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New MD tips the Balance

New MD tips the Balance

AdventBalance has appointed Sandra Gibson as its managing director, bringing the percentage of females in the firm’s management to 50 per cent.

Gibson (pictured) will focus on the firm’s business strategy in Australia. She is joined at the top by John Knox, managing director in Asia, and chief executive Ken Jagger, who oversees the overall strategic direction of the firm.

“It was time to tighten up our roles ...  John is brilliant at business development, Ken is an amazing strategic mind and I’m pretty good on the numbers,” Gibson told Lawyers Weekly.

Gibson may be the sole female at the head of the firm, but women account for 70 per cent of the total workforce and half of the management team.

She said AdventBalance’s business model, which sees lawyers seconded to clients on fixed-term projects, offers a range of flexible work options that attract women.

“I’m a believer in ... structuring your business to attract the best people so you get a truly strong and diverse workforce,” she said.

Gibson does not, however, support quotas, reiterating that a better approach is to change the structure of a firm to make it more attractive to lawyers, irrespective of gender.

In the new role, Gibson plans to build on existing client relationships, which may involve “following clients to other states and even up to Asia”. She added that attracting new clients is also on her agenda.

The firm won’t channel its efforts to a specific sector, with Gibson claiming “it is market specific”. But she did single out oil & gas in WA and IT, manufacturing and financial services in Sydney and Melbourne as growth areas for the firm.

She also indicated that AdventBalance will add more lawyers in each of its locations to meet client demand.

Gibson joined AdventBalance in 2010 and has more than 20 years’ management experience, including in roles within private practice and in-house legal teams.

The firm recently opened an office in Hong Kong to allow its lawyers to debrief there after completing secondments with the firm’s clients in Asia.

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