Australia: Corrs boosts international leadership to support soaring client demand
Last Updated: 6 May 2015

Corrs Chambers Westgarth announced today the creation of eight new leadership positions to join the firm's long established International Business Groups, acknowledging the strong client demand for Corrs' independent global engagement model. The firm is on track to become the most globally connected law firm based in Australia.

The appointments come as the Australian firm continues to experience a year on year increase in its international client base, derived from strong growth of inbound referrals, successful secondment and scholarship programs and increasing client brand awareness in North America, UK and Europe, the Middle East and Asia. International clients now account for almost 40 per cent of the firm's large corporate client base.

Corrs Chief Executive Officer, John W.H Denton AO and Andrew Messenger, Chairman of Corrs' Global Engagement confirmed the new leadership roles today.

"Over the last decade we have successfully penetrated international markets and built strong relationships with like-minded, premium independent and globally significant law firms that consistently rank as the best in their field," Mr Denton said.

"We are now completing this footprint by appointing Chair and Co-Chair leadership roles to existing markets and formally entering the new markets of South America and Africa."

Rather than having a representative office in different countries, Corrs' alternate international model relies on deepening strong, longstanding relationships with other significant law firms around the world to give clients access to genuine depth and expertise on the ground. There are over 45 firms involved in the model, which continues to grow each year. Uniquely the Corrs network extends beyond law firms to encompass senior business and government relationships.

"We are fearlessly uncompromised in finding the right lawyers - and business advisers - for the right matter, and this provides flexibility and clear value to our clients both within and outside of Australia."

"Our unique partnership with global and local experts is a source of real strength and competitive advantage for our clients. It reflects the reality of the modern globalised economy which values wide connections and deep local engagement as the most effective model. We are committed to our strategy, demonstrated through continued leadership investment and by broadening our offering to South America and Africa, two continents of increasing interest to many clients," Mr Denton added.

The firm invests heavily in building its connections and global reach and in developing the capability to support that framework. Almost a decade ago Corrs established an extensive international secondment program for lawyers, and an aligned scholarship program for rising talent, of which 215 scholarships have been granted. Corrs' secondment program aims to send up to thirty lawyers overseas in any given year and it now encompasses more than 15 countries. In the true spirit of partnership, Corrs' secondee program is reciprocal.

"We are very proud of the connections our secondment and scholarship programs have built around the world and we continue to look for practitioners with a different skill set and drive, who understand the strength of global connectedness." Mr Denton said.

APPOINTMENTS

Corrs CEO John W.H Denton AO and Andrew Messenger, Chairman of Global Engagement announced the following new Co-Chairs of Corrs' International Business Groups as:

  • Africa: Partner Clare Corke
  • Europe: Partner Stephen Stern
  • Middle East: Partners Alan Churley and David Yates
  • North America: Partner James Whittaker
  • South America: Partner Christian Owen
  • United Kingdom: Partners Phil Catania and Rod Dann

These appointments support the existing international Co-Chairs in place:

  • China: Partners Lizzie Knight, Stephanie Daveson and Andrew Lumsden, and Dr Geoff Raby, former Ambassador to the People's Republic of China
  • India: Partner Bruce Adkins and Senior Associate Arvind Dixit
  • Japan: Partner Stephen Price and Mr. Peter Grey, former Ambassador to Japan
  • Korea: Partners Robert Clarke and Andrew Chew
  • South East Asia: Partner Justin Fox.

"These individuals are talented, commercial and connected, and are able to help Corrs' clients whether it's for inbound or outbound cross border purposes," said Mr Messenger.

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