Ashurst announces two significant Corporate partner hires, including new Head of M&A (Australia)

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    Global law firm Ashurst has appointed a new Head of M&A (Australia), Neil Pathak, as part of a plan to further expand its offering across both public and private M&A in Australian and international markets.

    Neil will join Ashurst on 1 July 2023 as a senior partner, along with M&A and private equity expert Susannah Macknay, who joined on 19 June 2023.

    Neil Pathak

    Neil is an expert in mergers and acquisitions and has worked on some of the largest public M&A and private equity transactions in Australia for over 25 years. His practice covers the full range of M&A/corporate transactions, with a particular focus on listed company takeovers, cross-border acquisitions, private equity deals and corporate governance advice.

    With a client base including ASX listed companies, large corporates and private equity firms, Neil has advised on deals across a range of sectors including resources, energy, infrastructure, healthcare, agribusiness, retail, manufacturing, gaming, funds management and technology. He is a member of the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel and is a senior fellow of Melbourne University Law School.

    Best Lawyers named Neil as Melbourne’s Lawyer of the Year for M&A, Corporate, Private Equity or Equity Capital Markets in 9 of the last 11 years. He is ranked Band 1 in Chambers for M&A and is recognised in all other key directories.

    Neil joins Ashurst from Gilbert + Tobin, where he was co-head of the Corporate/M&A group and member of the board of partners. Prior to joining G+T, he was a partner at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) from 2004 to 2011 and has experience working at major international firms in London and investment banks in Australia.

    Susannah Macknay

    Susannah is an experienced corporate/M&A partner, with particular expertise advising on private equity and cross-border M&A transactions.

    Susannah also joins from Gilbert + Tobin, where she has been a partner since 2020, advising on significant M&A transactions for leading Australian corporates and global and Australian private equity funds. She previously spent more than a decade at Slaughter and May in London, including six years as a partner.

    Susannah and Neil will both be based in Ashurst's Melbourne office and will work closely together.

    The new partner duo comes after Ashurst recently promoted four new partners – Eliza Blandford, Brooke Coghlan, Jason Maletic and Ben Stewart – and hired two new Corporate partners in Sydney – Patricia Paton and Jo En Low – as part of an expansion of the Australian Corporate team.

    Ashurst's Global CEO, Paul Jenkins, said:

    "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 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."