Sparke Helmore Lawyers has appointed two new partners to its rapidly expanding Corporate team: Douglas Hall and Betsy-Ann Howe.
Douglas Hall, formerly one of the senior project finance and banking partners in Norton Rose’s Perth office, joined the firm on 6 August. Over the past 25 years, Douglas has gained significant domestic banking and restructuring experience in Australia and around the world, including in jurisdictions ranging from various African and Asian countries, to Canada, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.
Douglas has acted for banks, project sponsors and borrowers, including many junior and mid-cap mining companies, on corporate, property and mining project financing transactions. He is known for his expertise in limited and non-recourse financings in the commodities and resources sectors, particularly in metals and mining financing transactions.
Douglas is excited about establishing a corporate and finance presence in Perth for Sparke Helmore and expanding the firm’s capabilities in project finance, mining and banking. “Clearly, Sparke Helmore is a law firm that understands the need to be nimble. Its expansion in the West in the corporate and finance areas is a move that responds to the dynamic nature of this legal market. It also fits neatly into the firm’s overall strategy”, he said.
Betsy Howe, a well-respected tax and corporate lawyer, joined the firm on 1 August. Betsy practices in the areas of corporate and international tax, and tax controversy, and is recognised by independent commentators such as Chambers and Partners as a leader in the field. She was formerly a tax partner at a number of leading Australian firms, including Mallesons Stephen Jaques, and at Russell McVeagh in New Zealand. She joins the firm from the Sydney office of HWL Ebsworth.
Betsy advises on tax issues associated with corporate finance, including asset finance, structured finance and securitisation, as well as the corporate tax issues associated with mergers and acquisitions. She is also experienced in managing tax controversy, including issues arising from audits, disputes and litigation. More broadly, Betsy has advised on employee share purchase schemes, employment-related tax issues, GST and stamp duty.
Betsy is looking forward to building a tax practice at Sparke Helmore. “It is an exciting time in the growth of the corporate practice for the firm, and I am looking forward to being able to provide the additional service offering to compliment that growth”, she said.
“The tax offering is a crucial adjunct to the fast-growing corporate offering the firm has, particularly for large, complex transactions in the mid-market space. We’re delighted to welcome a tax lawyer of Betsy’s calibre to the team”, said Nick Humphrey, Sparke Helmore’s Corporate National Practice Group Leader.
Jesse Webb, Sparke Helmore’s National Managing Partner, agrees: “In 2012 we have concentrated on growing our national corporate practice, building on our strengths in the banking, financial services, mining, infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, property and government sectors. In just seven months we have created a phenomenally successful Corporate practice, which has completed 16 deals worth $400 million in that time. The appointments of Douglas and Betsy further extend our boutique corporate offering, which serves the mid-market needs of top tier corporate and institutional clients.”
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