Former Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman David Knott has come full circle, returning to Allens Arthur Robinson where he began his career in 1971. Allens managing partner Tom Poulton spoke to Lawyers Weekly about his new advisory ammunition, with whom he became partner in 1976.
“We have always known him and been friends with him. Now he is back amongst friends,” Poulton said.
With more than 30 years of legal, investment banking and regulatory experience under his belt, Knott’s new, much more senior role as a special advisor involves assisting Allens’ legal teams in advising clients on regulatory, corporate governance, commercial issues and financial services.
“Knott brings to our firm an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise that will benefit our clients in Australia, the Asia Pacific and beyond,” said Poulton. “We expect him not just to be sitting in an office in Melbourne but to be part of teams across Australia.”
Kicking off at the beginning of February, Knott’s Melbourne-based role will also involve consulting clients on developments in his areas of expertise, as well as on more strategic issues. “It’s a part-time role and I imagine he will want to build up a portfolio of board positions,” said Poulton. “There may be some advisory roles he will want to take on an individual basis.”
Despite changes in the firm and its current international client base, Knott stressed that he was confident about taking on the new role. “It is of course now a very much larger organisation with an expanding presence in the Asia Pacific region,” he said. “That means new challenges, and I look forward to working with partners and lawyers whose approach and professionalism I’ve long respected,” he concluded.