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Corrs reappoints CEO for second term

National law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth has confirmed its chief executive has been reappointed for a second term after a unanimous vote was made by partners.

user iconEmma Musgrave 25 June 2021 Big Law
Corrs CEO Gavin MacLaren
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Corrs CEO Gavin MacLaren will remain in the top job for a second term to 30 June 2028. The move comes after his reappointment was unanimously passed at a national meeting of the partners. It comes as Mr MacLaren’s initial appointment was due to end on 30 June 2023 however the term extension was brought forward.

Mr MacLaren said he was proud to be reappointed a second term, and thanked the firm’s staff and clients for their ongoing support.

“It has been a great privilege to lead Corrs through a period of transition and I would like to thank the firm’s clients and all our people for their support over the last three years, he said.


I have been delighted with the energy and enthusiasm at the firm. We have achieved a lot over the past three years and look forward to delivering on the next phase of the firm’s agenda. It is an exciting time to be at Corrs.”

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly on the decision, Corrs chairman Stephen Price credited Mr MacLaren on his proven track record whilst holding the leadership reins.

“The firm moved to reappoint Gavin for an additional term, ahead of the scheduled renewal process. The seven year extension reflects Corrs’ success under Gavin’s leadership, Mr Price said.

Over the past three years we have seen an improvement in our market position in a number of key areas, with a significant expansion of the firm’s client base, enhanced recruitment outcomes, positive cultural change, considerable growth in market share and profitability.

On behalf of the partnership I would like to thank Gavin for his vision, strong leadership and commitment to the firm’s success.”

Commenting further, Mr Price said that under Mr MacLaren’s leadership the firm has introduced a number of fundamental changes that have had a significant effect on the way in which Corrs delivers value to its clients, rewards outstanding contribution and encourages a supportive and diverse workplace.

In terms of the financial effect this has had on the firm, since Gavin commenced as CEO, Corrs has seen an increase of over $100 million in revenue and profitability per partner (PPEP) has doubled, he said.

Gavin has articulated a very clear and compelling vision for the future of the firm. Since Gavin was appointed, Corrs has experienced significant growth in terms of market share, revenue and profitability. The Board felt that it was important to decisively commit to this vision and ensure the firm’s long term stability.

Looking ahead

With its CEO reappointed for a further term, Corrs has its eyes set on the future.

Mr Price said whilst the unprecedented uncertainty related to the ongoing effect of COVID was a considerable challenge for all firms, Corrs’ response was swift but also measured, to address both the short-term imperatives and the long-term strategy for the firm, and in particular, retain and support all our staff”.

Rather than introducing reduced salaries, pay freezes or staff cutbacks in anticipation of the possible effect of COVID, Gavin focused on keeping partners and staff energised so they would continue to energetically engage with clients and identify new opportunities for the firm,” Mr Price said.

He put a lot of time and effort into ensuring our people felt secure, incentivised to work hard, and confident in the firm’s decision making, and this had a big effect on the firm’s performance.”

Going forward, Mr Price said Mr MacLaren is focused on achieving a position for Corrs in Australia which is equivalent with that of the independent elite firms in New York, London and parts of Europe and Asia”.

There are certain things that those firms have in common – theyre all highly profitable, they all have extremely talented partners and lawyers, they have the most difficult and challenging work for major clients, and they are firms which people aspire to work at,” he said.

As far as practice areas are concerned, Mr Price said undertaking the highest quality M&A work and working with other elite independent firms” has been an area of constant focus for Corrs.

I think that this focus has delivered excellent results. Focussing on these core areas such as M&A, major litigation, arbitration, regulatory investigations, competition and finance is what we will continue to do,” he concluded. 

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