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            About Us

            DWF Australia is committed to delivering quality legal and strategic business advice that sustains our clients’ growth in a professional relationship, underpinned by innovation, accessibility, and collaboration.

            With offices on the ground in Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney our work spans various legal disciplines including: Banking & Finance, Business Restructuring & Insolvency, Commercial, Construction & Infrastructure, Corporate & M&A, Employment Law & IR, Health & Medical, Insurance (with particular expertise in Workers Compensation), Litigation & Arbitration, Occupational Health & Safety (Regulatory Advice), Planning & Environment, Property & Real Estate, Sports Law, and Wills & Estate Planning.

            Downtown Sydney

            Who we are

            DWF is a global legal business, transforming legal services through our people for our clients. We have over 3,100 people delivering services across 27 locations and 4 continents.

            Our Australian team has market leading sector and industry expertise. We are easy to do business with and are focused on speed to market and providing solutions for clients and their business partners.

            We work with listed and unlisted companies, banks, insurers, alternative capital providers, private equity sponsors, hedge funds, REITs, growth companies, high net worth individuals, family businesses, corporate trustees and government authorities.

            Core areas of our expertise include:

            • Banking & Finance
            • Business Restructuring & Insolvency
            • Commercial
            • Construction & Infrastructure
            • Corporate & M&A
            • Employment Law & IR
            • Health & Medical
            • Insurance (with particular expertise in Workers Compensation)
            • Litigation & Arbitration
            • Occupational Health & Safety (including Regulatory Advice)
            • Planning & Environment
            • Property & Real Estate
            • Sports Law
            • Wills & Estate Planning.

            We put clients at the heart of everything we do and become a true part of your team. We combine genuine legal subject matter expertise and targeted industry knowledge to resolve issues, get business done and implement strategy for clients.

            Our approach is energetic and decisive. We work to quickly understand your needs and have a distinctively approachable style.

            We have fully integrated offices across Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne and service clients across the full range of transactional, advisory and dispute resolution work in every Australian jurisdiction.

            Latest News

            DWF announces Australian expansion

            DWF announces new senior appointments

            About DWF Sydney

            The DWF Sydney office offers expertise in Banking and Finance, Construction & Infrastructure, Corporate & Commercial Law, Insolvency, Commercial Litigation, Employment & IR, and are located in the heart of Australia’s international city.

            Our Sydney-based lawyers deliver their specialist expertise, advice, and assistance to international and national clients, spanning banks and financial institutions, private equity, listed companies, and private companies, to energy companies, tech start-ups, and sporting organisations.

            Our Sydney office is also home to one of our dwf claims teams, a unique international claims administration service, operating within the commercial liability claims marketplace.

            The team specialise in the proactive resolution of claims emanating from the following lines of business: Professional Liability, General Liability, Property, Motor / Auto Liability, Directors & Officers, Legal Expenses, Financial Institutions and Contractors All Risks.

            About DWF Melbourne

            Our Melbourne office specialise in Corporate and Commercial law, Litigation and Insolvency, Employment Law and IR, Planning and Environment, Property Development, and Construction. Our Melbourne team take pride in being part of a 'full service’ firm for clients who need reliable legal advice across a broad range of commercial components.

            Our Melbourne office is home to leading corporate and commercial lawyers, who specialise in corporate advisory, mergers and acquisitions, structuring, finance, and litigation and insolvency. In addition to our Corporate and Commercial team, we have specialist Planning & Environment, Construction, Major Projects and Property Development lawyers based in our Melbourne office. We also have a team of workplace relations lawyers in Melbourne who make up part of our National Employment, Safety and Regulatory team.

            With expertise in dispute resolution and an emphasis on understanding the particularities of your business, DWF understands that client legal needs are not limited to a particular problem, but require an overall vision for where their enterprise is headed next.

            About DWF Brisbane

            The DWF Brisbane office have built a reputation in the Queensland market as a premium provider in Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, WHS, Employment, IR, Construction and Commercial Law.

            The Insurance team has particular expertise in workers compensation (both statutory and common law), public liability and occupiers liability claims, medical negligence; acting on behalf of a number of state-based insurers and government bodies, self-insurers, and large Australian companies, as well as national and international underwriters.

            In the field of Industrial Relations and Employment Law, the office has built a growing and successful practice – frequently representing employers in employment disputes, and IR disputes relating to enterprise bargaining and industrial action.

            Our Safety team have been instructed in some of Australia’s most serious and high-profile workplace accidents. The team’s expertise is also frequently called upon to proactively review systems and safety of some of the state’s largest employers.

            Our Construction team provides building and construction law advice to industry participants such as developers, contractors and property owners, as well as businesses outside the industry.

