Career Moves: Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz has announced its senior promotions, including Special Counsel and Senior Associates in the Brisbane office, effective 1 July.

Special Counsel

Laura Hillman (Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety)

Laura Hillman

Laura has significant knowledge and experience in employment law, discrimination/equal opportunity law, human rights and privacy issues and workers’ compensation law. In particular, Laura focuses on injury management and support, including statutory workers’ compensation, litigation, discrimination issues and complaints, and advising and assisting employers proactively manage ill/injured employees to minimise risk and impact in the workplace.

Brett Thompson (Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety)

Brett Thompson

Brett’s work has a strong focus on employment issues in commercial projects including in relation to advising on industrial and safety issues on major projects, industrial relations strategy, and large-scale commercial transactions. Brett has worked extensively on commercial acquisitions including in due diligence processes and advising on employment aspects of transaction documentation. Brett’s practice also has a strong focus on workplace health and safety advising clients across a range of industries including health, construction, mining, resources, manufacturing, and transport.

Luke Furness (Commercial Litigation)

Luke Furness

Luke is accomplished in litigation with experience across a range of disputes, including tax and duties litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency, energy and resources, and general commercial disputes. Luke’s background as a former CEO and non-executive director of Out for Australia, a non-profit organisation focused on mentoring Australian LGBTIQ+ students, highlights his unwavering dedication to guiding and supporting aspiring young professionals during their transition into the workforce. Luke is also a current non-executive director of the Brisbane Powerhouse and Community Canteen.


Stephen Hurford (Restructuring and Insolvency)

Stephen Hurford

Stephen has extensive experience practising in commercial litigation and restructuring and insolvency. Stephen’s practice includes a diverse range of general commercial disputes (with a focus on mining), administrative law disputes, banking enforcement and recovery matters and acting for insolvency practitioners in receiverships, administrations and liquidations.

Jon Prentice (Corporate, M&A and Capital Markets)

Jon Prentice

Jon has broad legal knowledge, advising on the acquisition of energy and resources projects, as well as a range of regulatory regimes pertaining to operational aspects of resource projects. He has experience advising multinational mineral and petroleum clients in regulatory matters such as resource authority approval processes, land access and regulatory compliance. Jon’s expertise means he is also called upon to appear in court acting for both government and project proponents.

Senior Associates

Georgie Groves (Real Estate)

Georgie Groves

Georgie has experience with significant capital transactions in the retail, commercial, industrial and agribusiness sectors for Australian and international clients. Her work involves negotiating transaction documents, due diligence investigations and reporting and advisory work for private and public sector clients.


George Hempenstall (Tax)

George Hempenstall

George provides tax advice to clients in relation to infrastructure projects and M&A transactions. George also advises multinational and large domestic corporates, private groups and high net wealth individuals on the resolution of tax disputes.

Beryl Rachier (Environment and Sustainable Development)

Beryl Rachier

Beryl has extensive experience working across development projects, large infrastructure projects, and energy and renewable projects. Beryl has a particular focus on planning and environmental approvals, compliance, regulatory and development issues. She is also a member of the Queensland Environmental Law Association Legislative and Policy Review Subcommittee and a member of the Queensland Resources Council environment committee.

Bianca Fernandez (Restructuring and Insolvency)

Bianca Fernandez

Bianca has both litigation and advisory experience in the restructuring and insolvency space. She has particular expertise in the construction and energy and resources sectors, advising on some of the biggest litigation matters in both Brisbane and Western Australia.  


Georgina Papworth (Public Sector)

Georgina Papworth

Georgina has a wealth of experience advising on a range of legal issues affecting government.  Her work includes advising on regulatory and compliance matters, statutory interpretation, procurement and contracting, commercial affairs and governance in the public sector. 

Nicola Skeggs (Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety)

Nicola Skeggs

Nicola has extensive experience working across the full spectrum of employment law with a focus on industrial relations, payroll compliance and remediation. She advises clients with respect to the management, reconciliation and remediation of underpayment claims, award interpretation and classification determinations.

Betsy Rutledge (Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety)

Betsy Rutledge

Betsy advises across all aspects of employment law, industrial relations, and workplace health and safety. She has experience advising clients across industries on award and enterprise agreement compliance, industrial bargaining, underpayment assessments and options to mitigate risk and remediation.

We are keen to help firms and their teams celebrate promotions and new appointments. Please email details of any lawyer promotions or appointments to Ensure you include some details of their areas of expertise and achievements, along with a quality head-and-shoulders image.

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