David Friedlander

David Friedlander

David Friedlander is King & Wood Mallesons' Chairman in Australia and a partner in our Melbourne and Sydney offices.

He is recognised as a market leading practitioner in M&A by global legal directories, including Chambers Global and the AFR. He is consistently ranked Band 1 Chambers and Partners (Corporate/M&A and Capital Markets) and is also in the Legal500 Hall of Fame for both Corporate M&A and Capital Markets.

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, Singapore and China teams and is a member of the International Management Committee of the firm.

David is also Chairman of the Public Education Foundation, a director of Sydney Dance Company and a panel member of Adara Partners.

Relevant Experience

  • Afterpay takeover: acting for Square Inc in connection with its merger by scheme of arrangement with Afterpay
  • BHP Petroleum acquisition: acting for Woodside on its acquisition of BHP Petroleum and share issue to BHP shareholders
  • Crown proposal: acting for The Star Entertainment Group on its proposed merger with Crown Resorts
  • ME Bank acquisition: acting for Bank of Queensland on the acquisition of ME Bank and associated equity capital raising
  • AMP: acting on AMP’s response to an approach by Ares Management and the AMP portfolio review 2020/2021
  • Endeavour Drinks Group: on its demerger from Woolworths
  • Altium: advising Altium in relation to its response to a takeover approach from Autodesk
  • Latitude: on its IPO
  • Qantas recovery capitalisation: representing Qantas on its $1.86b placement and share purchase plan in response to COVID-19 impacts on the airline industry
  • Regis Resources: acquisition of interest in the Tropicana Gold Project and associated equity capital raising 
  • National Storage Takeover: representing Public Storage on its proposed takeover by scheme of arrangement
  • Flight Centre, Lendlease, Oil Search, Sydney Airport and Auckland Airport equity capital raisings during COVID-19 crisis
  • Healius: on its takeover response to Partners’ Group
  • Campbell's: on its sale of Arnott's to KKR
  • United Malt Group: on its demerger form Graincorp
  • Fairfax: on its merger by scheme of arrangement with Nine Entertainment
  • Ramsay Health Care block trade – acting for the Paul Ramsay Foundation
  • Yancoal shareholder Yangzhou and its parent, state owned enterprise, Yankuang: on the A$3.1b acquisition of Coal & Allied from Rio Tinto
  • Brickworks: representing Brickworks on its shareholder activist response and litigation
  • Echo Entertainment: representing The Star Entertainment Group in response to activism by Crown Resorts
  • Fairfax: representing the board in response to activism by Hancock
  • Hubei Humanwell Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd: acquisition of Ansell's sexual wellness business
  • Masters: advising Woolworths on its exit from the joint venture with Lowe’s Companies, Inc., which operated the Masters Home Improvement and Home Timber & Hardware businesses
  • Boart Longyear: advising on its equity and debt restructure
  • South32: on its demerger from BHP, representing South32 and its board
  • Medibank Private: 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 takeover: representing the bidders on the CPA takeover
  • IAG: on its strategic relationship with Berkshire Hathaway, including an equity investment and quota share
  • Hellman & Friedman LLC: acting on its contested approach to Fairfax
  • Guandong Rising Asset Management: on its takover bid for PanAust
  • Nine Entertainment: representing the joint lead managers on its IPO
  • Warburg Pincus: on its 34% block trade sell-down of TPI
  • KKR: on its block trade sell-down of Seven West Media
  • Genesis: advising on its IPO, Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Fonterra Shareholders Fund: on its IPO, Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Mighty River Power: on its IPO, Australian offering and ASX listing
  • Aurizon (QR National): advising on 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: advising on-market and off-market share buy backs
  • IAG, AGL, Colonial, Origin, Qantas, TabCorp, Alumina, Asciano, Pacific Brands, Paladin, Macquarie Media and Boral: advising on equity capital raisings

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 (now Healius):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
  • Australian Stock Exchange (ASX): advising on its initial listing
  • Australian Stock Exchange/Sydney Futures Exchange merger
  • NRMA: advising on its demutualisation and listing (now IAG)
  • Macquarie/TPG-led bid for Qantas (2006/2007)
  • DUET: advising on AMP Henderson/Alinta/United Energy restructure
  • Campbells: advising on its takeover offer for Arnott’s
  • Sydney Airport: advising on its privatisation


  • 2014: Chairman – Public Education Foundation
  • 2019: Board member – Sydney Dance Company


  • Australia – High Court – 28 July 2011
  • Australia – WA – Supreme Court – 2 October 2003
  • United States – NY – Supreme Court – 2 March 1992
  • Australia – NSW – Supreme Court – 4 July 1986

Professional memberships

  • New York State Bar Association - International & Business Law Section
  • Law Council - Corporations Committee
  • International Bar Association - panellist at annual M&A conference
  • Australian Takeovers Panel - Former Member

Career history

  • 2005 – Winner of the inaugural Australasian Legal Business Deal Maker of the Year Award for Australia
  • 2001 – present: Lecturer in Takeovers and Hybrid Securities, University of Sydney
  • 1996 – present: Partner, King & Wood Mallesons
  • 1990 – 1991: Attorney, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett (New York)
  • 1987 – Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques



Legal insights

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31 March 2021

On 31 March 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”) and the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) announced that they would each grant temporary capital raising relief to...

15 June 2020

So far, the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) has provided a safe harbour for issuers to weather the COVID-19 storm, allowing traditional and accelerated equity raisings. Initially, it was not...

15 June 2020

So far, the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) has provided a safe harbour for issuers to weather the COVID-19 storm, allowing traditional and accelerated equity raisings. Initially, it was not...

15 June 2020

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