About Ashurst Alumni Alumni news

Catch up on the latest news about Ashurst and Blake Dawson alumni.

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Erin (senior associate, New York until March 2017) joined JPMorgan Chase in 2017 as a member of the legal team in the Corporate and Investment Bank supporting derivatives trading. Erin is Vice President and Assistance General Counsel. In 2018 Erin took on an expanded role supporting the repo desk in New York and she also manages the legal team covering the repo desk. Congratulations Erin! 

Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?

A. I enjoy that there are always new issues, transactions, trade structures and products that present an opportunity for me to expand my legal knowledge and experience. There is never a dull moment.

Q. What is your fondest memory of your time at Ashurst?

A. This is a tough question as there are so many fond memories. I really enjoyed my secondment in the London office in 2012. However, if I had to pick one memory it is the early days of starting the NY office of Ashurst. I felt like I was a part of building the brand and business in the U.S. We were initially in this awful temporary office space, there were limited supplies and staff, and we were all just trying to make it work. It felt like a start-up. We were a small group of lawyers and staff, but we all grew close during that time and it felt very much like family.

Q. What advice would you give yourself as a young lawyer?

A. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because it is how you learn and become a better lawyer.


Congratulations to Brisbane alumna Sarah Bairstow (lawyer, energy & resources, Brisbane until 2011) who was named a finalist in ExxonMobil's global LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Power Play Awards in the category of 'Rainmaker', an award for female professionals who have delivered exceptional value and business results. 

The LNG Power Play was developed by leading women from ExxonMobil to help bring together female colleagues from across the LNG value chain to network and do business. The Power Play has succeeded in bringing many women together to collaborate and innovate across the complex system of the LNG Value Chain whilst shining a light on how they can make a difference in this business.

Sarah joined Blake Dawson in 2007 as a graduate and went on to work for Santos Limited in legal and commercial leadership roles before becoming Chief Commercial Officer for Mexico Pacific Limited, an LNG project development company.

Q. How did you come to be nominated for the 'Rainmaker' award?

My role at Santos and now at Mexico Pacific requires me to deal with LNG customers and stakeholders around the world so I’ve been lucky enough to form strong relationships across the market. The LNG market isn’t as standardised or as liquid as other energy markets so, at the end of the day, it all comes down to relationships which, particularly in Asia, can only be established over time.

I was humbled to have been nominated by a few different market participants spread across LNG customers and previous employees. 

Q. What do you enjoy most about your role at Mexico Pacific?

My role at Mexico Pacific is truly global. I work for a US company on a Mexican LNG project selling LNG to customers in Asia from an Australian base so the role is wonderfully multifaceted, multicultural and always interesting.

I am also proud to be responsible for originating and delivering billions of dollars of value for shareholders in a manner that furthers the world’s transition to a cleaner energy future and strengthens an emerging market’s economic prospects. It’s more than just business to me.

I also enjoy being able to continue to draw on my legal background to deliver commercial results. I owe a great deal to the training and experience I received from the energy team at Ashurst – a strong legal background enables you to identify commercial opportunities and solutions that others cannot.

Q. What's the best piece of career/life advice you've been given?

The best advice I have received has been two-fold:

  1. Never accept the status quo. If you have an idea that you believe will bring improvement or generate value that may not necessarily be part of established practice, don’t shy away from pursuing it just because it requires change; and
  2. Invest in every relationship in a genuine manner and with a long term outlook. You never know where you may end up in life but it is undoubtedly the relationships you make, and the trust you build, with people along the way that will help you through challenges and to reach your goals.

Congratulations to Martin King (senior associate, dispute resolution, Sydney and Singapore from 2016–19) who joined Teekay Offshore Production as Chief Legal Counsel earlier this year. Martin is now based in Norway.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your new role?

The diversity of tasks, ranging from disputes, banking and finance transactions, corporate governance and highly technical industry specific negotiations with partners, vendors, clients and supporting shipyards. And all of this happening across multiple jurisdictions. I’m also really enjoying managing a bright team of enthusiastic and hardworking lawyers around the world.

Q. How does life in Norway differ from life in Singapore?

I think the question should be how is it similar! As you might imagine, life in Norway could not be more different from life in Singapore. Whilst I’m still living the life of an expat, the climate (not to mention mid-night sun), landscape, food and culture, region, socio-economic approach, politics and lifestyle preferences are all at opposite ends of the spectrum to that which I experienced in Singapore. That’s not to say one is better than the other but everything is different!

Q. What is your fondest memory from your time at Ashurst?

Two things stick out for me from my time with Ashurst and they’re both pretty predictable. Firstly, the people that I worked with, both in the Sydney office and in Singapore, were great and I’ve taken with me some great and diverse friends. The second is that despite a positive, happy and relaxed (albeit hardworking) environment there was still a sense that the quality of legal minds at work and the legal output and standard required is world class. Having been in a couple of law firms prior to Ashurst I know that this balance is hard to come by.


In December, it will be 100 years since the UK Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 received royal assent, which for the first time permitted women to practise law in the UK. Prior to this date only a "person" could practise law, and the case of Bebb v the Law Society ruled that men fell under that definition, but women did not.

To mark this momentous centenary, our Ashurst First Women project team have been working to uncover the history of the "first women" of Ashurst, from our first female articled clerk (trainee solicitor) to our first female partners and leaders. The project has three parts.

Artwork: The firm has commissioned a piece of art, being a photo-mosaic comprised of photos of women working at Ashurst today taking the shape of Maud Crofts (one of the first female lawyers in the UK, and one of four claimants in the Bebb v the Law Society case). This artwork will be displayed in Ashurst's new London office as part of Ashurst's permanent art collection.

Publication: The First Women project team have produced a publication called First Women: Stories of Women at Ashurst to celebrate the achievements of women at Ashurst over the last 60 years. This publication looks back at the life of William Ashurst (the founder of the firm) and his family, features some of our prominent female lawyers both past and present, as well as some reflections on the future of women in law.

Celebration event: To mark the centenary, the firm will be throwing a celebration event on 14 November 2019 called "Ashurst First Women: 100 years of Women in Law". Both the artwork and publication will be launched at this event.

If you are interested to learn more about the First Women project, please contact us at or


On 19 September, the Sydney office held a farewell dinner for Partner Bill Reid who, after almost 30 years with Ashurst, is joining Woolworths Group as Chief Legal Officer. 

While we are sad to see Bill retire from partnership, we are delighted to see him transition to a senior leadership role with a client of the firm and one of Australia's most prestigious businesses.

We would like to thank Bill for his invaluable time here at Ashurst and we wish him all the very best for the future and his new role as Chief Legal Officer at Woolworths.

Our alumni news page keeps you up to date with the achievements and successes of our global alumni community. NIKKI SPENCE, ALUMNI MANAGER

Alumni contacts

If you have any questions or you need to update your contact details, please email or get in touch with our alumni team.



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