Global firm appoints next Australian chair

By Naomi Neilson|01 December 2020
Global firm appoints next Australian chair

A senior, Sydney-based restructuring and insolvency partner has become the next Australian chair of one of the world’s biggest firms.

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has appointed Scott Atkins as its Australian chair, effective immediately. Mr Atkins, who is also head of risk advisory in Australia, practises in a globally recognised, dual-track insolvency and risk role. He succeeds Perth-based partner and immediate past chair Chris McLeod.

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NRF Australian managing partner Alison Deitz said: “Scott’s long and diverse career as a trusted advisor to banks, public and private entities, and insolvency and restructuring practitioners, along with his numerous industry leadership roles, has been a great benefit to our firm and its clients.”

Ms Deitz added that she is looking forward to working closely with Mr Atkins as the firm navigates the changes facing clients and the business across the globe. She has also thanked Mr McLeod for his “wise counsel and the steady stewardship of our board throughout his term as Australian chair”.

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Mr Atkins is an experienced, cross-border insolvency practitioner and is president of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), Australia’s peak insolvency and restructuring professional association.

Among Mr Atkins’ recent international work was leading a team that partnered with the Asian Development Bank and the Union Supreme Court of Myanmar to draft a new insolvency and restructuring framework for Myanmar, culminating in the passage of Myanmar’s insolvency law in February 2020.

In the risk space, Mr Atkins has “deep, globally recognised experience” in the governance, culture and compliance issues that confront Australian and international companies and their officers, in what has become a “complex, rapidly evolving regulatory landscape”. He is also the co-lead partner assisting the Crown Casino inquiry on behalf of the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Atkins said he has had the privilege of engaging general counsel and board members through his role as head of risk advisory and has seen firsthand the challenges that major organisations face in a “complex and changing world”.

“As chair of Norton Rose Fulbright in Australia, I will apply the same ‘trusted advisor’ mentality for our leadership team and ensure we are doing everything we can to help our clients and people grow in the years ahead,” Mr Atkins said.

Global firm appoints next Australian chair
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