What Others Say

2015 Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers Australia recognised 49 Gilbert + Tobin partners across 39 categories of law.

Five Gilbert + Tobin partners were also recipients of the Lawyer of the Year Award:

  • Craig Semple (Private Equity)
  • John Schembri (Leveraged Buyouts)
  • Michael Blakiston (Natural Resources)
  • Neil Pathak (Mergers & Acquisitions)
  • Simon Lynch (Banking & Infrastructure)

2014 Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers Australia recognised 41 Gilbert + Tobin partners as leaders in their field across 35 areas of law.

Eight Gilbert + Tobin partners were also listed as Best Lawyers’ 2014 ‘Lawyer of the Year’:

  • Michael Blakiston (Mining)
  • Gina Cass-Gottlieb (Competition)
  • Dominic Emmett (Distressed Investing & Debt Trading)
  • Simon Lynch (Private Equity)
  • John Schembri (Structured Finance)
  • Craig Semple (Corporate)
  • Peter Waters (Telecommunications)
  • John Williamson-Noble (Leveraged Buyouts).

Banking and Infrastructure Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2015:

“They provide a complete service with significant expertise. They are entirely professional and extremely proactive, and deliver on time every time. We have always been extremely satisfied with their service and have used them repeatedly.”

“They are very commercial, they don’t waste time arguing points that don’t need to be argued and are respectful of the borrowers as well.”

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2014:

“The team is strong-willed and not afraid to push back or fight for what they think should be included or excluded in any documentation”.

John Schembri “one of the top finance guys in town.”

Simon Lynch “he is very good, he knows banking and he is very commercial.”

Duncan McGrath is praised for being “proactive, commercial and a good sounding board.”

Asia Law Profiles 2014:

John Schembri is the “best finance lawyer in the market, very proactive with the finance team and equity capital markets team working cohesively together”.

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2013:

“They are a fantastic service provider; we find them approachable and upfront, transparent and straightforward.”

The talented and highly regarded John Schembri is singled out by sources who note “he is knowledgeable, hard-working and the best banking lawyer we have worked with by a considerable distance.” According to another interviewee “he has a strong work ethic and is great at meeting deadlines.”

Simon Lynch is one of the most respected practitioners in the Australian market, appreciated for his “huge depth of experience across all of the banking sector.” According to another source “he is very much in demand: if there is one lawyer you really want to battle for your life then it is him.”

2013 IFLR1000:

“G+T is highly responsive, they make me feel like I’m their only client.”

Capital Markets Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2015:

“They are a very good firm, top-tier quality.”

“They offer a good, comprehensive service. They also have amazing banking and finance lawyers. I’m very happy with the service.”

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2014:

“They are very strong on client care and commerciality. They make themselves available, are service oriented, collaborative and take ownership.”

“They still have the feel of a boutique firm but with the same depth of experience as the bigger firms. They always pick up the phone when you call.”

Peter Cook “in particular has a real overriding sense of smelling out risk and is a real deal maker, he can see key risks and issues and doesn’t take points for the sake of it.” 

John Williamson-Noble is considered “very solid and commercial with a very pleasing manner which is useful in negotiations.” 

Rachael Bassil continues to impress, with one client commenting “she is really great, easy to work with and very pragmatic.” “She has a depth of knowledge and knows the key issues.” 

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

The “excellent” Gilbert + Tobin is “responsive and practical”. Peter Cook is “able to see the bigger picture”, and is “very knowledgeable” and “client-focused”.

2014 IFLR1000:

Peter Cook is described as a “bit of a doyen in the industry”

Rachael Bassil is “very responsive and hard working. Totally client focused”.

2013 IFLR1000:

Clients have commented the quality of the firm’s partners and associates, as one major investment bank client says “You want your lawyers to be commercial and proactive. You want them to be technically proficient. G+T tick all those boxes. They come to us with solutions not problems – it’s a cliché but it’s true.”

