Profile of Bill Magennis

Bill Magennis

Head of Vietnam, LLB (Hons)

About Bill Magennis

Bill Magennis has worked as a lawyer in Asia for more than 25 years, residing in Hong Kong, Vietnam and, for a short time, Korea. During this period, he has worked on some of the biggest resource and energy projects in the region.

Bill gained a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne in 1972 and completed his articles with the Melbourne firm of Ellison Hewison & Whitehead in 1973. After being admitted in 1974, Bill moved to Phillips Fox and became a partner at that firm in 1978.

In 1985, he was seconded for four years to Hong Kong, as a partner in the firm D.W.Ling & Co. and Holman Fenwick and Willan. During this time, he was responsible for the work of those firms in banking and litigation in Hong Kong and joint ventures in China.

In 1989, Bill returned to Phillips Fox in Melbourne. He was Chairman of Partners in 1991-92, and managed several large litigation cases, including acting for the insurers of the auditors of Tricontinental Bank in connection with the Royal Commission investigating the collapse of that bank and subsequent litigation involving the auditors. In 1993, Bill moved to Hanoi, to establish Phillips Fox's first office in Vietnam.

In January 2007, the Phillips Fox Vietnam practice merged with Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens).

During his 20 years in Vietnam, Bill has acted as lead legal adviser on some of Vietnam's biggest infrastructure projects, including: for BP on the Nam Con Son gas pipeline and Phu My 3 'BOT' power plant project; Kuwait Petroleum, Mitsui Chemicals, Idemitsu on the Nghi Son refinery; Holcim on various cement plants; and PetroVietnam on Dung Quat refinery.

In addition, Bill has acted on landmark M&A transactions for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Pepsi Co, China Investment Corporation, TPG, FPT and others.

Bill's areas of legal expertise include energy, resources, financing, construction, corporate and banking. He has been recognised as a leading Corporate/M&A and Projects, Energy and Resources lawyer in Vietnam by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015-2017.

He is a director of Holcim Vietnam Limited, and a member of the Australian Business Group in Vietnam, the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, the Law Society of New South Wales and the Melbourne Cricket Club.