Herbies man replaces Ashurst’s BHP boomerang

Like a boomerang flying through the sky, BHP Billiton legal chief David Williamson has just jumped back to Ashurst three years after moving from legacy Blake Dawson. Herbert Smith Freehills’ relationship partner for BHP, litigator Geoff Healy, will step into Williamson’s shoes in June after years advising BHP out of Freehills’ Sydney office.

Did Williamson not do enough didgeridoo-diligence on BHP that prompted him to return? (Yes, we know, we’ve used that gag before.) Maybe he thought the move dingo well?

Healy follows in the Ugg steps of current Herbies global corporate chief Mike Ferraro, who himself served as BHP’s chief legal counsel from 2007 before handing over to Williamson.

Williamson spent 28 years at Blakes, including 21 years as a partner, so he’s well acquainted with it, although branding (and much more) has changed since he went on his walkabout before the Ashurst merger was even considered a potential corker.

He’s not quite a jolly swagman, but here’s hoping the overhaul won’t leave him a lonely billabong.


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