G+T’s award-winning Competition, Consumer + Market Regulation group is extending its market-leading practice by attracting a new hire and an internal promotion at senior levels. The appointments come at an exciting time for the group as they coincide with senior competition partner Elizabeth Avery, recently awarded Partner of the Year – Competition, Trade and Regulation at the Lawyers Weekly Awards 2019.

Susan Jones, ex-head of the global antitrust practice at Swiss healthcare company Novartis, has left her role after more than a decade to join G+T on 17 June, as a special counsel in the Melbourne office.

Susan will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge from her time in-house at Novartis. There she oversaw a series of high-profile transformational deals including the GSK and Lilly merger clearances and more recently, the €791 million sale of its Sandoz division’s dermatology business and generic assets to Aurobindo. Prior to Novartis, Susan was a senior associate at Allen & Overy in Brussels and a senior investigator at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“I’m excited to join Gilbert + Tobin, which has a strong reputation in competition law and a great team that has a culture of collaboration, innovation, performance and client service. I’m also impressed by Gilbert + Tobin’s high proportion of female partners and a commitment to good corporate citizenship,” Susan said.

A further boost for the group is the internal promotion of Liana Witt to be special counsel (effective 1 July, 2019). Similar to Susan, Liana has significant experience in health + life sciences having acted for Pfizer, Sanofi and Servier, as well as representative body Medicines Australia. Advising on all aspects of competition and consumer protection law, Liana has particular expertise advising clients in relation to regulatory investigations and enforcement, supply and distribution arrangements, marketing and pricing strategies, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.

“We are delighted to welcome Susan who will be a great fit for the firm. The appointment will further enhance the competition group and in particular, the Melbourne team. Susan’s expertise in the health and life sciences sector, building on the firm’s strong expertise and experience in this strategically important sector, will contribute significantly to the group’s reputation in high-stakes competition and regulation matters” said Head of the Competition, Consumer + Market Regulation practice, Luke Woodward.

He further commented that “the group aims to foster a culture that recognises excellence in all facets”. The promotion of Liana to special counsel, “builds on an enviable collection of leading talent and technical expertise”. It rounds up a great month for the team and Luke added his endorsement of Elizabeth Avery as Partner of the Year, saying “Elizabeth deserves the recognition for her outstanding strategic advice on complex, multi-jurisdiction and high profile matters” and praised her for her leadership that “helps shape the culture and strategy of the practice group”.

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