DLA Piper, which last year closed its Canberra office and saw a prominent Sydney-based partner leave for PwC’s legal arm, has now lost its head of real estate in Melbourne to Australian firm Hall & Wilcox.
Jane Baddeley, who had led DLA Piper’s real estate team in Melbourne since 2012, has joined Hall & Wilcox as a partner. She specializes in leasing, acquisition and divestment transactions. In 2015, she advised Singapore-based Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust on a $228 million acquisition of the Myer Centre, a shopping center in Adelaide, South Australia, from Australian Securities Exchange-listed Novion Property Group.
In April, Baddeley was part of the team that advised the Australian Football League on a $175 million deal with the government of Victoria in southeastern Australia to redevelop the Docklands Stadium—also known as the Marvel Stadium, its current sponsorship name.
Hall & Wilcox managing partner Tony Macvean said in a statement that Baddeley’s real estate practice on the government side also fit in with the firm’s public-sector strategy and government appointments.
Baddeley began her career with legacy Phillips Fox in 1996 and made partner in 2004. She became a partner at DLA Phillips Fox after DLA Piper formed an exclusive referral alliance with the Australian firm in 2006. The two firms fully merged in 2011, which at the time made it the largest law firm in the world by attorney head count.
But several former Phillips Fox partners started to depart after the announcement of the merger: in the same year, nine Brisbane partners left to launch a new office for the legacy Thomsons Lawyers (now Thomson Geer); and six Canberra partners exited to open HWL Ebsworth’s office in the Australian capital.
DLA Piper closed its two-partner Canberra office in 2017. In the same year, former Asia Pacific head of corporate Bryan Pointon joined accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ legal arm in Sydney.
According to the Australian Financial Review, as of July, Hall & Wilcox has 77 partners across six offices, while DLA Piper has 66 partners in Australia across offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.