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James F. Stewart


Driven and prolific, James Stewart is a leading M&A and ECM practitioner, with a focus on public company takeovers, including hostile and competitive bids and proceedings before the Takeovers Panel, private M&A deals, equity capital markets and private equity.

James currently sits on the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel. The federal government body with sole jurisdiction for public company takeovers. 

He has experience of acting on a number of high profile, complex cross-border transactions with significant experience on transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

James is noted for his in-depth knowledge of corporate law, impressive turnaround and accessibility to clients.


  • Advising Strike Energy on its AUD490 million unsolicited scrip offer takeover bid for Warrego Energy, which competed with cash offers from Hancock Energy and Beach Energy and a strategic stake acquired by Mineral Resources.
  • Advising Canaccord and Sprott on their joint lead management and underwriting of Resolute Mining's JUMBO Accelerated Non Renounceable Entitlement Offer to raise up to AUD159 million.
  • Advising Nearmap on its AUD1 billion acquisition by scheme of arrangement by private equity group Thoma Bravo.
  • Advising POSCO International on its AUD900 million acquisition of Senex Energy by way of scheme of arrangement pursuant to a joint bid with Hancock Energy.
  • Advising Saracen Mineral Holdings on its AUD16 billion merger with Northern Star Resources Limited to create a top-10 global gold company.
  • Advising LINK Market Services, the largest shareholder in PEXA, in respect of the AUD3 billion IPO and ASX listing of PEXA.
  • Advising Iberdrola on its takeover bid of Australia’s largest wind farm operator, Infigen Energy for an enterprise value of AUD1.33 billion. Ibderola’s bid was successful in defeating UAC’s competing bid.
  • Busy Bees', a global child care centre operator owned by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Temasek, AUD195 million acquisition of Think Childcare Limited by way of scheme of arrangement. The transaction involving the divestment of the Think Childcare Group centre development business to the founder, successfully defeated a competing proposal from Alceon.
  • Advising Banpu on its AUD2.5 billion takeover of Centennial Coal, Australia's largest independent coal producer with nine operating coal mines in New South Wales and various exploration and pre-development projects. Centennial Coal supplied 47 per cent of the coal used to supply power to NSW.
  • Advising Pulse Health on its competitive, hostile AUD240 million takeover bid for Vision Eye Institute and the AUD120 million acquisition of Pulse Health by Healthe Care by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • Advising Sinosteel on its AUD1.5 billion successful hostile competitive cash offer takeover of ASX listed Midwest Corporation, with iron ore projects in the mid-west of Western Australia. Sinosteel's offer defeated competing proposals from Murchison Metals after a successful, novel and complex application to the Takeovers Panel.
  • Advising Rural Press in relation to its AUD9.5 billion merger with Fairfax Media by concurrent schemes of arrangement to create Australia's largest digital and print media business.
  • English
  • University of Sydney, Master of Laws, 2003
  • University of Tasmania, Bachelor of Laws, 1999
  • University of Tasmania, Bachelor of Science, 1999


  • Australian Law Awards Finalist for Deal Maker of the Year, 2021
  • Lawyers Weekly Finalist for Mergers and Acquisitions Partner of the Year, 2021
  • Best Lawyers Australia Mergers and Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Resources and Corporate, 2010-2021
  • Recognised in Doyle's Guide for M&A
  • Legal500 Asia Pacific recommended practitioner for Capital Markets, 2021
  • Legal500 Asia Pacific recommended practitioner for Corporate and M&A, 2021
  • APL500 Recommended Lawyer for Energy & Resources
  • Australasian Law Awards Finalist for M&A Deal of the Year, 2015
  • Finance Monthly Deal of the Month October, 2015
  • Acquisition International M&A 2015 Awards Best in Public Company Takeovers – Australia
  • China Business Law Journal  Deals of the Year, 2015
  • Finance Monthly Deal Maker of the Year, 2015
  • Best Lawyers Corporate Lawyer of the Year, Melbourne, 2013
  • Nominee for ALB Energy and Resources Deal of the Year, 2011
  • International Financial Law Review (ILFR) Asia Awards M&A Deal of the Year 2009 and nominee for M&A Team of the Year 2009
  • China Law & Practice Awards for M&A Deal of the Year, 2009
  • FinanceAsia's Deal of the Year, 2008
  • FinanceAsia's Best M&A Deal of the Year for Asia, 2008


  • Moderator, Content and Intellectual Property Licensing, Video Game Bar Association Summit Northwest in Seattle, Washington, October 2022
  • Moderator, Brand Activations in the Metaverse: A Practical Case Study with Chipotle, 2022 ANA Law Virtual One Day Conference, July 2022

Professional Qualifications

  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • Solicitor of the Federal Court of Australia

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Law Institute of New South Wales