About JWS

Johnson Winter & Slattery is engaged by major Australian and international corporations as legal counsel on their business activities, disputes and most challenging transactions throughout Australia and surrounding regions.

Our role

Our representation of major corporations in many landmark and transformational deals and complex disputes positions us as a leading independent Australian firm.

Our approach

With an appreciation of our client's commercial needs, we blend legal expertise with commercial and market awareness to deliver high quality legal services. This means working closely with clients and their in-house counsel to understand their commercial objectives, and ensuring our approach is tailored to deliver timely commercial outcomes.

Our difference

Our higher ratio of senior lawyers means clients engage directly with the tactical minds and industry expertise required to succeed in complex and high stakes deals and disputes. A partnership ethos of service, technical excellence and collaboration ensures the most relevant specialist expertise and experience is brought to bear on every assignment.

Contact us

Whether you are an Australian business, international company or overseas law firm looking for representation in Australia, we would welcome your enquiry. Please contact any of our partners to find out how JWS can help.


Peter Slattery

Managing Partner

JWS at a glance


  • Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney


  • 62 partners supported by over 200 lawyers, business development, finance, HR and IT professionals


  • ASX listed and foreign corporations
  • Substantial privately owned enterprises
  • Not for profit organisations, universities and industry bodies
  • Major government agencies and regulators


  • Centred on strategically important areas of commercial law
  • Focus on corporate (M&A/ECM), competition, disputes, finance & restructuring, and energy & resources. 
  • Dedicated experts in employment, IP, information technology, media, property and tax 

International services

  • Australian counsel to foreign businesses and law firms
  • Foreign investment advice and applications
  • Established referral firm network for outbound cross-border requirements


  • 28 leading individual rankings – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
  • 14 practice area rankings – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
  • 49 Leading, Next Generation and Recommended Lawyers – Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
  • 11 practice area rankings – Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018


  • Established in 1993 by Tony Johnson, Nigel Winter and Peter Slattery as a boutique corporate firm
  • Grew rapidly to become a leading independent Australian firm focussed on complex transactions and disputes

Our reputation

The quality of our legal advice and service to clients is recognised through independent industry recognition and direct client feedback.

Our lawyers and teams are ranked regularly as leaders in their field by major local and global directories including Chambers, Best Lawyers and the Asia Pacific Legal 500. Clients comment frequently on JWS’s technical excellence, responsive service, and ability to provide commercially relevant and cost effective advice. 

Our role in some of Australia’s largest deals and most complex transactions is also recognised by industry awards.

Feature recognition

Winner, Best Professional Services Firm (Revenue $50M-$200M)
Winner, Best Law Firm (Revenue $50M-$200M)
Winner, Best Value Firm
AFR Client Choice Awards, 2017



28 leading individual rankings
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018



47 Leading, Next Generation and Recommended lawyers
Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, 2018


Oil & Gas "Law Firm of the Year" in Australia, 2017, 2019
Energy Law "Law Firm of the Year" in Australia, 2018
67 recognised lawyers
4 named "Lawyer of the Year" in their respective categories
Best Lawyers® 2019


1 partner winner of their category – Securitisation & Structured Finance 
Client Choice Awards, 2018

3 partners winners of their categories – Competition & Antitrust, General Corporate,
Product Regulation & Liability 

Client Choice Awards, 2017


Selected as one of the world's leading competition law and economic practices
GCR100 – Global Competition Review, 2018


Celebrating 25 years

Johnson Winter & Slattery was founded in 1993 by a small, eclectic team of lawyers. At the time we appreciated commercial clients would develop long-lasting relationships with the firm if they knew our lawyers were technically strong, commercial and able to deliver legal services in a pragmatic way.

We were driven to build client relationships by providing superior service and value for money. If we could do that we would have a rewarding and successful firm. So, the focus was on clients and what we could do for them, rather than on internal financial targets or structure. Also the last thing we were interested in was replicating the approach of other law firms; we were acutely aware nothing would be gained by being like everyone else. We were a 1993 version of what would now be regarded as a “start-up” in today’s parlance.

With those principles in mind, and notwithstanding a weak economy at the time, we set about building the firm by winning engagements and impressing clients. We knew our service aspirations would be difficult to realise if senior lawyers sat atop a pyramid of other practitioners, making them remote from clients. So, although the term leverage wasn’t in vogue back then we intuitively structured our teams with experienced lawyers. We believed in recruiting and developing graduates and junior associates but we were never going to build a highly leveraged practice – nor did we chase work suited to such a model.

