A&O beefs up Sydney office with Mallesons hire

Allen & Overy (A&O) has boosted its fledgling Australia practice with the hire of a competition partner from local firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques.

Dave Poddar will join the firm’s Sydney office and will be the first competition partner among an 18-partner team.

A&O opened in Australia earlier this year with the hire of 17 partners, 14 of whom joined from Clayton Utz, covering the corporate, finance, M&A, energy and natural resources practices across Sydney and Perth (8 February 2010).

Poddar is a specialist on merger clearances, competition issues in concentrated markets, access matters in regulated industries (including rail, gas, electricity and telecommunications), cartel matters and general competition law.

He has acted on financial services mergers, resources takeovers and infrastructure projects in the liquified natural gas and resources areas.

A&O’s Australia managing partner Grant Fuzi said: “Dave’s a highly respected practitioner and his joining is particularly important to our clients.

“With his experience, we’ll have the capability to provide top level advice on merger clearances, access issues and general competition matters, as well as cartel advice, which is particularly important after the recent introduction of criminal cartel laws in Australia.

“This expansion is yet another reflection of our commitment to strengthening the Australian offering since our launch just a few months ago.”

Poddar has been a partner at Mallesons Stephen Jacques since 1998.