Ashurst Bolsters Corporate Practice with Notable Partner Hires, Including Head of M&A (Australia)
As part of its strategy to enhance its services in Australian and international markets, leading global law firm Ashurst has announced the appointment of Neil Pathak as the new Head of M&A (Australia). Pathak's role will involve spearheading the firm's growth in both public and private M&A, bolstering its position in these sectors.
Effective July 1, 2023, Ashurst will welcome Neil Pathak. Accompanying him is Susannah Macknay, a specialist in M&A and private equity, who joined the firm on June 19, 2023.
With an impressive track record spanning over 25 years, Neil Pathak brings extensive expertise in mergers and acquisitions to Ashurst. He has played a pivotal role in numerous significant public M&A and private equity transactions in Australia. Pathak's practice encompasses a wide spectrum of M&A and corporate transactions, including listed company takeovers, cross-border acquisitions, private equity deals, and providing corporate governance advice.
Neil Pathak's extensive client portfolio encompasses ASX-listed companies, major corporations, and private equity firms. He has provided valuable counsel on a diverse array of transactions spanning various sectors such as resources, energy, infrastructure, healthcare, agribusiness, retail, manufacturing, gaming, funds management, and technology. Pathak's profound expertise has positioned him as a trusted advisor in navigating complex deals within these industries.
His notable achievements include his role as a distinguished member of the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel, where he actively contributes to shaping the regulatory framework surrounding corporate takeovers. Moreover, he is also a senior fellow at Melbourne University Law School.
Pathak's exceptional legal acumen and outstanding contributions have garnered him numerous accolades and industry recognition. Best Lawyers has consistently recognised his remarkable skills by naming him Melbourne's Lawyer of the Year for M&A, Corporate, Private Equity, or Equity Capital Markets in an impressive nine out of the last 11 years. Additionally, his remarkable expertise in the field of M&A has earned him the esteemed Band 1 ranking in Chambers, further solidifying his reputation as a top professional in his field.
Pathak will be joining Ashurst from his previous role as co-head of the Corporate/M&A group and board member at Gilbert + Tobin. Prior to his tenure at Gilbert + Tobin, he served as a partner at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) from 2004 to 2011. Pathak's extensive professional background includes working at renowned international firms in London as well as holding positions at prominent investment banks in Australia.
Susannah Macknay, on the other hand, is an experienced corporate/M&A partner, with particular expertise advising on private equity and cross-border M&A transactions.
Macknay, who previously served as a partner at Gilbert + Tobin since 2020, has joined Ashurst. Her expertise lies in advising leading Australian corporates, as well as global and Australian private equity funds, on significant M&A transactions. Prior to her time at Gilbert + Tobin, Macknay spent over a decade at Slaughter and May in London, including six years as a partner.
Both Susannah Macknay and Neil Pathak will be located at Ashurst's Melbourne office, where they are expected to collaborate closely on various projects and initiatives.
The addition of Macknay and Pathak as partners complement Ashurst's recent growth initiatives in its Australian Corporate team. Ashurst has recently promoted four new partners, namely Eliza Blandford, Brooke Coghlan, Jason Maletic, and Ben Stewart. Additionally, the firm has expanded its Corporate team in Sydney by welcoming two new partners, Patricia Paton and Jo En Low.
"Ashurst has identified a number of practice areas that we will target for further investment by 2027 as part of our firm-wide global strategy. This includes building on our Corporate team's strong public M&A and private capital offering to meet growing client demand. Today's announcement is evidence of our commitment and is an important step towards delivering on our plans to be the leading law firm in Australia," Ashurst's Global CEO, Paul Jenkins, said.
Ashurst's co-heads of Corporate Transactions (Australia), John Brewster and Anton Harris said: "We are thrilled to welcome Neil and Susannah to Ashurst. Neil has a stellar reputation in the market developed through advising on some of the most significant corporate transactions in the country for more than two decades. His arrival at Ashurst is a sign of our growing Australian Corporate team. As Head of M&A (Australia) at Ashurst, Neil will work with us to further expand our offering to listed corporates and private equity clients on market-leading deals. Susannah adds significant expertise to our M&A team, in particular bolstering our private equity and private capital capability. Neil and Susannah's decisions to join us demonstrate that we are delivering on our strategy to stand out from our peers in M&A in Australia."