We had ambition and a fair dose of nerve. We chased work. We bit off more than we could chew and always found a way to impress our clients and deliver value.

We worked together. We helped one another. We celebrated success and dusted off disappointments. The term collaboration was not bandied about, nor did we spend a lot of time encouraging people to behave in a collegiate manner. Rather, collegiate behaviour occurred naturally. Indeed from the first day of operation we projected the strength of our team under the name of the firm – not individuals. Not surprisingly, we weren’t afraid to work hard. We were hungry for success, had an entrepreneurial spirit and used our nous. Everyone committed and delivered because “sorry, I’m too busy” wasn’t in our vocabulary. We were proactive in identifying and pursuing opportunities and if we didn’t know something we found the answer.

Of course our ambition and success meant some things had to change over time. Indeed, we’ve been developing and transforming almost continuously since 1993 – save for those things we’ve been careful to preserve. These are the Hallmarks of the firm which are held dear by the partnership as a whole. The Hallmarks of the firm which were with us at the start continue to underpin the way we work today. These elements are lived in the day-to-day activities of everyone in the firm and include impress the client; look after one another; take the long term view and only do things that make good business sense.

Pleasingly, the collective impact of our Hallmarks is recognised by our clients and the market through the company we keep, the calibre of our work, independent industry recognition and direct client feedback.

Community involvement

We never lose sight of the responsibility the legal profession has in the broader community. The legal industry has an important role to play in improving access to legal services and justice for less advantaged individuals and groups.

JWS supports a number of community initiatives and not for profit organisations across Australia through pro bono legal work, charitable donations and sponsorships. Our lawyers also contribute to the broader business community by presenting at workshops and seminars on legal developments, and authoring formal submissions to regulatory bodies to assist with legal reform in Australia.

Organisations we support and provide pro bono services to include:

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Anglican Church of Australia

As South Australia’s largest arts organisation, the ASO plays a major role in Adelaide’s cultural and economic vibrancy. The community is enriched through more than 70 world-class performances to more than 80,000 diverse concertgoers each season. And the comprehensive Learning Series for schools and families directly touches the lives of more than 12,000 children, thereby forging a special connection to music from a young age.


The Anglican Church of Australia is a community of Christians scattered across Australia. The Church is organised into 23 dioceses grouped into 5 provinces or regions. As well as dioceses and parishes there are many different organisations in areas such as education, health, mission, social welfare and communications which are part of the Anglican Church.


Australian Chamber Orchestra

Australian Science Media Centre

Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is renowned for its inspired programming and unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality. Comprising leading Australian and international musicians and a growing company of dedicated young players, the Orchestra performs as a symphony orchestra, chamber music ensemble and electro-acoustic collective collaborating with an extraordinary range of artists from numerous artistic disciplines.


The Australian Science Media Centre Inc is an independent not for profit service for the news media, giving journalists direct access to evidence-based science and expertise. The role of AusSMC is to increase the quantity and accuracy of science reporting in the media and, hence, the public understanding of science. 




Mary's House

Purves Environmental Fund

Mary’s House is a refuge which will provide crisis accommodation for women and their dependent children escaping domestic violence. The refuge is in the Lower North Shore area of Sydney. The idea for the project came from people associated with the Jesuit Parish of Our Lady of the Way in North Sydney, although Mary’s House is a non-denominational initiative.  The refuge will open in October 2016.


The Purves Environmental Fund (PEF) supports a number of groups, all of which have as their central aim the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s natural environment. Grants by the PEF are designed to encourage others who work towards greater biodiversity and sustainability.


Royal Institution of Australia

Telethon Juvenile Diabetes Family Centre 

The Royal Institution of Australia Inc is a national scientific not for profit organisation which carries on the tradition of its sister organisation, the historic Royal Institution of Great Britain. RiAus aims to broaden the appreciation of science and technology as part of Australian culture; create sustained interest in science; and engage the public, decision-makers and opinion leaders in dialogue and policy debate around science.


The Telethon Juvenile Diabetes Family Centre helps children and their families cope with the challenges of Type 1 diabetes. It was officially opened on 2 July 2015 by the Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames and is the first facility in Australia dedicated to offering emotional and psychosocial support for families of children with diabetes.


Youth Action and Policy Association NSW



Youth Action is the peak body for young people and youth services in NSW, representing 1.25 million young people and the services that support them. Youth Action monitors and responds to government policies and proposals affecting young people; promotes and advocates on issues affecting young people and youth services; brings young people and youth workers together to act on issues affecting them; provides training, forums and conferences; and produces a range of resources, publications and newsletters.