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Ashurst Australia head steps down while HSF picks up Ashurst corporate duo in Asia

Ashurst’s John Carrington, who helped handle the integration of Blake Dawson, has retired as Australian managing partner with no successor, as Herbert Smith Freehills bulks up in Asia with two corporate hires from the firm.

After almost 30 years with the legacy Australian firm Blake Dawson, and then Ashurst, including the past six as managing partner in Australia, Carrington is retiring from the firm as well as his position. He has been a partner since 1990 and was appointed managing partner in October 2008, helping to oversee the integration of Blake Dawson with Ashurst alongside now Ashurst vice chairman Mary Padbury and the legacy firm’s board.

The firm confirmed there is no successor to the role with his responsibilities being shared across the firm’s Australia-based office heads, as well as Australian-focused executive committee members Phil Breden, Geoff Gishubl, Paul Jenkins and Lisa Ritson, and board members Mary Padbury, Peter Armitage, Roger Davies and Jennie Mansfield.

‘John was instrumental in initially exploring merger opportunities and ultimately steering the Australian firm through the process which, in November last year, saw it complete full financial integration with Ashurst,’ said Ashurst managing partner James Collis. ‘I came to the decision that the responsibilities of the position could effectively be shared amongst senior Australia-based partners.’

Padbury added: ‘The vision he outlaid at the start of his term – for the firm to become part of a leading international firm, to focus on our strengths in the energy and resources and financial services sectors, to build capability in the Asia-Pacific region and to strengthen our financial performance – have all been realised.’

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills has added Ashurst corporate partners Ian Williams and Damien Roberts to its corporate M&A practice, joining the firm’s Brisbane and Tokyo office respectively. Williams, who was also on Ashurst’s board, specialises in M&A and joint ventures in the energy, resources, infrastructure and industrial sectors while Roberts’ M&A experience also focuses on energy and infrastructure.

Herbert Smith Freehills global head of corporate, Mike Ferraro said: ‘In particular, Ian’s strong relationships with Japanese and Korean organisations and Damien’s long-standing relationships with key Japanese corporates and semi-government bodies will boost Herbert Smith Freehills’ strength in Japan and Korea.’