Derek practices in corporate law with a focus on capital markets, including mergers and acquisitions and capital raising, primarily in the energy and resources sector. Derek’s particular industry areas of expertise are the oil and gas and electricity sectors.
As a strong advocate of the dynamic small-mid cap market in Australia, Derek has guided numerous companies, through his ‘trusted adviser’ relationship with entrepreneurs and founders, to successful listings on the Australian Stock Exchange, including ERM Power Limited, Shine Lawyers, Superloop Limited, Megaport Limited, Novonix Limited and State Gas Ltd.
In addition, Derek has a particular interest and passion in shareholder activism. He is regularly appointed to act for major shareholders seeking board renewal and strategic change to proactively protect their investments. In that role, Derek’s strategic advice is regularly sought on Takeover Panel proceedings.
Clients seek his forensic knowledge and understanding of equity markets and appreciate his strategic and personal approach to every deal. He is known for his ability to be easy to work with, to simplify rather than complicate issues and to be a formidable advocate in hostile or contested corporate actions.
Advised on the successful IPO and subsequent secondary raisings and led a team of lawyers on a number of acquisitions in North America to vertically integrate various battery research and technology businesses – during that period Novonix has grown from a market capitalisation on ASX of $13 million on admission in 2015 to about $155 million less than two years later.
Advised the dark fibre provider on its IPO and subsequent raisings (totalling in excess of $130 million in new capital) and numerous strategic acquisitions since its admission to ASX, seeing its market capitalisation on ASX grow from $90 million on admission in April 2014 to about $600 million less than two and a half years later.
Advised on its IPO and subsequent raisings (totalling almost $100 million) and numerous strategic acquisitions since its admission to ASX, seeing its market capitalisation on ASX grow from $87.5 million on admission in December 2015 to more than $230 million in less than two years.
Queensland Gas Company Ltd
Advised the gas company on its successful defence of the hostile takeover bid by Santos Limited (at an implied valuation of $600 million), on its subsequent successful takeover bids for Sunshine Gas and Roma Petroleum and on its $5.2 billion on-market takeover, one of the largest on-market takeover bids in Australian history at the time, by British Gas.
Metro Mining Ltd
Engaged to provide the board with strategic advice on the hostile takeover bid for Gulf Alumina Ltd, which involved proceedings in the Takeovers Panel and subsequently retained to advise Metro Mining on various equity capital markets transactions to fund its transition from a bauxite explorer to a developer.
Engaged by large institutional shareholders to advise on strategies to seek board and management renewal, with one such recent engagement resulting in the full board being removed and a subsequent sale of the company’s main undertaking, with a resulting return of excess capital to shareholders.