Quality and consistency through collaboration

Phillip Salem
Phillip Salem
Phillip Salem State & Territory Government Leader
t: +61 2 9373 1436
o: Sydney

Phillip Salem

State & Territory Government Leader

About Phillip

Phillip has been with Sparke Helmore for over 20 years.  He served as the firm's National Managing Partner from 2016 until March 2022, leading the implementation of the firm’s strategy with the vision of being a world-class independent Australian law firm that clients value for its people and performance.  Phillip also served as the firm’s Chair from 2009 to 2012 and as a member of the firm’s Board from 2014.

What he does

Before becoming National Managing Partner in March 2016, Phillip was a partner in the Government Group and was instrumental in building that Group into the powerhouse it is today.  He advised governments on high profile and complex projects spanning major procurement projects to Commissions of Inquiry and government asset sales.
Phillip re-joined our Government Group in May 2022 as State & Territory Government Leader.  He is responsible for developing coordinated state and territory government practices in all of Sparke Helmore’s jurisdictions with a particular focus on New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.  His extensive experience in acting for Commonwealth and local government clients on significant matters and major projects means that Phillip is also able to assist those clients at the highest level.
Phillip has been consistently ranked in the AFR's Australian Best Lawyers list for Government, including the most recent 2023 rankings.

Who he works with

Phillip works with all three tiers of government and universities on commercial transactions, projects and administrative law matters and advises private sector clients on regulatory matters.

What his clients say

"I would like to take this opportunity to convey my sincere thanks and the gratitude of the Commonwealth on your role in the successful sale of the Sydney Airport. As you know, this was the biggest government trade sale in Australian history and the world's largest trade sale of an airport. The success of this project is due in no small part to your efforts. As an important part of the advisory team, I was impressed by your attention to detail and consistency of approach to a most difficult process...The result speaks for itself...Again, I offer my congratulations and thanks for a splendid outcome." Senator Nick Minchin, then Minister for Finance and Administration

"I am writing now to express the Commission's gratitude for the high standard of support in this matter, which was provided by Mr Phillip Salem...Mr Salem's assistance was invaluable...My staff have been impressed, not merely by the legal acumen of Mr Salem..., but also [his] seemingly tireless application to the task at hand, and...sensitivity in handling complex and delicate issues." Professor Allan Fels, then Chairman, Trade Practices Commission


Phillip has a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws degree. He is also a member of the Specialist Accreditation Public Law Advisory Committee of the Law Society of NSW.

Life before Sparkes

Before joining Sparke Helmore in 1998, Phillip was a Deputy Director and Senior Government Solicitor with the NSW Office of Australian Government Solicitor, where, among other things, he headed the Business and Commercial Team. He is also a former Adjunct Professor in the School of Law of the University of Queensland.

Life outside of Sparkes

Phillip's greatest joy in life is his family and seeing his children develop and achieve their personal goals. He enjoys exercising, travelling, skiing and reading.

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