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Mark Hickey takes the helm as Chairman of DWF Asia Pacific as DWF announces new senior appointments

20 June 2018
Sydney harbour
International legal business DWF has announced that former Sparke Helmore Chairman, Mark Hickey, has officially joined as Chairman of the business's Asia Pacific division.

This follows last month's news that DWF intended to grow its Australian presence with a number of senior hires. Mark will work with DWF's Managing Partner of Australia, Jamie McPherson, who joined in 2017 following a merger with Kaden Boriss, to drive DWF’s next phase of growth in the region as well as oversee the development of DWF's fourth Australian office, in Newcastle.

These appointments build on the recent announcement that DWF is planning to drive growth and increase investment in information technology and Connected Services, and is considering a number of strategic options, including the possibility of an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Commenting on his appointment, Mark said: "I'm looking forward to taking on a new challenge with this exciting role at DWF, a business that has shown the benefits of doing things differently. As clients are increasingly faced with the dilemma of how to do more with less, in a hyper-competitive market, legal advisers need to keep pace and find new ways of helping clients overcome their challenges. In particular, what has attracted me to DWF is their proven track record of significant investment in technology, innovation and Connected Services which will now be made available to the Australian legal market. 

DWF has a unique proposition in the market, with a very strong local and national presence as well as the benefit of a global network, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to keep building upon the momentum that Jamie and his team have established so far."

Other senior appointments include corporate partners David Reid and Vi-Ky Lam; insolvency and restructuring partner Kirsten Farmer; banking partners Adam Fuller and Ben Burney, who will lead DWF's Banking and Financial Services Group for Asia Pac; and partner Matt Smith, who will head up DWF's industrial safety and employment team. DWF has also appointed corporate director Jason Lambeth; employment and safety director Andrew Ross; and commercial and insolvency director Lachlan Wilson.

DWF has also announced that Sydney-based sports law specialist Mathew Jessep is joining the business as a Director. Jessep has an independent legal practice focusing on sports, esports, media and entertainment law and has advised sporting bodies, teams, athletes, sponsors, and rights holders in the traditional sports space, as well as film producers, actors, entertainment agents, authors, and publishers in the media and entertainment space. He has developed significant expertise in the high-growth esports sector, having advised esports players, teams, investors, and event organisers on a broad range of legal and commercial issues. 

Mathew Jessep commented: “Sports Law in Australia is constantly evolving in terms of complexity and client needs, often with international considerations. We’ve also seen massive growth over just the past two years in esports globally and here in Oceania, with flow on effects for the sophistication of legal issues faced by stakeholders in that rapidly evolving scene. I’m very happy to be joining DWF Australia, where I can continue to offer my sports and esports clients my value-focused commercial advice and assistance, while now also being able to offer my clients and contacts access to a team of leading experts covering a broad field of legal issues from not just here in Australia, but throughout DWF’s global footprint.”

Managing Partner of DWF Australia Jamie McPherson added: "I am very pleased to officially welcome the new team on board and believe their expertise, leadership and considerable experience in the market will allow us to accelerate our growth and investment in the region. They are a real asset to DWF and together we are well placed to continue disrupting the market and doing things differently for clients."

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