Partner Spotlight – Peter Williams

Partner Spotlight – Peter Williams

This is part of our Partner Spotlight series, profiling each of our partners, their background, expertise and insights. Stay tuned for our upcoming partner profiles. 

Career highlights

I am one of the founding partners of Hamilton Locke’s new Brisbane office. I am part of the corporate team and specialise in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, commercial contracting, financing and security arrangements, infrastructure arrangements, as well as the structuring, establishment and operation of joint ventures. I advise clients across a range of industries including, food and agribusiness, technology, resources, insurance and health. These clients range from start-up founders and investors, through to sell-side and buy-side private M&A participants and onto large listed and unlisted corporate clients.

It is difficult to choose a particular highlight, but throughout my career I have been fortunate to work closely with a number of great corporate agribusinesses. Our regional communities and the people who work in them remain the lifeblood of our great nation and provide Australia with a real competitive advantage in food and fibre. There is a significant opportunity to continue to develop agriculture into a world leading industry.

I also enjoy working with some fantastic start-up founders and clients seeking to raise capital to scale their business, particularly at the intersection between technology and traditional industries like agribusiness, resources, insurance and health. Agtech, mining tech, insurtech and healthtech are all burgeoning industries in their own right and South-East Queensland is in an excellent position to nurture and support these industries in order to create a world-class region for tech companies to thrive.

Proudest career moment

Joining Hamilton Locke of course! Whilst I have only been here a short while, I have immersed myself in the culture and environment of the firm, one that is very different to the classic ‘big law’ firms. During my short time at the firm, I have been given opportunities and support to explore cutting-edge work with clients that I previously could not access.

Journey to becoming a lawyer

I started as a Graduate at McCullough Robertson many years ago. I briefly spent some time in-house at Thiess and got to see the bottom of a few mines. Following my time working in-house, I moved to London for two years working at CMS Cameron McKenna in their corporate team. I had a great time travelling and working on some fantastic transactions. I returned home and continued building my practice and made Partner, eventually deciding to pursue an environment better suited to how I see the practice of law evolving.

Although cliché, I believe the practice of law is really about problem solving. Clients rely on us to use our experience and expertise to think outside the box and create solutions that ultimately help them achieve their objectives. As a corporate lawyer, this often involves negotiating on behalf of a client to achieve a fair and equitable risk allocation when selling or buying an asset, or managing the process of raising money to help a business grow. I thoroughly enjoy my interactions and building a strong rapport with clients on corporate transactions because it is usually (once the deal completes!) a positive experience for both sides.

Da Vinci Development Program  

I am incredibly supportive of our Da Vinci program, which is our personal development program where all employees are encouraged to participate in an activity during the year that is in line with the theme of the year, with this year’s theme being ‘health and well-being’. In keeping with this theme, my focus for 2022 will be to volunteer as a youth mentor with Raise Foundation, which is a charity that empowers young people to be resilient, capable and connected, ensuring there are adults in their lives who are skilled to support them. As part of this program, we are paired with a teenager, who we meet with on a weekly basis to provide an independent voice and support whilst they are dealing with challenges in their lives.

Why I joined Hamilton Locke

I decided to pursue an opportunity at Hamilton Locke due to its agile business model and adaptiveness to the ever-changing legal industry. The biggest differentiators are the people, the culture and the transparency. It is a young, fast-growing firm which makes it an exciting place to come to work every day, because there is a real sense of purpose across the firm and a strong collaborative culture that focuses on working together to achieve a common objective.

Tips for aspiring lawyers seeking partnership

I think it is important to find an area that you can become an expert in. The world is constantly evolving, with new industries emerging from constant technological advances. Being nimble, agile and ready to tackle any opportunity to become an expert in a new field can create a pathway where previously you might have seen roadblocks.

The Halo Group mentality

Halo Group’s allied businesses, Hamilton Locke, Emerson CoSec, Source, MacMillan Trade Marks and The Fold Legal are connected to maximise our people experience and our client experience. This holistic approach offers us the opportunity to provide clients with a bundled service offering and is a real differentiator in the market. For clients who don’t have any internal legal capability, access to professional general counsel support, company secretarial support or trade mark expertise, our full service offering provides our clients with the convenience of a ‘one stop shop’. Our connected network enables us to communicate easily behind the scenes and provide a seamless service to our clients.

Top reading and movie recommendations

We have a Partners book club at Hamilton Locke focusing on leadership and I am currently part way through my first book, Trillion Dollar Coach. My favourite fiction read would have to be Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. I recently saw the theatre adaption at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and it was also fantastic.

My all-time favourite movie has always been Pulp Fiction. My ultimate fantasy would be to dress up like John Travolta and compete in Jack Rabbit Slim’s Twist Contest!

If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and why?

If I could invite anyone to dinner it would be my grandfather who passed away when I was a baby. I’ve heard many stories about him from my father and would love to have met him because he led a very interesting life – he grew up in an orphanage, became a dairy farmer, was in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, came back and had 7 kids, and at one stage was an Australian boxing champion! Makes my life as a corporate lawyer seem slightly boring by comparison.