K&L Gates adds corporate and funds partner trio in Sydney from national firm

James Lomie, Natalya Hards and Lisa Lautier arrive from HWL Ebsworth

US law firm K&L Gates has added a trio of partners in Sydney from Australian firm HWL Ebsworth to boost its corporate and asset management and investment funds offerings in the city. 

James Lonie has made the move from HWL Ebsworth along with Natalya Hards and Lisa Lautier. 

K&L Gates’ Australia managing partner, Nick Nichola, described the trio as “key appointments” in areas of high client demand and in which the firm expects further growth in the coming years. 

“They bring with them extensive experience advising clients on key matters both in Australia and overseas, which fits in perfectly with the K&L Gates global platform," he added. 

Lonie is a well-regarded securities, funds and transactional lawyer and focuses his practice on M&A funds management, equity capital markets, securities and financial services regulation as well as joint ventures and start-ups. He also provides advice on corporate governance issues and securities regulatory issues. Prior to joining HWL Ebsworth as a partner in 2016 he was a partner at Australian firms Holding Redlich and Henry Davis York. 

Meantime, Hards has joined K&L Gates' corporate team; she advises Australian and international investors in corporate M&A, wholesale funds and investments, infrastructure and energy projects, joint ventures and commercial and government contracting. She spent five years at HWL Ebsworth, latterly as a partner, and over the course of her career was also an associate at firms including King & Wood Mallesons and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. 

Rounding out the hires is Lautier, who is rejoining K&L Gates’ asset management and investment funds team after a three-year stint as a special counsel and then partner at HWL Ebsworth, prior to which she spent a number of years at K&L Gates in Sydney. She advises Australian and international clients on fund establishment, financial services law, structuring and the provision of financial products and services to wholesale and retail clients. 

K&L Gates entered Australia back in 2013 through a merger with national firm Middletons, in a move that saw it gain 300 lawyers and bases in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The trio’s arrival in the Sydney office brings its partner count to 23 amid a wider team of 76 lawyers, meaning it is substantially larger than the firm’s Perth and Brisbane bases but somewhat behind its more than 100-lawyer strong Melbourne office. 

Last month the Pittsburgh-based firm added Jay Lee in Hong Kong from Simmons & SImmons – the second capital markets partner to join in Hong Kong in a month following Iris Leung moving over from Linklaters.

And earlier in the year the firm hired a 12-strong team in Boston from local boutique Lando & Anastasi to expand its life sciences and intellectual property capabilities in the region. 

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