            The Brisbane office has had a long business association with Master Builders Association (QLD), is also a key supporter of the MND and Me Foundation (Motor Neuron Disease), and the Endeavour Foundation.

            About DWF Newcastle

            Our Newcastle office was the fourth DWF office to open in Australia, following Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2017. DWF’s Newcastle team have specific expertise in providing Corporate, Commercial, Employment, IR, Real Estate and Property advice, as well as offering a range of wills and estate planning services. 

            Our Corporate & Commercial team is comprised of lawyers with over 20 years of experience, whose work spans multiple states and jurisdictions. They have a focus on corporate transactions, capital raisings, major development projects, commercial disputes and insolvency. They are also particularly experienced in providing advice on restructuring businesses for mergers and acquisitions and has a strong focus on the real estate sector, advising both domestic and international clients on property developments, joint ventures and port infrastructures. 

            Our Employment & IR team provide advice to clients on all legal aspects of employment, workplace and anti-discrimination. Their clients include employers across a range of different sectors, including utilities, conservation and research, not for profit, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, transport and energy.

            Our Real Estate & Property team provide seamless transactional expertise and complex legal advice across all key areas of property and planning. They have a particular focus on the acquisition, disposal, leasing and development of residential and commercial land. They also offer conveyancing services.

            Newcastle is also the home of our team of Wills and Estate Planning practice, which includes a team of lawyers who specialise in wills and estate planning, succession planning, deceased estate and administration and estate litigation.

            KEY LOCATIONS

            What we do

            Through our range of legal and connected services we share our knowledge and technical expertise to create radically better support, services and solutions for our clients.

            We have really enjoyed working with DWF over the course of the last 12 months and value their support. We like their partner led style, which is very much focused on getting the deal done in the smoothest possible way without fuss or drama. A dynamic and internationally driven firm.
            – Mike Hodges - Director, Corporate Coverage London, HSBC Bank PLC

            We go to market through the sectors our clients operate in, so we can identify and anticipate challenges and find solutions to the legal problems they face; provide support for smarter decisions, reduce risks, and give greater clarity and flexibility.

            Legal services

            Providing award-winning legal services, excellence client service and effective operational management, our specialist teams provide commercial advice and strategic guidance, underpinned by expert and international understanding of global issues, legal areas and sector insight.

            Connected services

            We created Connected Services in response to client demand to help solve their wider business challenges. This offering is comprised of a range of consultative services, technology and products that complement our legal offering, focused specifically on managing risk, cost, time, reputation and resource.

            Legal Services

            Providing award-winning legal services, excellence client service and effective operational management, our specialist teams provide commercial advice and strategic guidance, underpinned by expert and international understanding of global issues, legal areas and sector insight.

            How we do it

            We connect to build relationships that inspire trust and confidence across all levels, so can we deliver an exceptional client experience.

            Our approach is tailored to the needs, issues and requirements of our clients, our people and the communities we work with.

            By paying attention to detail we create, implement and oversee sustainable solutions that go beyond conventions and expectations, and find agile ways to tackle challenges together.

            For our clients

            We create value for our clients by understanding their business and their markets and providing smart, insightful legal advice and services which are aligned to their commercial reality. Meeting our clients' needs is at the heart of everything we do including our continuing drive to do things differently.

            For our people

            Our people include everyone who has a part to play in delivering client service excellence on behalf of DWF to our clients. We create value for our people by offering fulfilling and rewarding careers and continuing to invest in their development and care about their well-being.

            We create value for our people by offering fulfilling and rewarding careers and continuing to invest in their development and care about their wellbeing.

            For our communities

            We believe that our community reaches further than our four walls. It’s not just about us but all the people around each of our offices. Who we are and what we do impacts on everyone.

            Our communities include those in which we live and work. Those that touch the lives of our people day by day. We create value for our communities by recognising and acting upon the positive impact we can have on current and future generations.

            Our vision is to encourage all our people to work together as a catalyst for change. One of our values is the belief that we are 'better together' and it's our opportunity for all our people to work together to create something special.

            The launch of the DWF Foundation in November 2015 marked a significant step in our journey to develop a culture of contribution.  

            The DWF Foundation builds on our existing community activity in a focused and strategic way and demonstrates that when we all work together we can make a significant, positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. The pillars of the Foundation are: Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing, Employability and Education

            Find out more about DWF Foundation 

            We don’t want to react to climate change. We’re committed to tackling things head on. And that means starting with our own environmental impact.

            We’re a member of the Legal Sector Alliance on Climate Change and The Prince’s Mayday Network and we’re working with Business in the Community. This means we’re working hard to change our business reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve launched a new Environmental Management system.

