while Catherine Whitby was a former senior associate at Clayton Utz. All four are expected to join later this year.

McAdam, who will head the Canberra office, advises federal government departments and agencies on all aspects related to major projects, including contracting, funding and remediation. She joined Sparke Helmore in 2010 from Clayton Utz and made partner in 2016.

Morrison, who led Sparke Helmore’s government national practice, specializes in major procurement projects and dispute resolution. He was previously a partner at Clayton Utz and worked at the Australian Attorney-General’s Department.

Taylor is a construction specialist, advises companies and governments on project structuring, procurement and dispute resolution. He joined Sparke Helmore in 2013 from Herbert Smith Freehills‘ London office, half a year after the 2012 merger between U.K.’s Herbert Smith and Australia’s Freehills, and made partner in 2016.

Whitby’s practice focuses on statutory interpretation, regulation and compliance and governance. She was with Clayton Utz from 2007 to 2018, and also had a one-year stint at Maddocks. She previously worked in-house at government departments in the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the Australian Department of Health.

Norton Rose is rebuilding a Canberra office that currently doesn’t have a resident partner. The firm first gained an office in the Australian capital in 2009 when it merged with Deacons Australia, but the office closed in 2014. The global legal giant acquired a second Canberra office late last year when it combined with Henry Davis York, but by February, only one partner—dispute resolution specialist Melanie McKean—was left in that office, according to the Australian Financial Review; In March, McKean also left, joining Ashurst.

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