MARITIME-focused law firm HFW says industrial relations and employment law are key skillsets of two new partners recruited for its Australian division.

HFW managing partner Australia Gavin Vallely confirmed the hiring of Mark Sant and Brendan Milne to the firm, along with their respective teams.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Sant, Brendan Milne and their team to HFW.  Mark and Brendan are very accomplished and highly regarded practitioners who will deliver a first class service in industrial relations and employment matters which is a key requirement for our clients in all of the industry sectors in which HFW operates,” Mr Vallely said.

HFW global senior partner Richard Crump said the move was another important step in the continued development of the Australian business.

“We have been in Australia for more than a decade and our practice in the country has grown tenfold over that time,” Mr Crump said.

“We have ambitious plans to continue our growth in Australia and aim to double the size of our business within the next four years.”

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The team of ten, previously at Dentons, is led by Mark Sant, a prominent Australian employment lawyer with more than a quarter of a century advising clients on employment and industrial relations issues.

Brendan Milne has represented clients in employment and industrial relations, with a particular expertise in industrial disputes, enterprise bargaining and boycotts.

“Australian industrial relations and employment law is becoming increasingly complex and with so many legislative changes, it can be hard for clients to keep up,” Mr Milne said.

“We are expecting a surge in demand for our industrial relations expertise in light of the union movement’s focus on addressing long term wage stagnation and the prospects that the Australian Labor Party, if elected later this year, will make changes to industrial relations laws to give unions and employees more options to address this very significant issue.”

Mr Milne said the team was excited to be joining a dynamic and fast-growing firm.

“HFW is a great fit for our team and our clients and has a very exciting strategy,” he said.

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