White & Case has announced the appointment of Stefanie Benson as a partner within its global antitrust practice, based in Sydney. She joined the firm on September 19.
Benson will advise clients on the antitrust elements of M&A and joint ventures; antitrust investigations and enforcement; and other applications of antitrust laws in the Asia Pacific region, the release explained.
She moves to the firm from Allen & Overy, where she joined in 2011 as senior associate and most recently served as counsel. She was earlier an associate at Australian law firm, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, now known as King & Wood Mallesons.
The addition comes as the firm sees the antitrust environment in Asia Pacific intensifying amid a wave of M&A activity in Australia’s energy, infrastructure and technology sectors.
“The diverse political and economic developments characterising the region mean the antitrust regulatory environment is constantly evolving,” Benson told FinanceAsia.
“The region is generally moving toward more stringent competition law enforcement. In particular, many jurisdictions have introduced or expanded their laws and boosted the enforcement powers of their competition authorities,” she added.
US-headquartered White & Case entered Australia in 2016 and today has offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
Benson is the firm’s first antitrust practice appointment in Australia and brings the number of White & Case partners to 25 across both offices, a spokesperson said.
Elsewhere in Asia, the firm has global antitrust lawyers in Japan, who have been involved in cross-border M&A deals for clients including Panasonic, PayPal and Mitsubishi Electric.
Recent appointments by White and Case in the region include that of Kristian Bradshaw as local partner within its project development and finance practice, and Naoya Shiota as global M&A partner, both in Tokyo.