Firm Spotlight: Gilbert + Tobin



Firm Overview


Gilbert + Tobin was founded in 1988 by Danny Gilbert and Tony Tobin as a small team of lawyers focused on providing excellent legal advice on high-profile, complex matters.


We have had outstanding success since those early days. We are now recognised as a leading transactions, regulatory and disputes law firm. We handle some of the most complex transactions in Australia, advising acquirers, targets and financiers. We are trusted by clients on sensitive regulatory investigations and approvals, litigation and Royal Commissions.


Our firm is also committed to outstanding citizenship. Our pro bono legal services has a proud track record and we champion important causes, such as marriage equality and reconciliation with Australia’s Indigenous peoples. We have the highest proportion of women partners among major Australian law firms.


Recent Cases


Gilbert + Tobin have recently been involved in several noteworthy cases.

  • AFTERPAY: On the $39 billion acquisition of Afterpay by Square, Inc. On implementation, the transaction will be the largest public M&A deal in Australia’s history and the largest cross border fintech deal globally.

  • TABCORP: On the competition clearance for its mergers with Tatts. The $11.3 billion deal represented the largest and most complex merger authorisation in Australia in recent times involving a transaction that, in a previous iteration, was blocked by the ACCC.

  • CLEANAWAY: On the proposed $2.5 billion acquisition of SUEZ’s Recycling and Recovery business in Australia, and eventual $510 million acquisition of SUEZ’s Sydney based assets including two landfill sites and five waste stations. This was a key aspect of the highly contested Veolia and Suez merger.

Achievements

Some of Gilbert + Tobin's recent achievements include:

  • 2022 BEST LAWYERS AUSTRALIA: Gilbert + Tobin was named ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for Corporate Law in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers. This follows on from Gilbert + Tobin being named ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for Corporate Law and for Private Equity Law in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers. 75 partners are recognised by Best Lawyers, representing over 88% of the partnership acknowledged as leading in their areas of expertise.

  • 2022 CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC: 52 partners are recognised by Chambers in 21 areas of law. We are ranked Band 1 in Corporate/M&A, Equity Capital Markets, Private Equity, Competition & Antitrust, Acquisition Finance, Corporate Finance, Charities, TMT and Fintech. Only Australian law firm to rank Band 1 in each of Corporate/M&A, ECM, PE & Competition.

  • 2021 THE LEGAL500 ASIA PACIFIC: Gilbert + Tobin is ranked Tier 1 in Equity Capital Markets, as well as in Banking and Finance, Competition and Trade, Corporate and M&A, Data Protection, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, IT and Telecoms, Project Finance and Restructuring and Insolvency.

The Future of Gilbert + Tobin

As a firm, we are committed to not only generating the best innovation and knowledge ideas, but also delivering them.


G+T expects that in the decade ahead, we will witness the impact of the next frontiers of technology and their influence on Australian business. As a leader on the diverse range of legal issues associated with this trend, we have combined two practice groups together: Technology + Digital and Intellectual Property. This team will be charged with ensuring that G+T remains the country’s pre-eminent ‘tech firm of the future’.


Mission Statement

Our mission is "To be Australia’s leading transactions, regulatory and disputes law firm – committed to outstanding citizenship" Gilbert + Tobin’s vision is to build a truly outstanding law firm, renowned for our commitment to client service and distinctive in our superior team of talented, creative and enthusiastic lawyers. We will foster a vibrant and open culture providing personal and professional growth for all our people. We will live out our responsibility to support our community and contribute to our society.


Standing Out: What Makes Gilbert + Tobin Different


Flat Hierarchy

G+T’s structure is egalitarian with very little hierarchy and bureaucracy. All legally trained employees are referred to as “lawyers”. With no formal band structures, lawyers are given opportunities and rewards as early as they are ready to take them, rather than being constrained by their job title. G+T allows its people to tackle new and complex work and to develop quickly, both professionally and personally. This flat structure enables

our clerks and graduate lawyers to work directly with more experienced lawyers as well as partners on a variety of matters.


Outstanding pro bono

G+T has always recognised the power of the law to improve the lives of people who are disadvantaged. G+T was one of the first firms to have two pro bono partners in Australia. We are committed to helping clients who don’t have access to the justice system or don’t qualify for legal aid. Today the practice is the largest in the country, with five full time lawyers, including two partners.


Corporate Social Responsibility

As part of our CSR agenda, we are committed to activities that make a difference within our firm and to the wider community. Our CSR programs focus on three streams – reconciliation, community programs and the environment.


Innovation

G+T is built on and thrives on technological disruption. It is in the DNA of the firm. The G+T attitude of embracing innovation has always gone hand in hand with business success. G+T has a comprehensive innovation strategy that brings together the Gilbert + Tobin team with clients and start-ups to explore better ways of meeting the needs of our clients, new business models and more efficient business processes.


Graduate Lawyer in Practice: Ali Khan





I am a graduate working with Craig Semple in the Corporate Advisory group Melbourne office.


Why Gilbert + Tobin?

Working full time is a big responsibility and could be a challenging commitment for a law student or recent graduate. However, this is not the entire picture of a fulltime working life. Your job can be challenging but fun at the same time. The decision to be part of G+T is about the latter half of the picture. I wake up everyday knowing that I will learn something new, work on complex matters, and above all will get the opportunity to work on myself and grow personally and professionally. G+T has a great sense of responsibility towards juniors and everyone at the firm is committed towards collective growth. These values have helped the firm create a culture and professionalism where everyone can enjoy their professional journey, have a sense of belonging, and feel like the firm cares for them. Importantly, this sense of responsibility and care is further extended and encouraged towards disadvantaged people. I have been involved in pro bono matters, and it is enriching and fulfilling to be in a place where I can make a difference while focusing on my career.


What sets Gilbert + Tobin apart from other firms in the market?

I believe that G+T’s proactive approach and investment in AI and legal technology and transformation tools sets G+T apart from other firms in the market. G+T award winning Legal Service Innovation (LSI) team have developed many bespoke tools, including apps to assist with due diligence and verification with identity checks, and use top of the market legal technology such as Atticus. Having these tools available allows me to focus on the more complex aspects of my legal work so I can help deliver efficient outcomes for our clients. Everyone at G+T is also encouraged to get involved and drive these innovations across the firm. This bottom up approach is very helpful in solving and automating complex legal processes to serve our clients.


Advice for law students or recent graduates interested in working at Gilbert + Tobin Being a law student or a recent graduate means that you are intelligent, talented and have a successful and gifted life which does not necessitate my advice. I want to wish you all the best for a fantastic journey ahead. We would love you to be part of the G+T family – a family with a flat hierarchy, full of curiosity, resilience and passion for being the best in the industry and providing excellent client service.