Profile of Jon Webster AM

Jon Webster AM

Consultant, BCom LLB (Hons) LLM

About Jon Webster AM

Jon is one of Australia's most experienced corporate lawyers, having advised on complex company matters for more than 30 years.

Jon is named as one of Australia's leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers in the Chambers Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for Business and in The International Who's Who of Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers. He is also named as a leading lawyer in The International Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers and in Asia Law Leading Lawyers. He was named Australian Dealmaker of the Year at the 2011 ALB Australasian Law Awards and ranked as Melbourne's 2015 'Lawyer of the Year' in both M&A and Corporate Governance by Best Lawyers.

Jon is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation and he teaches Securities Regulation in the Master of Laws program at the University of Melbourne. He is a director of the Human Rights Law Centre and AMCIL Limited. He is also the Chairman of the audit committee of the Northern Land Council. He is a former Chairman of the Corporations Committee of the Law Council of Australia and a former member of the ASX's Listings Advisory Panel and of the Federal Government's Consultative Group to the Corporations Law Simplification Task Force.

Chambers Global 2014 says clients enthuse that Jon is a:
'lawyer's lawyer who is highly commercial and outstanding when dealing with regulators'

According to Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014 one source described Jon as:
'my go to person for complex matters requiring really good judgement calls'

Major matters

Jon has advised:

  • ExxonMobil on Australian aspects of its acquisition of InterOil for US$2.5 billion.
  • The Good Guys on the sale of its business to JB Hi Fi for $870 million.
  • Bendigo Bank on the merger of Bendigo Telco and Vicwest Community Telco.
  • Shell on Australian corporate law aspects of Royal Dutch Shell plc's £47 billion merger with BG Group plc.
  • QBE Insurance on its proposed IPO of its lenders' mortgage insurance business.
  • Henkel AG on its acquisition of Colgate-Palmolive's South Pacific detergent business.
  • Tuan Sing on its joint takeover of Grand Hotel Group with Morgan Stanley (MS) and its subsequent acquisition of MS' 50% interest.
  • Woolworths – $1.4 billion spin off of its shopping centres into a new listed real estate investment trust.
  • Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and Utilities Trust of Australia – $1.3 billion takeover proposal for Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund.
  • Newcrest Mining – $1 billion merger creating Evolution Mining.
  • Village Roadshow – $740 million takeover of its 52% listed subsidiary Austereo by Southern Cross Media.
  • Shell – $3.4 billion joint acquisition of Arrow Energy with PetroChina.
  • ANZ Bank – consideration of the acquisition of a 57% stake in Korea Exchange Bank.
  • National Australia Bank – $13.3 billion proposed acquisition of AXA APH.
  • Newcrest Mining – $9.6 billion merger with Lihir Gold.
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan – $7.2 billion joint offer to acquire Transurban.
  • ANZ Bank – before the Takeovers Panel and on ASIC's investigation into issues arising out of the collapse of Opes Prime as well as on the settlement achieved by the landmark creditors' scheme of arrangement.
  • Bendigo Bank – $4 billion merger with Bank of Adelaide and on its offer to acquire Adelaide Managed Funds Asset Backed Yield Trust.
  • Coles Myer – sale of Myer for $1.4 billion to a private equity consortium led by TPG.
  • WMC Resources – defence to Xstrata's hostile takeover bid and on its agreed $9.2 billion takeover by BHP Billiton.
  • JBWere – merger with Goldman Sachs.
  • WMC – $10 billion demerger.
  • National Australia Bank – $4.5 billion acquisition of MLC.
  • Principal Group – $1.2 billion acquisition of Bankers Trust Australia.
  • Rio Tinto – establishment as a dual listed company.
  • Mobil – $1.8 billion takeover of Ampolex.
  • OneSteel – $815 million joint takeover of Email with Smorgon Steel.
  • WMC – $800 million joint takeover of ACM with Normandy Mining.

Jon has also advised on various public company listings on the ASX (including SCA Property Group, Zinifex, Acacia Resources, Melbourne IT and Programmed Maintenance Services) and on other equity capital raisings (including QBE Insurance's $800 million capital raising and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer and placement raising $300 million).