Chambers Asia -Pacific 2013:

Head of the equity capital markets practice and universally respected, Peter Cook. “He is a lateral thinker and does not merely give textbook answers; he is also very focused on client service,” enthused one client.

John Williamson-Noble is recognised for his leading roles on IPOs and equity fundraisings in Australia. He has led on some of the most high-profile flotations of recent years.

Rachael Bassil, a new entrant in the rankings, works closely with Peter Cook and is building excellent equity markets expertise. An appreciative client commented: “I find Rachel to be a true up-and-coming ECM partner, really excellent, very proactive and thorough.”

Corporate Advisory/M&A Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“The G+T corporate commercial team exceeded expectations. They are very committed, responsive and commercial, and have an incredible knowledge and understanding of our business.”

“A very agile and impressive firm with wide skill sets.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

Tony Bancroft is “an exceptional practitioner” who is “thoughtful and calm under pressure, and relates well to our business.”

Neil Pathak is “very smart, practical and both strategic and extremely tactical.”

Craig Semple is widely respected amongst M&A practitioners and is considered a particularly tough opponent. He is adept in handling takeovers, mergers and restructurings, and is especially well known for his impressive and extensive clientele in the banking sector.

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

Gilbert + Tobin’s “responsive, professional, sharp and practical’ team demonstrates ‘deep knowledge’ in corporate matters.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

They provide a very high level of service and they are customer-centric with a number of pre-eminent partners in key areas, and that differentiates them from other firms.”

The ever popular Peter Cook advises on a broad range of M&A and capital markets matters. “He is a strong all-round, go-to lawyer,” and “he is very highly regarded by us and the market,” say sources.

Andrew Bullock “has a great skill set in M&A” and “his advice is doubly useful because of his commerciality,” according to clients.

Neil Pathak continues to build a strong practice and advises a range of significant clients. One client says: “He is just excellent in everything he does.”

Competition and Regulation Return to top of the page

Gilbert + Tobin is consistently ranked in the top tier for competition law by Chambers Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific Legal 500.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“They are fantastic, particularly for regulated industries. They can give robust advice, aimed at producing a commercial outcome.”

“They have some outstanding people and some extremely good-quality products. Their advice is difficult to pick a hole in.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“They have one of Australia’s leading competition and regulatory practices, with a number of outstanding lawyers in the team.” 

“Their industry knowledge, legal and regulatory knowledge and experience, commercial acumen and strategic skills make them the go-to adviser.”

“They are a market leader in the regulatory and competition law space.”

Gina Cass-Gottlieb as “probably the best competition lawyer in the country.” They add: “She is an expert antitrust lawyer with good general commercial experience and a deserved reputation.” 

Luke Woodward receives praise for his dedicated attitude. “He is working with us after hours and at weekends, I really appreciate that.”

Elizabeth Avery is widely acclaimed by clients for being “very thorough, responsive and commercial as well as pleasant to deal with.” 

Simon Snow “understands issues very quickly, provides pithy and practical advice and is also very responsive.”

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

Gilbert + Tobin is “the premier competition law firm”, lauded for its “timely, business-friendly advice delivered by people who understand their audience”. It builds on “a great wealth of talent” to advise large corporates, industry associations and government bodies across all areas of competition law.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

“The best competition team in the country. They’re strong across the whole spectrum of competition issues and we rely on them extensively.” “Excellent, highly specialised in competition law, very thorough and very respected.”

Gina Cass-Gottlieb is one of the most highly regarded competition lawyers in Australia, with one commentator calling her “an amazing individual – what’s unique about Gina is that she is a truly creative thinker as well as having amazing personal skills and diplomacy.”

Luke Woodward held several positions at the ACCC prior to being in private practice. Clients report that “his great strengths are his previous senior experience in the ACCC and his razor-sharp intellect.”

Simon Snow acted for on gaining merger clearance for its global acquisition of The Book Depository. His strengths are in merger clearance, enforcement and economic regulation. One client reported that “he is very good to work with, he’s got a very good service model and he’s good at bringing that commercial line of thinking to his analysis.” 

