September 2019

CEO Update: Dominating media headlines

The apartment combustible cladding crisis and its far-reaching implications for not only apartment owners but also for builders, insurers, and councils to name some of the parties impacted, have dominated media headlines in recent months.

It’s an exceedingly complex issue and one that Bartier Perry Partner David Creais and Senior Associate Mark Glynn have for a number of years now been working on behind the scenes with industry and property groups, including the Master Builders Association.  

This has enabled our team to distil into clear concepts what some of the issues are - including cladding being passed around client events so that people can see for themselves. 

Both were recently quoted on how buyers could spot risky cladding in a new apartment building. The answer – not very easily.

The broader commercial and disputes resolution teams that they’re part of have been bolstered further in recent months by three new Partner appointments.

Firstly, Senior Associate Sharon Levy, who has extensive experience and knowledge in general commercial disputes, was promoted to partner at the firm.

Outside of work Sharon is passionate about helping victims of domestic violence and you can hear how she went about setting up a desperately needed women's shelter in Penrith.

And we’re delighted to welcome two new Partners to the firm, Jennifer Shaw and Jason Sprague.

Jennifer’s practice includes acting and advising in relation to contract, professional negligence and intellectual property disputes. Jennifer also has an in depth knowledge in professional discipline matters.  She is a panel member of the Law Society’s Professional Conduct Advisory Panel and acts for and advises solicitors and other professionals in disciplinary matters.

Jason’s commercial focused experience covers two decades of advising start-ups and companies on IP matters, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, procurement and a range of cross-border transactions.

Another issue gaining attention recently is the role of whistleblowers in our society.

Bartier Perry co-hosted a fascinating session with Women on Boards focusing on new legislation being introduced in New South Wales to protect whistleblowers.

Directors and CEOs will increasingly need to take any whistleblowers claims seriously and deal with them in the appropriate way to avoid both reputational damage and possible legal consequences.

Partner James Mattson, who presented at the event, also spoke to the ABC about a key High Court ruling on the use of social media in speaking out in the workplace. The use of social media in this way, and in broader terms, increasingly presents challenges to business leaders and to some extent we find ourselves in uncharted waters. This is no doubt a space to watch.

Finally, while our priority always is to focus on our clients, there have been some important developments at the firm in recent months.

Many of you will be aware of the recently announced Australasian Legal Alliance (ALA) with Melbourne-based Logie-Smith Lanyon. This strategic alliance between the two firms will see us work together under the ALA banner to provide our clients with even broader reach and expertise across the region.

And Partner Andrew Frankland has been appointed as the new Chair of Bartier Perry, succeeding David Creais.

Andrew has been with the firm for over a decade and brings to the role a deep understanding and commitment to our culture.

And as I started this update by mentioning David it seems fitting to wrap it up by thanking him for his progressive leadership and inspiring contribution as Chair over the last seven years.  Thank you David.


Author: Riana Steyn

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