Life at Allens

Day in the life of a Funds, Super and Wealth Associate

By Joshua Gunn, Associate

I joined Allens as a graduate in 2019 after clerking in 2017. As a grad, I started in the Real Estate and Development team in our Brisbane office, before moving to our Sydney office and joining the Funds, Super and Wealth (FSW) team. I completed a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology.

How would you describe FSW?

FSW is a broad church. The work we do ranges from negotiations between professional investors on setting up investment vehicles (à la funds) to advising banks and foreign companies on complying with Australia's ever-growing raft of financial services laws and regulations (à la wealth). Superannuation is almost a hybrid of the two – one day I might find myself writing advice on the laws governing financial product advice, the next I might be on a call with investment bankers where we are discussing the process for a super fund to sell its interests in a portfolio of private equity funds.

What does your role as a lawyer involve in FSW?

As a junior lawyer in the FSW team, I work across all parts of the team and no two days are the same.

An example of a funds matter I am currently working on is a partnership between an Australian fund manager and a foreign sovereign wealth fund to acquire and develop logistics assets. After receiving instructions from the client, today I spent some time having a go at drafting the trust deed (the trust will hold the money and make the investments) and the contract through which the sovereign wealth fund will agree to commit money to the trust, before sending them to a senior associate in the team for her to review.

To keep me on my toes, I recently helped with drafting advice for an investment bank that was considering acquiring a company that developed software platforms for derivatives trading, to determine whether there would be any Australian licensing requirements – unfortunately my Creative Industries degree wasn't too useful for this one!

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Joshua Gunn (second from the left)

Describe the FSW practice in three words

Varied, challenging and rewarding.

What do you enjoy most about your practice group?

FSW is a very diverse practice group, which is what I enjoy most about it.  We work with a variety of clients (fund managers, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, banks and superannuation funds) and across a variety of sectors (real estate, banking, infrastructure, energy, private equity). Not only that, but the matters are often cross-border, which means we are frequently working with Linklaters where we need each other's jurisdictional expertise, and on the other side of transactions with major international law firms.


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