Lawyers & Strategists
Lawyers & Strategists
Our clients are creating the future.
They’re producing intelligent built environments and infrastructure that keep us safe and comfortable. They’re rolling out technology that allows humans to connect and communicate. They’re coming up with clever ways to process resources, make new things and increase human capital.
We support them to make it all happen.
Sharpe & Abel is a legal firm with business smarts and niche industrial expertise. Industrial companies come to us for astute legal advice and strategic capacities. We get to know our clients so we can help them to avoid obstacles, optimise processes and focus on what they’re great at.
Our people are values-led and results driven. Hand on heart, we’re not afraid to say that core values permeate all that we do – competence, trust, love, freedom and security. It’s hard to put into words; you’ll just know and feel it when you engage with us.
Sharpe & Abel Team
Melissa Kirby leads our experienced team from Melbourne HQ but we share our know-how with clients all across Australia. Sharpe & Abel’s qualified people hail from different parts of the globe; diversity that opens doors for your business to change the world.
Head of Business Development
Katherine Bird is in the international business of law. That sounds highfalutin but the cachet is lost on Katherine. She’s more interested in bringing the goods. Katherine understands that companies succeed when they have access to trusted legal advice grounded in the language of markets - opportunities made possible by the clever use of data and strategy.
The sector-focused, multi-disciplinary and client-centric approach of Sharpe & Abel suits Katherine to a tee. She’s heard a lot of buzzwords in her time as a high level international relations and business development adviser. But Katherine walks the talk. Her BA and MA qualifications serve clients well, but it’s hard to go past her global expertise and experience with the City of London, Law Society of England and Wales, and global professional services firms.
Ryan Craft is a bit nosey. But in a good way. His inquisitive mind thirsts for knowledge and he likes to discover exactly what’s what. That means getting to know clients and wrapping his head around all the detail. Ryan can make sense of the High Court’s interpretation of unjust enrichment or interrogate the monthly spend data. He’s got the quantitative and qualitative sides of the coin covered.
Ryan strategically nuts out problems and makes it look easy. His laidback demeanour masks innate smarts, complemented by a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia. There’s also that Juris Doctor from Monash University. But Ryan’s true superpower is finding where the cutlery is kept in any house he visits. You will, however, never see him pick up a fork to eat black forest cake.
Billy Hade knows that law is about more than reading through dry, old legal cases. By devising strategies that blend legal, commercial, marketing and HR elements, Billy gets his kicks helping clients navigate complex and detailed matters.
Before he became a paralegal, Billy earned his stripes in real estate and start-ups. Cold calling. It’s character building stuff. It’s probably no surprise then that he’s an engaging communicator. Billy’s also an efficiency aficionado (say that three times, fast!). Out of the office, he meticulously reads recipes, researches ingredients and cooks proficiently. While we’re anticipating delicious leftovers, it’s really his client engagement and number crunching that we hired him for. Billy’s got a Juris Doctor underway at RMIT, to add to his Bachelors of Commerce & Arts from the University of Sydney, and Mandarin qualifications from Chinese universities.
Melissa Kirby is a lawyer and strategist who likes difficult problems, wherever and whenever they might occur. She specializes in working with engineering and technical professionals, supporting clients and keeping their businesses safe through difficult times during the Asian Financial Crisis, the Global Financial Crisis and all the times between.
Prior to founding Sharpe & Abel, Melissa was counsel at the NYSE listed multi-billion dollar company, Honeywell, advising its Automation and Control Solutions business group in the Asia Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East regions and a director of its local subsidiary. Melissa has also headed up the legal, regulatory and compliance department of a major Australian utility company. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese and holds an LL.B from the Australian National University.
Neeta Krishna Kumar
Neeta Krishna Kumar slices and dices the most complex technical and legal concepts with the ease and elegance of a Michelin five-star chef. She takes the lengthiest, most convoluted and confusing legal documents and produces clear, concise and commercially-astute advice that saves our clients dollars.
Neeta is a world-class corporate lawyer, having advised on transactions valued over US$50B involving restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic investments for both foreign and domestic clients. Neeta runs our legal service delivery and makes sure that our clients get what they need when they need it. Neeta is fluent in Hindi and Malayalam and holds an LL.B (honours) from the National University of Advanced Legal Studies in India and an LL.M from the National University of Singapore. She’s qualified in England and Wales, India and Victoria, Australia.
Head of Analytics, Risk, R&D
Steve Long makes numbers dance. He uses mathematical and statistical tools to provide incisive insights that others miss. Steve also works closely with our lawyers to create robust and creative knowledge solutions that solve our clients’ problems. The insights that he has developed range from understanding the relationship between deliberate fire setting and environmental factors to the most strategic way for a client to turn an insolvency situation into a profitable long-term sales pipeline.
Steve is one of a small number of Chartered Mathematicians in the world, and holds a first-class degree and Masters in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.
Brynda Tan turns concepts and ideas in to legally-binding documents like magic. If you think your transaction is too complex and too technical to be documented, Brynda will prove you wrong with just her focussed mind, a blank sheet of paper and a few hours of time.
Prior to joining Sharpe & Abel, Brynda was a senior associate at the prestigious Malaysian firm Rahmat Lim & Partners, (in association with Allen & Gledhill LLP (Singapore)). She is fluent in English, Mandarin, Malay and Cantonese and holds an LL.B from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
International Advisory Council
Sharpe & Abel is connected to a global network of experts in their chosen field and jurisdiction. Insights from these experienced leaders mean we keep ahead of the game on important issues that affect you in established and emerging markets.
Work With Us
Our ambitious clients are in the industrial world making, producing and bringing solutions to market. As they continue to grow so do we. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for sharp legal minds that are willing and able.
You won’t be interested in us because you need a job. You want a legal career. At a place without pretention. At a firm that is interested in its people, and invests in and entrusts them to do their thing.
Sharpe & Abel’s distributed model works so well because our team is comprised of highly competent, autonomous and resilient humans. This is no dog-eat-dog elite law firm. We’re not competing with one another. That’s not our style.
You’ll be an open-minded and curious being who gets your kicks interrogating information, solving problems and helping clients to go places. You’re legally qualified, technically proficient and have a good business brain. You’re comfortable with the big picture and the finer details.
If you have the right to live and work in Australia, and you reckon you could be Sharpe & Abel’s next Junior or Senior Associate, we’d love to hear from you. There could a seat with your name on it in our inner city office warehouse.
Our Expression of Interest process is designed to make sure we’re a good fit. You send us your details, we’ll assess your technical skills, and then we’ll talk options.