            We’ve achieved ISO14001 certification and we’re maintaining it. We’ve reduced CO2 emissions per employee from 2.6 to 2 tonnes and a 15% reduction on paper reduction already. Telephone and video conferencing has increased by over 150% and we recycle 80% of our waste. We’ve even hosted Responsible Supply Chain Management events for BITC. And we haven’t stopped yet.

            Good corporate governance enables us to create sustainable value for the benefit of our clients, our people and the communities in which we live and work.

            Our Risk Management and Governance strategy follows the execution of the wider business strategy, so we can anticipate and identify the regulatory outcomes and address them accordingly to ensure compliance.  

            We have always strived to offer the very best service. Excellence is our goal. As the first legal business to achieve the formal “Commitment to Excellence” Marque in the UK, it speaks volumes about our approach.

            You trust us to be the best at what we do. To test ourselves at every step. We have a dedicated Business Excellence Team. Day in, day out, they’re focused on ensuring we meet the very highest standards. That we have the right infrastructure, controls and processes in place to ensure success. That we’re continually improving and developing our management systems and acting on feedback.

            Every year we complete a business-wide audit programme. This is structured around our core areas of business, our Service Level Agreements, and the activities we undertake. We run internal, external and client audits, review our complaints, professional indemnity and risk assessment information, as well as listening to what you’ve had to say in client care reviews and other feedback. Our accreditation to the ISO 9001:2015 standard means we are externally assessed every six months.

            Because we’re always innovating, our approach to risk and governance is not a box-ticking exercise. We are continually monitoring and refining our processes to help us to be at the forefront of legal excellence.

            Our values are the foundation of our culture, providing a common sense of direction for our people. They influence our actions and behaviours and support our strategic direction.

            We genuinely believe in our value set, which was created by our people:

            • Always aim higher
            • Be better together
            • Disrupt to progress
            • Keep all promises
            • Attend to details

            Defining the values that demonstrate our culture and approach to client service allows us to understand the role we play in our communities, build capability through external partnerships, challenge the status quo and harness and respect diversity.


            Our values are embedded in our business and communicated through regular dialogue with its teams. We have also implemented key development initiatives to support the development of its people, including the introduction of our Expectations Framework. This provides our people with clear performance and development goals and supports performance management processes making it much easier to assess the contribution of its people and importantly, how results are delivered. We have also launched the DWF Academy to provide a framework for learning and development for all to ensure all employees build their career through improvement and innovation.

            Our annual Community Engagement Survey told us that 92% of our people are proud to work for a firm that supports its communities. That 93% would personally encourage others to volunteer and that 82% feel our community involvement improves their morale. The survey identified four key themes that now underpin our work: education, employability, the environment and homelessness. Last year, we spent 8,397 hours on community and pro bono work.

            Projects and activities

            We want to share our commitment to our values. They shape who we are and our approach to everything we do. That’s why we’re committed to community projects and activities. We build long lasting, sustainable relationships helping young people to achieve more in education, vulnerable people to find work, the voluntary and community sectors to become more effective, helping to protect and improve the environment and to grow enterprise. And we do this through fundraising, volunteering, team challenges, mentoring and pro bono initiatives.

            Watch this example of our mentoring activity, involving students from the University of Wolverhampton Law School. Students were matched to a mentor who is appropriate to their career interests, giving the students the invaluable opportunity to engage with legal professionals before they embark on their own legal careers.

            Diversity and inclusion

            “At DWF, we already have a richness of diversity in terms of thought, backgrounds, education, cultures and religious belief. Demographics and societal changes will increase and enrich that diversity. Our approach to diversity is to ensure it is not only present in terms of our policies but visible in practice throughout the firm and something I view as critical to our plans for future growth.”
            – Andrew Leaitherland, CEO & Managing Partner

            Diversity and inclusion are integral to our values and culture. We recognise the benefits diversity brings and focus our efforts in a way that is responsive to the needs of all our people. Our approach is evidenced in the way we think and behave every day, treating everyone fairly, and with dignity and respect. It is shaped by our values and visible through the support we offer our people, our clients and our communities.

            Actions, not just words

            People are at the centre of what we stand for. Having the best people. Keeping the best people. Supporting our teams, clients and the communities in which we live and work.

            We’re committed to a vibrant, energetic and diverse business. We want everyone to reach their full potential and pass that value on to clients, our people should be able to do that free from discrimination or harassment of any kind. And we think you should be able to do that free from discrimination or harassment of any kind.

            Here is our LGBT Inclusion statement

            Our commitments to diversity and inclusion are more than just words. We live by them every day and they underpin how we care for people regardless of age, gender, relationship and family status, professional skills or status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, sexuality, religion or belief.

