Media release | Gadens continues to grow with three new partners
15 March 2021
National firm Gadens continues its strategic growth agenda with the appointment of three new partners, Andrea Towson (Planning and Environment), Kelly Griffiths (Disputes) and Lee Benjamin (Tax Controversy, Disputes). These appointments follow the recent announcement that Kate Mills, a regulatory specialist, has joined the firm.
“These key, strategic appointments support the continued growth of our firm into key areas where we expect strong demand from our clients. Andrea, Kelly and Lee are all highly-regarded practitioners in their respective areas of specialisation and we are delighted that they have chosen to join Gadens”, said Mark Pistilli, CEO.
“Their broad skill sets, but especially their deep expertise and experience in key and emerging areas will nicely complement our existing capabilities. In addition to these three new appointments, we expect to make some more announcements shortly, as we continue to look to grow our firm with more high-profile partners”, concludes Mark.
Andrea Towson joins Gadens from international firm, DWF. Her focus is planning, development and environment, and she has extensive experience in running large and complex planning and environment litigation relating to development and regulatory approvals, the rezoning of land and compulsory acquisition. Andrea’s advisory experience includes planning and environment due diligence in connection with large scale property and corporate transactions and renewables projects, including providing advice on contaminated land, heritage issues, native vegetation offsets and development contributions. Andrea was a 2019 participant in the Property Council of Australia’s 500 Women in Property program, which identifies emerging female talent in the property industry. Her appointment allows Gadens to provide a complete end to end solution for developers.
Kelly Griffiths was GlaxoSmithKline’s Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Government Affairs and Policy in Australia and New Zealand prior to joining Gadens. She brings a broad range of experience to the firm with specific expertise across government inquiries, regulatory investigations and litigation, corporations and securities law including corporate crime, intellectual property biotechnology and pharmaceutical law. With a strong focus on pharmaceuticals and health, Kelly often advises clients seeking market access for new innovations, including in obtaining marketing authorisation and reimbursement of medicines and vaccines via submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Kelly also runs complex employment related matters, including internal investigations, and has continued to advise on many aspects of intellectual property protection and technology. Kelly’s deep understanding of government policy enables her to advise clients along the entire continuum of government decision-making processes, from Parliamentary Inquiries and reform through to enforcement actions.
Lee Benjamin joins from the Australian Government Solicitor, where he headed-up the Tax Team in Melbourne. He led significant tax and administrative law litigation for the Commonwealth of Australia in federal Tribunals and Courts, including in the High Court. He advised the Australian Tax Office on some of its most significant tax and transfer pricing investigation matters, including major audits of BHP Limited, Rio Tinto Limited and ExxonMobil Corporation. Lee also played a substantial role in the landmark settlement of BHP’s long-running Singapore marketing hub transfer pricing dispute. Prior to entering public service, Lee spent 15 years in private practice in Australia and Hong Kong across Deacons, Baker & McKenzie and KPMG. He focused his practice on international tax and transfer pricing advisory and dispute resolution – designing, implementing and defending tax planning for operations and transactions undertaken by corporations and financial institutions.