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BRG Continues Expansion of Disputes Practice in Asia-Pacific with Senior Oil and Gas Addition and Promotion, Adding On-the-Ground Capability in Perth, Western Australia

October 11, 2021

Dual appointments latest response to client demand for specialist industry, technical and market expertise and uptick in energy and resources disputes

BRG today announces the appointment of Aaron Howell to the firm’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) Disputes practice and Thomas Fearis to a new role leading business development and client services across the region. With these additions, BRG launches its sixth office in the APAC region.

“This expansion reflects our continued growth in the Asia-Pacific region”, said BRG Principal Executive Officer and President Tri MacDonald. “We are excited to have a presence in Perth to provide on-the-ground capabilities to clients in the energy sector, enhancing our world-class expertise in energy and complementary industries including construction and mining”.

A Perth native, Howell has over 25 years of global experience within the energy sector, including oil and gas exploration and production, liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas commercial, joint venture and stakeholder management, mergers, acquisitions and divestments and financing advisory. He also has more than 15 years in senior investment banking roles, dividing his time between Singapore and Perth, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of mergers, acquisitions and divestments, strategic advisory and capital markets assignments. Prior to investment banking, he spent 10 years in various international assignments with an oil and gas major. Howell has experience advising on disputes, including acting as an expert witness. He will be based in the firm’s Perth and Singapore offices.

Joining Howell in the Perth office will be Thomas Fearis, currently based in Hong Kong, in an expanded role as APAC Head of Business Development and Client Services. Fearis also hails from the city and will split his time between the two locations. A Western Australia qualified lawyer (non-practising), Fearis has almost 10 years of international experience in the legal industry, working in a variety of roles including as a disputes associate, tribunal secretary and, more recently, in business development and marketing at a major law firm. He has an established track record working with BRG’s clients to select the right experts and consultants on their complex high-stakes matters, often valued in the billions of dollars.

“We are experiencing consistent demand from our clients for specialised sector expertise in this region, as the issues in dispute continue to increase in complexity”, said BRG’s APAC Leader Mustafa Hadi. “With a presence in Perth, BRG has seized a strategic opportunity to expand its presence in the energy and resources industry. Aaron’s profile and strong Singapore network matches our focus areas in Asia-Pacific and complements our strong capabilities in the mining, oil and gas, power, infrastructure and construction sectors. We are delighted to welcome him to the team”.

Howell and Fearis will work closely with BRG’s valuation and quantum experts to bring Howell’s unique expertise to the resolution of complex disputes in the energy sector.

“Western Australia is the world’s most diversified energy and resources province, and Perth has the largest concentration of global oil and gas companies and oil service companies in Australia. I am thrilled to join BRG at a time of continued growth in Asia-Pacific and look forward to driving the continued expansion of the firm’s tier one disputes offering”, said Howell.

“In the last decade, over a dozen leading international law firms have established a presence in Perth, in response to the unprecedented energy and resources boom and related market for advisory and disputes work. Opening an office here is a natural next step for BRG APAC, and I am excited to partner with Mustafa, Aaron and BRG’s deep bench of experts to bring our market-leading offering to law firms and their clients in this jurisdiction”, commented Fearis.

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Related Professionals

Aaron Howell

Managing Director

Perth, Singapore

Thomas Fearis

Head of Business Development and Client Services, Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong, Perth