King & Wood Mallesons appoints new Australian corporate head

Following the appointment of Sue Kench as its new Australia managing partner, Kin & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has named Sydney-based partner Tim Bednall as the new head of corporate M&A and tax practices in Australia.

Bednall joined the KWM’s M&A practice as a partner in 2004 and served as the firm’s chairman between January 2010 and November 2012. In his two years as chairman, he oversaw significant changes at the firm, including the firm’s tie-up with China’s King & Wood last year.

Bednall takes over the M&A leadership from Melbourne partner Craig Semple, who has recently decided to join Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin’s Melbourne office. Bednall will also oversee the Australian tax practice, which was previously headed by partner Tim Blue who will retire after 28 years at the firm.

“Tim was heavily involved with steering the combination with King & Wood last year and as a result, has developed strong relationships with firm’s China practice which will help to drive further integration across the combined network,” said Kench in a statement.

Bednall’s appointment comes a few weeks after the firm named Kench as its new Australia managing partner, succeeding Tony O’Malley who has resigned from the role and will retire from the partnership in December 2013 (24 May 2013).

Kench’s former leadership role in the real estate, construction, environment and infrastructure sectors will be taken on by Scott Gardiner, who also heads the energy, resources and projects sector and China practice.

Following the management reshuffle, KWM now has five practice and sector leaders in Australia reporting to Kench. Apart from Bednall, Gardiner, Caroline Coops is responsible for competition and regulatory, Berkeley Cox in banking, finance and financial services and Beau Deleuil in dispute resolution.

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