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When Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was hired to work on the $12 billion global stock offering by Australia’s Telstra phone company, the firm made sure to draft San Francisco partners David Lamarre and Stanton Wong. The deal, which closed in November but was publicized by the firm this month, helped the Australian government earn money and privatize Telstra. It ended up ranking as 2006′s second-largest equity deal worldwide, according to The Wall Street Journal. Pillsbury represented the investment banks ABN AMRO Rothschild, Goldman Sachs JBWere and the Australian branch of UBS AG. Though Australia may seem like a far-off place where San Francisco corporate attorneys wouldn’t have expertise, Lamarre had worked on the $1.07 billion global initial public offering by Australian energy company SP AusNet in 2005. The Telstra deal entailed offering shares in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries including the United States, and required conforming to the distinct financial regulations of each nation. To raise money at this level, it has become common to seek investments on multiple continents, Lamarre said. “The investment bankers need to span the globe to raise interest,” he said. “Five or 10 years ago, for the Pillsbury San Francisco office it might have been considered somewhat unusual [to be involved], but recently we’ve been working more often with Asian markets. It’s become part of our stock and trade to support our Sydney office. We’ve learned to speak Australian.” Lamarre said working on deals Down Under does not involve eating vegemite � thankfully � but does entail having knowledge of cultural differences. Take ordering coffee, for example. What an American calls a latte is an Australian’s “flat white,” he said. Leading the Pillsbury team on the Telstra deal was partner Robert Meyers, with help from David Lillevand, Cecile Baume and Mark Connelly, all from the firm’s Sydney office. Joining them were Lamarre and Wong and partners William Kurz and James Chudy from the New York office.

Jessie Seyfer

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