Construction Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“The firm is cost-effective and has a good depth of talent at partner level. The partners are incredibly responsive to queries and provide excellent strategy on how to resolve cost claims effectively. They are now my go-to firm.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“They have a depth of talent at partner level. The partners are incredibly responsive to queries and provide excellent strategy on how to cost-effectively resolve claims.”

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

The team is praised for its “high-quality performances from a technical and strategic perspective”.

Dispute Resolution Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“Very good bench strength and an enjoyable team to work with.”

“Just the right size firm with the right sort of expertise for our operations.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“The firm has a culture of client focus, of being easy to deal with and of providing sound and thoughtful advice.”

Colleen Platford is praised for her “excellent attention to detail” and for tactical advice which is not only “pragmatic, practical and fearless,” but which also “proves over time to be sound and appropriate.” 

Sources characterise Tim O’Leary as a “very clever” and particularly meticulous practitioner.

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

Led by Kate Harrison, Gilbert + Tobin’s dispute team demonstrates “deep knowledge” and provides a “high level of service”.

The “very good” Mark Gerus is also recommended.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

“Sufficient depth of expertise and knowledge in dispute resolution. We are also impressed by their willingness to understand and engage with our business and be able to provide commercial and strategic advice.”

Steven Glass is well known in the market and wins praise as “an excellent litigator and lawyer.”

Michael Williams is described as a “very intelligent lawyer with the ability to ‘think outside the square’ when dealing with complex legal issues.”

Employment Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“I really like working with Gilbert + Tobin for their responsiveness and really clear advice.”

“They’ve got a very good reputation and are absolutely fantastic value for money. “

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“They are always attentive to our needs. They are commercially aware and worth every cent we spend.”

Head of department Dianne Banks is “incredibly professional, responsive, gives pragmatic advice and genuinely goes the extra mile.”

Energy and Resources Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“Seamless support across all aspects of our business.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“The firm has great expertise in energy regulation and the team is diligent and thorough. It guides clients clearly and proactively to favourable outcomes.”

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

The “excellent” Michael Blakiston is recommended and the team in Perth is at “the top of its field”.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

“They are very experienced in their areas of expertise, and understand the resources industry very well. An outstanding firm with real customer focus.”

Michael Blakiston receives high praise for his work in mining matters. He is called “the pre-eminent legal adviser for African mining developments,” and is considered to be “highly experienced, very knowledgeable and practical.”

Funds Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“They have a lot of knowledge and experience in the investment funds field, and have their finger on the pulse in terms of what is happening in the field in Australia.”

“They do a great job, work around the clock and are dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for their clients. They always provide quality advice and achieve good commercial outcomes.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“A very good team that can pull in other lawyers as and when needed.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

Adam Laura earns praise for his technical skills and for being “practical, responsive and commercial.” 

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2012:

“Their strengths combine good local market knowledge and deep industry expertise. They are well respected, understand commercial needs and always deliver professionally.”

Adam Laura “has a deep knowledge of current market conditions and trends and takes a balanced, pragmatic and collegial approach to investor negotiations.”

Intellectual Property Return to top of the page

Our Intellectual Property team is consistently ranked as a top tier practice by Chambers Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific Legal 500.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“The firm is really good commercially. They are very strategic and offer good advice, not just on the legal aspects. “

“They have extremely high-quality resources and we have never had a problem with their responsiveness. “

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

Michael Williams is acclaimed as an “excellent trade mark and copyright lawyer.”

Kate Harrison has a wealth of experience in IP litigation.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

This group offers strong litigation skills in both the patent and trade mark spheres, and is also acknowledged for its impressive copyright work. It advises both Australian and global brand owners across diverse industries.

Michael Williams is noted for doing “a fantastic job” and for being “a fantastic litigator.”

Siabon Seet has expertise across all areas of intellectual property, including copyright, patents, trade marks, designs and passing-off, and is “very strong on trade marks.”

