06 Oct 2022

Allen & Overy adds Hogan Lovells partner in Perth to co-lead global mining practice

Corporate partner Matthew Johnson joins to head practice alongside Johannesburg managing partner Gerhard Rudolph

Matthew Johnson Image courtesy of Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has hired a partner from transatlantic rival Hogan Lovells in Perth to co-lead its mining practice.

Matthew Johnson is set to join the UK Magic Circle firm after six years at Hogan Lovells, where he is currently global head of mining and a partner in the firm’s corporate practice. He brings a wealth of experience advising on domestic and cross-border transactional and corporate advisory matters, including corporate governance and regulatory compliance issues. 

Johnson will succeed Perth-based mining co-head Geoff Simpson ahead of his planned retirement from A&O’s partnership and will lead the team alongside Johannesburg managing partner Gerhard Rudolph. 

“Matthew will provide specialist mining capacity across Australia, Asia Pacific and globally allowing us to support our clients locally and across our global mining practice,” Rudolph said. 

“As Perth continues to be a centre of excellence for mining, Matthew’s appointment maintains our senior presence in the Perth market. The biggest driver and opportunity in the sector at the moment lies in the green energy transition. The development of future-facing technologies and 2050 net zero pledges herald new opportunities for mining companies to reposition their business models towards clean energy minerals. Matthew’s insights will be invaluable to our international clients.”

A well-established figure in the mining arena, Johnson advises clients active in clean energy/critical minerals, precious metals and iron ore. His work at Hogan Lovells has included advising Wolf Minerals on its equity and debt facility with mining-focused alternative investment firm Resource Capital Fund VI, Allied Gold Corp on the acquisition and financing of gold mines in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire and iron ore mining business Grange Resources on its merger with Australian Bulk Minerals.

Hogan Lovells’ mining and resources team includes 24 partners globally and Johnson is currently the only one based in Perth. Meantime A&O’s global mining group features 46 partners, five of whom including Simpson call Perth home. The team is consistently recognised by legal rankings guides and advises a number of major international mining and metals companies, among them Perth outfit Mineral Resources and Canada’s Sandfire Resources. 

Simpson, who is also managing partner of the Perth office, led the team that last year advised Sandfire Resources on its $1.865bn acquisition of Spanish mining company Minas de Aguas Tenidas from Mubadala Investment Company and Trafigura. Perth-based mining partner Goran Galic also worked on the deal.

Victor Ho, head of A&O’s Asia Pacific corporate practice, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Matthew to the team. His deep mining sector experience will benefit our clients throughout the Asia Pacific region. His appointment strengthens an already market-leading regional team and enhances our ability to assist clients on complex domestic Australian and cross-border M&A.”

Another UK firm to bolster its ranks recently in Perth was HFW, which late last month hired shipping partner Ashwin Nair from local maritime boutique Cocks Macnish having added a team of three disputes lawyers in the city in April from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan led by the office's founding partner, Paul Evans.

Meantime in May UK firm Kennedys hired a ten-strong team of insurance lawyers from Clyde & Co in Perth to help launch its first office in Western Australia, with partner Jonathan Wyatt moving over to lead the new base. 

 

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