27 October 2020

HFW hires Colin Biggers & Paisley co-senior partner in Sydney

Pic of Sydney

Antony Riordan leads five-strong construction disputes team joining London-headquartered firm

Colin Biggers & Paisley’s longstanding co-senior partner, Antony Riordan, is joining HFW’s Sydney office as part of a five-strong team of construction disputes specialists.

The move ends Riordan’s 31-year association with the Australian independent, which grew during his time there from an 11-partner Sydney firm to a 60-partner strong national practice with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Riordan has a national and international practice with a focus on China work and also co-led Colin Biggers & Paisley’s national dispute resolution team. Joining HFW with him are senior associate Brooke Gilbey, associates Natasha Joukhdar and Rachel Irwin, and legal assistant Jacqueline Borgese.

Gavin Vallely, HFW’s Australia managing partner, said the move was part of a strategic priority to grow the firm’s international construction practice. Global head of construction Carolyn Chudleigh, who is also based in Sydney, said Riordan “brings in-depth construction sector expertise as well as commercial litigation skills, allowing us to meet growing client demand in both these areas, across Australia and Asia”.

Riordan said he was looking to build his practice onto HFW’s, stressing his new firm’s “depth of international and local expertise and experience in the energy and resources space”.

At a function last year celebrating Riordan’s thirtieth year at Colin Biggers & Paisley, head of construction and insolvency Peter Harkin praised his “impressive leadership and loyalty to the practice”. His departure leaves former managing partner Dunstan de Souza, who joined the firm as a graduate solicitor in 1985, as the firm’s sole senior partner. 

According to Lawyers Weekly, the firm was among a number of Australian practices to make cost cutting measures in April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic with partner remuneration reduced by 20-40%. The measures were due to last until September.

HFW launched in Australia in 2006 when it opened a Melbourne office. The firm now has 90 Australia-based lawyers, including 24 partners, working out of offices in Sydney and Perth, as well as Melbourne.

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