Proximity names co-CEOs, new executive leadership team

Proximity names co-CEOs, new executive leadership team

02 December 2021 By Jerome Doraisamy

National law firm Proximity has made changes to its executive leadership team, including co-chief executives and a new advisory board chair, as part of its strategy for long-term growth.

NewLaw firm Proximity – which is a finalist in five categories at tonight’s (2 December) Australian Law Awards and has won multiple Lawyers Weekly awards in recent years – has named Zoe Lynam and Mike Watson as its co-CEOs.

Ms Lynam steps into her new role after serving as the firm’s COO, while Mr Watson assumes his new duties after five years on the firm’s advisory board.

The appointments follow a big year for Proximity, in which it acquired Canberra-based firm Alliance Consulting Group, celebrated its 10th anniversary, promoted 20 professionals to more senior roles and – like many other BigLaw firms – implemented an employee vaccination policy. The firm has offices in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. 

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In a statement, the firm said that Ms Lynam will have joint responsibility for driving the business strategy while also overseeing the operational areas of technology, marketing and communications, business support and internal strategic projects and that Mr Watson will have joint responsibility for driving the business strategy and driving the sustainable growth agenda, as well as overseeing the finance, risk and legal operations of the business.

“Zoe brings significant focus and drive from her corporate experience and as an elite athlete and Olympic rower, [while Mr Watson’s] strong leadership experience and understanding of Proximity’s bold and collaborative culture make him the right fit for the co-CEO role”, the firm noted.

Elsewhere, Proximity will have a new-look advisory board, starting with the appointment of Kerri Hartland as its new advisory board chair.

Ms Hartland also serves as a principal advisor at the firm and will lead the board’s setting of the organisation’s strategic direction and will bring a robust market and client focus.

“Kerri has significant board experience and is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most experienced former senior public servants and departmental heads,” the firm proclaimed.

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Proximity co-founders Sean King and James Dunn will continue to sit on the advisory board and are set to strengthen their existing executive manager roles.

The firm said: “Over the past 18 months, we’ve really strengthened our corporate services leadership team – this new executive leadership structure is the next logical step as Proximity continues to mature and grow. It’s all about devolving the business leadership to people who are genuine experts in their field and supporting sustainable growth, with a great team who share the same values we are known for, so we can continue to provide quality support to our clients well into the future.

“The new structure provides more strategic focus for our client and people areas as we grow, but also enables better support and empowerment of the growing leadership roles within Proximity. We are thrilled to see Zoe step up to CEO after making such a great contribution in the COO role. It’s been an honour to support her career and to see her progress within Proximity. And bringing into the fold an experienced professional services executive like Mike speaks volumes for the positive trajectory Proximity is on – and we can’t wait to see this new team in action.” 

The changes are effective from Monday, 6 December 2021.

Proximity names co-CEOs, new executive leadership team
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