31 May 2021

Ashurst hires former HFW Perth managing partner to bolster Australian disputes team

Construction disputes partner Matthew Blycha joins as a partner in the firm's Perth office

Matthew Blycha Image courtesy of Ahusrst

Ashurst has hired arbitration lawyer Matthew Blycha from Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) to boost its Australian disputes practice.

Blycha joins as a partner in Perth, where he will specialise in construction disputes. His practice will focus on advising clients on the development, construction and operation of large resources projects across Australia and globally, while also enhancing the firm’s presence in the Western Australia resources market. His practice will also focus on resolving commercial disputes through international arbitration – a strategic growth area for the firm.

Jeremy Chenoweth, Ashurst’s head of dispute resolution for Asia Pacific, said: “[Blycha] is a dedicated and highly experienced construction arbitration partner whose resources industry expertise will enable us to capitalise on significant growth opportunities in Western Australia and to better support existing and prospective energy, resources and infrastructure clients throughout our global network.”

Blycha spent just over a decade at HFW, most recently as managing partner of its Perth office and a member of the firm’s Australian executive team, as well as roles including deputy chair of global innovation and the firm's sustainability ambassador. He also previously had stints at Shearman & Sterling in Singapore, Denton Wilde Sapte in Dubai and Gadens in Melbourne.

He said: “[I] look forward to adding value to the partnership, particularly in the arbitration space, where Ashurst has a very strong market presence and a high quality, long-standing client base. I look forward to using Ashurst's global platform to pursue new opportunities, realising the vast potential for growth in Australia's resources industry.”

Blycha is the latest lawyer to join the Australian disputes team following the arrival of Nicholas Mavrakis from Clayton Utz in March. Mavrakis is regional head of the firm’s bank industry group and is based in Sydney.

Other global firms have been boosting their Australian ranks recently. At the start of May, Kennedys hired a team of insurance lawyers from Clyde & Co to launch its Perth office, including partner Jonathan Wyatt. 

And in April, Ashurst also expanded its Australian energy team in Sydney with the arrival of a trio of lawyers from Baker McKenzie, including the former co-head of its renewables practice Paul Curnow.

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