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 Lawyer of the Year in the 2018 AFR Best Lawyers - Corporate Law, Corporate/Governance Practice/Equity Capital Markets Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Private Equity Law and Venture Capital Law.

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Representative matters

  • Shareholder activist defence for Infigen (2018) – requisition by Sethu and Lim
  • Woolworths - on the sale of Masters and response to joint venture party: Lowes
  • Brickworks shareholder activist response and litigation - representing Brickworks
  • Woodside - entitlement offer representing the Joint Lead managers
  • Hubei Humanwell Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd - acquisition of Ansell's sexual wellness business
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • KKR - on its block trade sell-down of Seven West Media
  • 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

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

On 28 November 2018 the Australian Securities Exchange released a public consultation paper titled “Simplifying, clarifying and enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the ASX listing rules"

03 December 2018

There has continued to be considerable activity in the takeovers regulatory space over the last 3 months. This article provides a snapshot of applications made to the Panel and guidance provided by...

12 October 2018

Not a day goes by when a governance group, body or self-styled expert hasn’t eulogised about new and improved ways to “hold directors to account”. Our latest view on that question is this: everyone...

07 September 2018

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