David Friedlander

David Friedlander

David Friedlander is the head of our Australian public mergers & acquisitions and works in the Sydney and Melbourne offices of King & Wood Mallesons.

He is consistently ranked as one of Australia's top M&A and equity capital markets lawyers. David regularly acts for both bidders and targets in takeovers and issuers and underwriters in securities offerings. He has also worked on the defence side of several high-profile shareholder activist campaigns. He is a member of several key corporate law bodies and a former member of the Australian Takeovers Panel.

David is integral to the firm's growth in Asia Pacific spending time working closely with our Hong Kong and China teams and is a member of the International Management Committee of the firm.

David was named in the 2016 AFR Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year - Corporate Law.

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Representative matters

  • Brickworks shareholder activist response and litigation - representing Brickworks
  • Fairfax approach - acting for Hellman & Friedman LLC on its contested approach to Fairfax Media
  • Tattersalls approach - acting for the Pacific Consortium on its topping offer to Tattersalls
  • Woolworths - on the sale of Masters and response to joint venture party: Lowes
  • South32 demerger from BHP Billiton - representing South32 and its board
  • Medibank Private IPO - representing Medibank on its IPO
  • Novomatics - on its acquisition of a majority stake in Ainsworth Game Technology
  • Chevron - on its 50% block trade sell-down in Caltex Australia
  • Dexus/CPPIB CPA acquisition - representing the bidders on the CPA takeover
  • Brickworks shareholder activist response - representing Brickworks
  • IAG - on its strategic relationship with Berkshire Hathaway, including an equity investment and quota share
  • Guandong Rising Asset Management - on its takover bid for PanAust
  • Nine Entertainment IPO - representing the joint lead managers
  • Echo Entertainment - representing the company in response to activism by Crown
  • Fairfax Media - representing the board in response to activism by Hancock
  • Warburg Pincus on its 34% block trade sell-down of TPI
  • ASX rights offering - representing UBS as lead manager
  • AGL potential rights offering for MacGen - representing Citi, Deutsche and Merrill as joint lead managers
  • KKR - on its block trade sell-down of Seven West Media
  • Westpac - representing the bank on recent ASX listed subordinated notes offerings
  • Genesis IPO - Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Fonterra Shareholders Fund IPO - Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Mighty River Power IPO - Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Peet takeover bid for CIC Australia and equity raising
  • Far East Orchard joint venture with Toga Holdings
  • Tiger Airways joint venture with Virgin Australia
  • Aurizon (QR National) - selective and on-market buy-backs
  • Dulux Group - representing Alesco in its takeover defence
  • Macarthur Coal - representing ArcelorMittal on its joint takeover
  • Aurizon (QR National) IPO - representing the issuer and its board
  • Woolworths on-market and off-market share buy backs
  • Equity capital raisings for IAG, AGL, Colonial, Origin, Qantas, TabCorp, Alumina, Asciano, Pacific Brands, Paladin, Macquarie Media and Boral.

Other major transactions:

  • British Airways - on the merger it was exploring with Qantas (David acted for BA when it acquired 25% in 1993 and sold its stake in 2004 by block trade)
  • Multiplex Prime Property Fund Takeover Panel proceedings
  • IAG - on its response to the QBE merger proposal
  • Primary Health Care - on its successful bid for Symbion Health and capital raisings
  • Palmary Enterprises bid for Consolidated Minerals
  • Adelaide Managed Funds Asset Backed Yield Trust - on the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank going private transaction
  • Telstra - T3 offer structure
  • Initial listing of Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)
  • Australian Stock Exchange/Sydney Futures Exchange merger
  • NRMA demutualisation and listing (now IAG)
  • 2006/2007 Macquarie/TPG-led bid for Qantas
  • DUET - AMP Henderson/Alinta/United Energy restructure
  • Campbells’ takeover offer for Arnott’s
  • Sydney Airport privatisation.


  • 1986: Bachelor of Commerce and Laws degrees from the University of New South Wales
  • 1987: Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney
  • 1989: Master of Laws degree from the University of Sydney
  • 1990 - 1991: Attorney, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York
  • 1991: Admitted to New York Bar
  • 1996 - present: Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney
  • 2001 - present: Lecturer in Takeovers and Hybrid Securities, University of Sydney
  • 2005: Winner of inaugural Australasian Legal Business Deal Maker of the Year Award for Australia.

Professional memberships

  • New York State Bar Association - International & Business Law Section
  • Law Council - Corporations Committee
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors - Law Committee
  • International Bar Association - panelist at annual M&A conference
  • Australian Takeovers Panel - Former Member.


Legal insights

KWM acted as global counsel for Humanwell Healthcare (Group) Co., Ltd and CITIC Capital on their US$600 million acquisition of ASX-listed Ansell Limited’s sexual wellness business.

05 December 2017

An overview Takeovers Panel decisions in 2016 - key lessons, considerations and issues you need to be aware of.

01 December 2016

The new ASIC Corporations (Wholly-owned Companies) Instrument 2016/785 applies in relation to a financial year ending on or after 1 January 2017.

27 October 2016

ASIC has highlighted concerns with current due diligence practices in the IPO industry, particularly for small to medium IPOs.

15 July 2016