11 March 2020

Global business executive joins Bartier Perry board

This article was originally published by Tony Zhang for Lawyers Weekly on 11 March 2020. Trena Blair's comments were also sought by Sol Dolor for Australasian Lawyer on 13 March 2020.

A former American Express executive and global business consultant has been appointed as a non-executive director of the Bartier Perry board.

Trena Blair has been confirmed as the new board appointee. Her consultancy, FD Global Connections, has advised more than 50 small and medium-sized Australian companies looking to launch in the US.

“In a timing sense Trena is a perfect fit with Bartier Perry in that our firm and many of our clients we work with are growing fast,” said Bartier Perry CEO Riana Steyn.

“She’s also the perfect addition to ensure we continue to challenge our thinking and approach as a firm.

“In particular we will benefit from Trena’s knowledge of the tech sector and the rapid developments that will impact all businesses and the law.”

Ms Blair is known for her work in helping companies manage growth and her advocacy for female entrepreneurship.

Ms Blair, who was a regional vice-president of product and marketing for American Express before establishing her successful consultancy in 2014, said part of her role on the board was to bring a different perspective.

“I’m not a lawyer and I see things through a different lens based on corporate experience here and in the United States,” Ms Blair said.

“However, consistent with every other industry, technology and in particular artificial intelligence will continue to impact law firms."

“Having in place the governance structures, systems and culture to manage and help lead that evolution is key.”

Although law firms are facing the challenges of technology, according to Ms Blair it “does not replace a client-centric culture which is clearly one of Bartier Perry’s existing strengths.”

“Any good business is focused on both clients and culture and I do think we’re circling back to that as a society,” she said.

Bartier Perry chair, Andrew Frankland, said the firm had spent some time identifying the right candidate for the role rather than seeking an “insider” to join the board.