Allens Partner Jumps Ship To KWM in Brisbane

Lawyers Weekly Australia reports…..

An industrial relations and employment law partner has defected to King & Wood Mallesons in the wake of two other senior departures from Allens’ Brisbane office.

Jamie Wells has joined KWM as a partner in Brisbane. He was head of the national workplace and employee relations team at Allens and a partner at the global firm for the past 13 years.

At Allens, Wells advised the Queensland government on the separation of the previously state-owned companies QR National and Queensland Rail, as well as QR National’s subsequent privatisation by IPO. He also advised the NSW government on the employee relations stream of the scoping study for the sale of its ‘poles and wires’ electricity network assets.

Wells’ corporate clients include Rio Tinto, which he recently advised on the employment issues arising from the iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton.

He has also worked with TABCORP, Ray White, Virgin Australia, Seqwater, Weight Watchers, Queensland Urban Utilities, Port of Brisbane Corporation, Gladstone Area Water Board and the Queensland Competition Authority.

Wells’ move follows other senior partner departures from Allens’ Brisbane office in recent months.

Earlier this year, competition and regulatory specialist Jo Daniels left the firm to launch Baker & McKenzie’s new office in Brisbane.

More recently, McCullough Robertson poached Allens’ Brisbane-based infrastructure and construction partner Ren Niemann.

KWM’s M&A and tax managing partner, Tim Bednall, said Wells’ appointment will strengthen the firm’s national employee relations and safety practice and provide additional support to Brisbane-based clients.

John Swinson, the firm’s partner-in-charge in Brisbane, added that KWM has “a critical mass of top calibre partners in key areas in Brisbane”.

KWM has 14 partners based in Brisbane across M&A, banking and finance, dispute resolution and projects and real estate.

Wells was unavailable for interview prior to publication.