K&L Gates adds first post-merger partner to Aussie base

K&L Gates’ Sydney office has taken on corporate partner Andrea Beatty, the first partner to join the firm following its 1 January merger with Australian firm Middletons.

Beatty joins K&L Gates from Australian firm HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, where she was a partner. Prior to joining HWL Ebsworth in 2009, she had been a partner at legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) for 11 years.

Beatty’s practice focuses on regulatory and financial services work and she has more than 20 years of experience advising on credit and financial services regulation.

K&L Gates Australia managing partner Nick Nichola said in a statement: “[Andrea’s] appointment marks the continued growth of our corporate and transactional practice area due to increasing client needs.”

Beatty noted that being part of a global team is one of the things that attracted her to K&L Gates. She also stressed that the area of credit regulation in Australia is complex and likely to be even more so due to the Australian government’s proposal to regulate small business and investment lending. An exposure draft bill was released by the Australian Treasury and submissions are due by 15 February.

The merger between K&L Gates and Middletons took effect last week and has added 300 lawyers and offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane to K&L Gates’ global network (4 December 2012).

According to Australian business magazine BRW’s rankings, legacy Middletons was the 16th largest Australian firm by revenue (A$112m) in the 2011-12 financial year, while HWL Ebsworth ($114m) is the 14th largest in the country. The latter recorded faster growth in 2011-12, with 16 per cent growth in revenue, compared to Middletons’ six per cent.