Global firm’s senior partner joins the Australian government

by Sol Dolor07 Feb 2018
The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) has hired a new chief counsel, and he comes from one of the world’s largest law firms.

Bill Napier joins the Australian government from Jones Day, where he was partner for the last five years and was the leader of the Australian infrastructure practice. Jones Day recently expanded in Australia with a new office. Before joining the US-headquartered firm, he was a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills for more than two decades.

Napier will contribute to the work and development of AGS, the agency said. He will also focus on the commercial policies and transactions the Commonwealth is planning and undertaking over the next decade.

As a senior partner at two of the largest law firms in the world, he regularly led teams acting in complex transactions for both private and public sector clients. In private corporate practice, Napier has focused on lead negotiation in infrastructure and utilities projects, particularly in project structuring, development and operation; non-public mergers and acquisitions, including privatisations; banking and finance; public policy; and institutional reform, AGS said.

He has numerous high-profile public–private partnership and development projects under his belt, including, most recently, Barangaroo. He also worked on the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

His privatisations, mergers and acquisitions work includes Sydney's three most recently completed toll roads, the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and the Sydney Desalination Plant. Napier’s public policy work includes institutional reforms in a number of Asian jurisdictions.

Brendan Lyon, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s chief executive, said Napier brings with him a “very impressive resume of major transactions,” as well as being “a senior partner at the top levels of global law firms.”

“As the commonwealth’s central legal service, the AGS aspires to be a centre of excellence and expertise in areas of law of importance to government and in managing complex, systemic and precedential issues for government,” said Australian Government Solicitor Michael Kingston. “I believe the appointment of Bill Napier will contribute to our achievement of that goal.”

Bill Napier

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