Kate Harrison continues to build her practice after having spent time in high-level advisory government roles. She is known for handling contentious copyright matters, and has acted for members of the music industry on various Copyright Tribunal hearings. She has also represented free-to-air television stations in copyright litigation over television listings.

Lisa Lennon is described as “very approachable and very good at taking time to understand what you’re trying to achieve.” She is a registered trade mark attorney and her practice extends to domain name and cybersquatting issues.

Private Equity Return to top of the page

 Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“A powerful private equity practice with a very impressive deal sheet”

“We were impressed and happy in our dealings with Gilbert + Tobin acting as private equity advisers.”

Real Estate and Projects Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“Always extremely high quality. I’ve found them very good to deal with. “

“They are very good, particularly with agribusiness where it can be quite complex.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“They know their business very well and are very customer-focused to make sure that the client gets the best outcome to meet their business needs.”

“Gilbert + Tobin has provided exemplary levels of service, always promptly providing responses and ensuring that potentially contentious issues are proactively addressed.”

Diane Skapinker heads the firm’s projects and real estate team, and is recommended by clients as a “specialist in the property field with a vast depth of experience and an exceptionally sharp and pragmatic approach.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

Gilbert + Tobin offers a full-service real estate practice and has notable expertise in the real estate aspects of telecommunications, mining tenements and data centres.

Diane Skapinker heads the department and is an authority in the property law field.

Restructuring and Insolvency Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“We were able to do what nobody thought could be done, and without Gilbert + Tobin it would never have happened. “

“They guided us astutely through the different ins and outs of the matter. Very good.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“They are well regarded and well connected.”

Dominic Emmett for being “committed, hard-working and a very good commercial operator.”

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

Dominic Emmett, who ‘knows the market backwards’.

 The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2013:

Gilbert + Tobin has “strength across a broad spectrum of issues.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

Dominic Emmett is frequently praised by both clients and peers. “He is probably the most experienced restructuring lawyer in Sydney.”

Tax Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

Peter Feros is able “to analyse every possible route in a structured manner and to take the time to explain what the best options are and why.”  

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2011:

Gilbert + Tobin is “excellent in all facets of service delivery.”

TMT + Project Services Return to top of the page

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015:

“We have a very long relationship with the firm, and they have strong IT practitioners.”

“We use them heavily. They provide consistently strong advice.”

“Gilbert + Tobin is a very agile and impressive firm with a wide skill set.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014:

“Always one of the firms on the top of my mind. They have the depth of knowledge.” “They take particular pains to tailor their service.”

Peter Leonard is singled out as a “highly regarded” name in the market.

Sheila McGregor is noted for her commercial approach, with sources saying: “She is exceptional in terms of providing strategic advice.”

Peter Waters is praised for his “analytical approach” and ability to offer innovative solutions on cross-border matters.

Sources confirming Cameron Whittfield  “can deal with very complex issues.” 

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2014:

Trusted legal adviser’ Gilbert + Tobin “has strong industry and technical knowledge in TMT” and is “able to bring technical skills to bear on complex network, procurement and IT contracts”.

Sheila McGregor combines an “enormous breadth of knowledge” with a “focus on value for money and customer satisfaction”.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013:

This firm maintains a leading position in the TMT space and has particular expertise in large-scale IT procurement and development projects. “They’ve done a very good job and they continue to do it. They are trusted advisers for myself and the technical team.”

Peter Waters is widely respected as “one of the best telco regulatory lawyers in the world – extraordinary.”

Peter Leonard is “very highly regarded” and “a well-respected guy.”

Sheila McGregor is “great to work with – she has a very firm grasp of the topic and a good understanding of the technical aspects. She is very commercial and she brings a broad perspective.”

Bernadette Jew “has done an outstanding job; we are really pleased. I think her strategic skills and her patience are brilliant.”

Tim Gole is “a bright young partner, who is very talented.”


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