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 Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (ASX: SAR) in its AUD16 billion merger with Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX: NST) to create a top-10 global gold company.
  • Advising Iberdrola on its AUD890 million off-market takeover bid for Infigen Energy (ASX: IFN).
  • Advising Fosun, one of the largest privately owned enterprises in China, on its AUD490 million competitive takeover bid for ROC Oil, an upstream oil & gas company with projects in China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Australia and the UK. Fosun's offer was successful in defeating a proposal for ROC to merge with Horizon Oil.*
  • 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 supplies 47 per cent of the coal used to supply power to NSW.*
  • Advising Ansteel on its Karara Iron Ore joint venture with Gindalbie Metals (which owns iron ore projects in Western Australia), AUD162 million equity placement in Gindalbie and project offtake, project finance and refinancing totalling AUD3 billion, subsequent equity investments, including investment in Gindalbie's AUD209 million accelerated entitlement offer and placement to Ansteel in 2011 and AUD60 million placement in 2012, provision of AUD500 million of additional funding to Karara and acquisition of control and Ansteel's subsequent acquisition of Gindalbie and spin off of Coda Minerals by schemes 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 groundbreaking win in a case before the Takeovers Panel.*
  • Advising CST Minerals on its USD600 million placing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong managed by Morgan Stanley and AUD135 million acquisition of the Lady Annie copper mine in Queensland from Cape Lambert and subsequent acquisition of Lady Annie by Kombi Mining.*
  • Advising Tiger Resources on its USD25 million placement and accelerated non-renounceable rights issue, lead managed by UBS and debt facility with Taurus, Resource Capital Finance and IFC to fund the expansion and debottlenecking of the Kipoi Copper Project in Democratic Republic of Congo and its USD74 million placement and accelerated non-renounceable rights issue, underwritten by Canaccord to fund the USD140 million acquisition of the 40 per cent interest in the Kipoi Copper Project that it did not already own.*
  • Advising ASX listed Pulse Health’s 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 Rural Press in relation to its AUD9.5 billion merger with Fairfax Media to create Australia's largest digital and print media business.*
  • Advising Shaver Shop on its AUD140 million ASX listing and IPO.*

*Experience gained while at a previous firm

  • 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