Damian Reichel

Partner
+61 2 8274 9530
+61 418 214 882

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Damian is a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.

Damian is recognised by both clients (Chambers, Asia Pacific Legal 500) and peers (Best Lawyers) as one of the pre-eminent corporate/M&A lawyers in the country – one of a very small number of M&A lawyers with this degree of consistent recognition – and a leading dealmaker.

In addition to his M&A and corporate restructuring expertise, Damian is sought out by directors and senior executives to advise on directors’ duties, continuous disclosure and other corporate governance considerations, particularly where difficult issues have arisen.

Having established his reputation in M&A through the conception, design and implementation of SingTel’s $20 billion acquisition takeover of Cable & Wireless Optus in 2001 – still the largest successful scrip-based takeover in Australian corporate history – he has continued to guide relationship clients through sensitive and complex corporate transactions.

  • The $2.7 billion acquisition of ConnectEast Group (the owner of the EastLink toll road in Melbourne) by Horizon Roads, bringing together a consortium of 8 of the largest international pension and sovereign wealth funds from 7 different jurisdictions in a complex consortium arrangement. (Damian was nominated for the award of “Dealmaker of the Year” by Australian Legal Business for his role on this transaction)
  • Thakral Group’s defence of a $930 million takeover by Brookfield. Despite Brookfield having acquired a 38% interest in Thakral by purchasing a security over that stake from the Thakral family, Thakral Group’s defence was robust and strategic and ultimately led to Brookfield its offer price by a significant margin to obtain a positive recommendation by the Thakral directors.
  • Cephalon Inc’s $318 million takeover bid for Arana Therapeutics, its acquisition of a cornerstone investment in ASX-listed ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Ltd and subsequent successful $225 million takeover bid; and $350 million strategic alliance with ASX listed Mesoblast Ltd.
  • Envestra’s response to the competing takeover proposals by CKI and APA which ultimately led to CKI’s $4.5 billion (including net debt) successful takeover bid.
  • Advising Independent News & Media Ltd as the major (30%) shareholder in APN News & Media Ltd on its successful move to reconstitute the Board of APN in response to a dilutive rights issue proposed by APN.
  • Advising the financial advisers to Rio Tinto (Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Cazenove, Macquarie Group and Rothschild) in relation to BHP’s proposed US$147 billion all share takeover bid.
  • The $110 million acquisition by Universities Superannuation Scheme of Brisbane Airtrain by 3 interdependent schemes of arrangement.

Recognition

  • Ranked as a leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2016
  • Ranked as a leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A – Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
  • Recognised as a leading lawyer in Corporate Law, Corporate/Governance Practice, and Mergers and Aquistions Law – Best Lawyers Australia, 2018
  • A "technical expert in regulated M&A." – Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
  • "technically excellent, commercially astute and pragmatic and a strong guardian of our interests." – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2016
  • Damian Reichel is praised by clients as a "well-prepared, considered lawyer who's commercial and flexible in his approach. He gives very sound advice and we use him as we would an in-house counsel: he's integral to our day-to-day business." – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2014
  • Damian has also been recognised by The International Who's Who of Merger and Acquisition Lawyers, PLC Which Lawyer?, IFLR 1000 and Doyle's Guide as one of the leading M&A lawyers in Australia. He is one of a very small number of Australian M&A lawyers who have this degree of consistent recognition.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Memberships

  • Law Council of Australia, Business Law Section (Corporations Committee)
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission - Takeovers Legal Liaison Committee
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors

Publications