            We partner ambition, innovation and passion with dignity, respect and fairness. Hard work and personal responsibility apply across every aspect of this.

            We have promised to:

            • Create and maintain an inclusive workplace that respects and embraces diversity.
            • Ensure all our people and all our clients are treated as individuals and valued for their contribution to the business.
            • Facilitate opportunities for all by recognising and realising potential both in employment and business.
            • Ensure that DWF operates within legislative, risk and best practice frameworks.
            • Encourage our people, clients and suppliers to demonstrate ownership and responsibility for diversity and inclusion.

            Our Diversity Steering Group is involved in many projects connected to our Diversity Strategy. The formation of a Partner led Diversity Steering Group and network of Diversity Champions provides strong and visible leadership to support the implementation of the firm’s strategic diversity objectives and in doing so, embed diversity into the way we do business.

            CSR Awards and Recognition


            • Finalist Company of the Year in the European Diversity Awards
            • Finalist in the Community Contribution of the Year category at the Scottish Legal Awards
            • Gold Standard performance in The Law Society's D&I report, as a signatory to the D&I Charter
            • Achieved Silver Standard on gender and race equality validated by Business in the Community (BITC)
            • Bronze Standard in BITC's Environment Index
            • Eco Excellence Gold City Award (Preston)

            •  Successful reaccreditation for the continuing impact of our School Partnerships at the Responsible Business Awards
            • Finalist - Best Large Private Sector Employer in recognition of our flexible and agile working policies and initiatives awarded through Working Families Scotland
            • Finalist - Best Innovation for Family Friendly Working recognising DWF's innovative approach to ensuring working parents are supported whilst on leave and when back in the office, awarded through Working Families Scotland
            • Finalist in the Work in the Community category at the Liverpool Law Society Legal Awards
            • Bronze Award for payroll giving
            • Finalist - Best Corporate Responsibility Award Inspiring City Awards (Glasgow)
            • Gold Standard in Diversity Best Practice - ENEI Awards
            • Winner - Advancing Social Mobility in the Workplace Award - ENEI Awards
            • Winner - Equality and Inclusion Senior Champion Award - ENEI Awards
            • Gold Standard - Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter
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            We are proud to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion and our LGBT network group, OutFront, has been ranked as a Highly Commended Network Group. The commendation is to recognise the efforts of the top performing network groups within the Top 100.

            The Diversity Champions programme is Britain's good practice employers' forum on sexual orientation.

            Find out more about the programme > 

            Find out more about the legal sector's commitment to LGBT. Download the Stonewall's Starting Out Guide 2017/18 >

             Stonewall diversity champion

            Stonewall | DWF

            Our internal networking group “Out Front” offers a great networking opportunity via social media on our Yammer platform to share ideas; have a say in policies and procedures and updates on social groups and networking opportunities. Please contact OutFront@dwf.co.uk for more information.

            Clear Assured

            We are the first UK law firm to achieve 'ClearAssured' status, establishing the firm as an inclusive recruiter for disabled talent. Developed by The Clear Company, the UKs leading auditors of inclusive recruitment practice, the benchmark helps organisations to identify and remove barriers from their recruitment policy, processes and practices which have the potential to exclude disabled people.

            Read more about Clear Assured > 

            Proud to be Clear Assured - www.theclearcompany.co.uk

             Disability Confident

            DWF has a positive approach to employing disabled talent. As a Disability Confident Employer we make commitments to support the needs of disabled talent within our business during the entire employee journey. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a vacancy.

            DC Leadership

            Working Families - Top Ten Employer    

            Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation. The charity helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.

            Find out how we are involved > 

            Business in the Community

            We are members of BITC diversity campaigns, Workplace Gender Equality and Race at Work campaigns. This collaboration is helping to shape and strengthen our talent agenda and ensure we continue to attract and retain the best people. We have been participating in the yearly benchmarking cycle since 2014. We have been awarded Silver standard for Gender and Race diversity.

            We are member of The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI) which is an organisation covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace.

            We are founder signatories to the Diversity and Inclusion Charter which launched in 2008. The Charter is a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout their business. We therefore strive to ensure best practice through our recruitment, retention, career progression and learning and development.

            BITC Race at Work BITC Workplace Gender Equality

            Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion

            We are members of The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI) which is an organisation covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace.

            ENEI Member logo 

            Diversity and Inclusion Charter 

            We are founder signatories to the Diversity and Inclusion Charter which launched in 2008. The Charter is a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout their business. We therefore strive to ensure best practice through our recruitment, retention, career progression and learning and development. 

            Tyrone Jones

            • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement

            Seema Bains

            • Partner // Chair of Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Group

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