08 July 2019

Australian firm launches disruptive arm

MinterEllison, Australia's largest independent firm, appoints two non-legal Partners and launches new Infrastructure Consulting arm.

MinterEllison has appointed two new Partners from non-legal backgrounds as part of the firm’s continued investment in its consulting offerings

“Disruptive move”

The firm has appointed Donna Worthington (risk and egulatory) and Kay Salvair Smith (infrastructure consulting). The two additions take the firms consulting Partner total to eight. In what he firm terms “a disruptive move”, MinterEllison has also announced the launch of MinterEllison Infrastructure Consulting, which will be led by Ms Salvair Smith. “The appointment of Kay and Donna follows closely upon the appointment from 1 March of Brendan Welsh, Debbie McLaughlin, Stephen Craike, Kim Gordon and Simon Lewis as Partners in our Technology Consulting practice, ITNewcom,” said Andrew Cunningham, managing partner, consulting solutions and innovation.  Mr Cunningham said, “Our firm was the nation’s first to provide complete end-to-end specialist technology consulting and legal services through our acquisition of ITNewcom in 2017, and it's exciting to see momentum continue with our non-legal offerings extended with the launch of Infrastructure Consulting and bolstering of our risk & regulatory team.” The firm's latest non-legal adjacent offering, MinterEllison Infrastructure Consulting will provide combined service offerings on matters throughout the infrastructure project lifecycle, including in relation to technical, commercial, financial, legal and transaction/project management.

Changing needs

“Our clients have asked for integrated commercial, technical, financial and legal advice on complex infrastructure and development projects,” said Virginia Briggs, MinterEllison's managing partner, infrastructure construction and property. “We're responding to our clients' changing needs,” Ms Salvair Smith said. “With continued government and private sector investment in complex infrastructure projects, we're seeing a rise in the number projects needing external support and integrated strategic services. Our immediate focus is delivery. We have a number of infrastructure project engagements that we're excited to deliver, including in ports, roads, city planning, urban renewal, asset realisation and university campus renewal.” Ms Salvair Smith concluded, “We can use these projects to demonstrate that diversity of thought (legal and non-legal) and technical background really does produce the best solutions for clients.” MinterEllison recently announced 83 senior appointments, including 14 partners, 22 special counsel and 47 senior associates. With a total of 1,311 fee-earners (256 partners and 1,055 non-partners) across its Australian network, MinterEllison is Australia's largest independent firm.