Diana Nicholson

Diana Nicholson

Diana Nicholson is a senior partner in the Mergers and Acquisitions practice in the Melbourne office of King & Wood Mallesons. Her practice primarily involves securities industry law, fundraising, acquisitions and takeovers, as well as the more general aspects of commercial law.

In recent years Diana has acted on a range of fundraising matters, including hybrid issues, placements and employee executive share and option plans.

She has also acted on various business and company acquisitions and divestments, as well as on a range of corporate governance and general issues, such as the establishment of joint ventures and corporate reconstructions.

Diana has been recommended in Corporate/M&A by Chambers Global Guide 2009 and was "rated highly" by APL 500 2007/2008. She was also recognised in the 2009 edition of the Guide to the World's Leading Capital Markets Lawyers produced by Euromoney's Legal Media Group.

In ALB's Guide to Infrastructure 2008, clients said Diana had "excelled in her work for major Australian banks" and had "a good understanding of commercial drivers".

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Recent matters

  • Advising National Australia Bank Limited in relation to various equity and hybrid securing offerings (including capital raisings in October 2008 and July 2009), corporate governance issues generally, including design and structure of employee share and option plans
  • Acting for Suncorp in relation to the sale of its Credit Card portfolio to Citigroup
  • Acting for BlueScope Steel in relation to the OneSteel and Smorgan Steel Group merger and BlueScope Steels acquisition of the Smorgan Steel Group's Distribution Business
  • Acting for Nikko Investments in relation to its acquisition of ANZ's fleet vehicle business.
  • Acting for Sigma Company Limited in its merger by scheme of arrangement with Arrow Pharmaceuticals
  • Acting for Affinity Health Limited in relation to proposed IPO (sold to Ramsay Health under dual trade process)
  • Acting for Fonterra in relation to contested takeover offer for National Foods Limited
  • Acting for Macquarie Bank Limited in relation to its bid with Coles Myer Ltd for Australian Leisure and Hospitality Limited (proposed scheme of arrangement)
  • Acting for AXA (Australia) in relation to the takeover proposal by scheme from AXA (France) proposed scheme of arrangement)
  • Acting for National Australia Bank in respect of its Board dispute, proposed extraordinary general meeting and subsequent actions
  • Acting for Kaneb Pipelines in relation to the acquisition of its Australian terminalling business from Burns Philip and subsequent purchase back of those assets from Valero by private equity/management consortium
  • General commercial arrangements for various parties, including supply and distribution arrangements
  • Providing advice in relation to various corporate governance matters, including in relation to directors duties, corporate charters, employee equity incentives etc.


  • 1984: Bachelor of Arts and Laws (Hons) degrees, University of Melbourne
  • 1985 - 1989: Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Melbourne
  • 1987: Seconded, Department of Corporate Affairs, Victoria for six months - involved in the review and assessment of documentation and exemption applications relating to takeovers, public issues and the securities industry
  • 1990 - 1991: Seconded, Herbert Smith, London - working in corporate finance group
  • 1992 - 1995: Mallesons Stephen Jaques
  • 1996 - present: Partner, King & Wood Mallesons
  • Leadership roles include:
  • Partner in Charge, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Melbourne 2001 - 2004
  • Relationship Partner National Australia Bank Limited 2004 - Present
  • Relationship Partner BlueScope Steel Limited 2007 - Present
  • Admissions Committee member 2005 - Present
  • Co-Chair Admissions Committee 2007 - Present
  • Member - Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust 2004 - Present
  • Member of Victorian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee 2006 - Present.


Legal insights

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16 December 2021

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16 December 2021

On 16 July 2021, the Federal Treasury published an exposure draft of the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2021 (Draft Legislation).

30 September 2021

The Financial Accountability Regime is the Government’s proposed extension of the existing Banking Executive Accountability Regime to cover all APRA regulated entities.

16 August 2021

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