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Hall & Wilcox appoints 1st female chair

Hall & Wilcox has appointed the first female chair of partners in the firm’s 105-year history, taking over from previous chair Mark Dunphy.

user iconLauren Croft 07 December 2022 Big Law
Hall & Wilcox appoints 1st female chair
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For the first time in over 100 years, Hall & Wilcox has appointed a female chair: Emma Woolley, who will commence her new role on January 2023.

Ms Woolley has been a partner at the firm since 2012, leading the growth of Hall & Wilcox’s private clients practice and also being the firm’s pro bono partner of more than five years.

She has also been a member of the Hall & Wilcox board since 2019. Ms Woolley is a board member or holds advisory roles for a number of privately held family groups and is on the board of the Williamstown Football Club. She was also on the board of the Australian Communities Foundation for nine years.


“I am delighted to be appointed as chair of Hall & Wilcox, a firm with a long history of inclusion and with such a great culture,” she said.  

“I am honoured to take on the role and look forward to working with our great leadership team.”

Hall & Wilcox managing partner Tony Macvean said Ms Woolley actively supports the firm’s vision and values (Hallmarks) and will bring significant governance experience to her new role.

“Emma is admired in the firm and the market for her quality, judgement and gravitas. I can’t wait to work with Emma as we embark on the next stage of the firm’s growth and evolution,” he said.

Mr Macvean also paid tribute to current chair Mark Dunphy, who has decided not to stand for a further term as chair, having been in the role since 2015.

“As chair, Mark has made a significant contribution to the firm and its leadership and governance. Mark has overseen a period of significant growth for the firm — during his tenure, we have more than doubled in partner numbers. His rigorous and considered approach in leading the board has been a strength of the firm, and is appreciated by the board and leadership team,” he said.

“Partners value Mark as a sounding board and conduit with management. I have loved my time working with Mark as chair, and can’t thank him enough for his contribution. I am glad that he will still be around as a senior partner and counsel.”