|No. of offices||7|
|No. of attorneys||970|
|No. of employees||1750|
|Major practice areas||Construction, Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Major Projects, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Banking and Finance|
|Date founded||1833 (Sydney)|
|Founder||George Robert Nichols|
Clayton Utz is an elite Australian commercial law firm, founded in 1833. It is one of the Big Six law firms in Australia, and consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious firms in the Asia-Pacific region.
Clayton Utz is one of the largest law firms in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 200 partners and more than 1750 personnel in 9 offices across Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
The firm provides legal services in banking and finance, capital markets and securities, competition, compliance, construction and projects, corporate / mergers and acquisitions, environment and planning, insurance, intellectual property, international arbitration, legal technology support, litigation and dispute resolution, native title, product liability, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, taxation, telecommunications, media and technology, and employment/industrial relations law.
Clayton Utz manages transactions for domestic and international clients from a range of jurisdictions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan and India. The firm has many dual-qualified lawyers.
The firm has relationships with firms around the world and is a member of a number of international legal networks, including Lex Mundi and Pacific Rim Advisory Council.
Pro Bono and Social Responsibility
Clayton Utz is a leader among Australian law firms in pro bono practice and social responsibility programs. The firm's program work to: respond to unmet legal need; support charities and community organisations with financial grants and in-kind support; create positive change in the lives of Indigenous Australians; and minimise its impact on the environment.
Clayton Utz adopted a Corporate Citizenship Policy in 2002 and established the Clayton Utz Foundation in 2003 as the first ever Private Ancillary Fund at an Australian law firm.
In March 2010, the firm launched its Reconciliation Action Plan, and in 2011 became a foundation member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance to promote sustainable practices across the profession.
In October 2012, Clayton Utz achieved the remarkable milestone of 400,000 hours of pro bono legal assistance and representation provided free to disadvantaged people who could not obtain Legal Aid and to the non-profit organisations which support disadvantaged people. 400,000 hours is the most pro bono work ever conducted by an Australian law firm. Over 15 years, Clayton Utz has acted on a pro bono basis for more than 3,000 people and nearly 1,000 non-profit organisations, and assisted thousands more people at 18 different outreach legal advice clinics.
Significant legal work
The firm is known for its work in several high-profile matters including Toll Holdings' takeover of Patrick Corporation, Mayne Group's de-merger, and Tattersall’s historic A$2.17 billion IPO and listing.
Top Tier Firm Recognition
Clayton Utz partners and practice areas have variously been recognised by their peers and clients in the Legal 500 as highly ranked throughout Australasia. Practice areas in the firm that have achieved Tier One status include Construction and Major Projects, Corporate and M&A, Dispute Resolution, Projects and Infrastructure, Real Estate, and Transport.
Their corporate team has acted for AMP on its A$14bn acquisition of AXA Pacific Holdings and represented the Singapore Exchange on its proposed merger with ASX. The group has also played to its traditional strength in the resources sector, having acted for a number of clients including Noble Group, Barrick Gold and Fortescue Metals.
In 2006 Clayton Utz was investigated by the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, having been alleged to have engaged in criminal conduct during the course of the 2002 litigation brought by Rolah McCabe. During the course of the trial it was revealed that Clayton Utz ran a "document retention policy" which involved "getting rid of everything that was damaging in a way that would not rebound on the company or the British American Tobacco Group as a whole". This included incriminating documents that outlined the extent of BAT's knowledge of the health effects of smoking. Glenn Eggleton, a former managing partner of the firm, was said to have given evidence that was "potentially perjurious".
An appeal against the ruling of the Supreme Court of Victoria in the matter of McCabe v BATAS was upheld by the Victorian Court of Appeal which exonerated Clayton Utz of any wrongdoing in relation to advice given by the firm to BATAS in relation to document management. In 2002 Clayton Utz closed its tobacco claims litigation practice 
In 2011, Clayton Utz was subject to a sexual harassment claim after allegations of inappropriate emails being circulated among graduate lawyers in the firm about a female graduate lawyer. The lawyer in question referred to female co-workers as "crazy single female chicks" who "just need[ed] a good **** to get them back to normal". In making an order, McCallum J noted "It is difficult to decide whether it is more surprising that the remarks were made at all (after over a century of feminism) or that a lawyer recorded them in an email (after over seven centuries of subpoenas)."
Clayton Utz was found not liable for the emails as there was no way the "partners of Clayton Utz ought reasonably to have prevented such correspondence",. The lawyer in question resigned shortly after the case was settled.
The Partner in Charge of the Sydney office spoke to Lawyers Weekly commenting that, "My experience is that it's a very supportive environment - and my experience is very supportive of that," said Jordan, who was made a partner of the firm one decade ago while on maternity leave after the birth of the first of her three children. "I have been personally very disappointed about how we have been portrayed in the media."
Notable alumni of the firm include (in alphabetical order):
- Anthony Fisher OP, 3rd Roman Catholic Bishop of Parramatta
- John Howard OM, AC, 25th Prime Minister of Australia
- Julie Bishop, 38th Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Managing Partner of the Perth office
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