Sparke Helmore Lawyers is delighted to announce the promotion of 11 lawyers to senior associate positions in the Commercial & Projects, Corporate, Insurance and Workplace Groups.

"These promotions are recognition of each lawyer's exceptional performance, providing excellent service for our clients and supporting their respective teams. I congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions and am sure they will continue to make significant contributions and provide invaluable support to their teams in their more senior roles", said Mark Hickey, Sparke Helmore's Chairman of Partners.

The lawyers being promoted to senior associate are:

Ian Bennett – Workplace, Sydney

Ian is an employment and WHS lawyer who assists clients to solve complex workplace issues. He has particular skills in defending WHS prosecutions, unfair dismissal, adverse action and discrimination claims. Ian is also a regular contributor to Sparke Helmore's workplace publications and pro bono initiatives.

Ashley Burgess – Insurance, Brisbane

Ashley acts primarily in the areas of social security, Commonwealth and military compensation, and administrative appeals. He has also been seconded to numerous government departments to assist them as an in-house advocate and a review officer.

Anita Diakou – Insurance, Adelaide

Anita is a member of the South Australian Workers' Compensation team, undertaking contract work for Return To Work SA. She advises the Compensating Authority on disputes and ongoing management of claims in this jurisdiction. Before becoming a lawyer she was a case manager for an insurance company, which provided her with additional experience regarding case management issues that may arise during dispute proceedings. 

Julie Kneebone – Workplace, Sydney

Julie is an employment lawyer who advises and represents employers in the local and state government, utilities, health, retail and FMCG sectors. She advises and represents employers in all areas of employment law, including legislative and award/agreement compliance, terminations, workplace investigations, bullying and harassment, industrial disputes, performance management and breach of contract matters.

Shelley Leembruggen – Insurance, Sydney

Shelley manages Commonwealth workers' compensation matters that are litigated in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court on behalf of government and self-insurer clients.

Jehan Mata – Insurance, Melbourne

Jehan advises clients on health law and casualty lines, including public liability, professional indemnity and occupiers' liability matters. She also reviews insurance contracts and policy wording to assess policy scope and coverage.  

Emanuel Oros – Commercial & Projects, Sydney

Emanuel has more than 13 years' legal experience assisting both government and private clients. He focuses on property development, retail and commercial leasing, property due diligence and flow through sales. He also works on acquisitions of retail, commercial and development sites, corporate and financial structuring, together with attending on general commercial, corporate and finance transactions.

Cheree Sawley – Commercial & Projects, Newcastle

Cheree's combination of skills in litigation and previous experience in general commercial matters—combined with her interest in alternative dispute resolution and negotiation—allow her to assist clients to achieve settlement, where possible, and where necessary to pursue her clients' interests through litigation.

Jonathan Tyne – Insurance, Sydney

Jonathan advises insurers on professional indemnity, directors' and officers', and financial lines policies and has also represented government and private sector clients in large disputes involving complex and novel issues.

Janelle Watts – Corporate, Sydney

Janelle specialises in mergers and acquisitions involving private equity firms and private companies. She also advises on W&I insurance, capital raisings, competition and consumer law, and general commercial matters and contracting.

Susan Withycombe-Taperell – Workplace, Sydney

Susan has extensive experience in the area of work health and safety law. She regularly advises clients on issues relating to the WHS legislation, including on their WHS management systems, policies and compliance. Susan acts for clients on workplace incidents, coronial inquests and coronial inquiries. She also regularly advises owners corporations, strata managing agents and contractors in NSW on building defects, fire safety non-compliances and breaches of the statutory warranties under the Home Building Act.

About Sparke Helmore

We’ve come a long way since our doors first opened in the Hunter in 1882. We’ve had an office in Sydney since the ‘60s and we recently opened our ninth office in Darwin.

We cover five key areas of law – Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Insurance, Government, Statutory Lines of Insurance and Workplace – with more than 30 specialised areas of expertise. We’re a truly national, full service and proudly Australian firm that delivers results through deep collaboration with our clients. Wherever our clients need us, that’s where we’ll be.

Covering a big country needs a big team—we’re more than 950 people now and still growing. And in true Australian spirit, we’re friendly, approachable and easy to work with. And when you work with one of us, you get the expertise of all of us.

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