Corrs partner and firm chairman Teresa Handicott announced Denton’s reappointment, saying she was pleased his “vision and momentum” will be maintained.
“John’s leadership of Corrs has been transformative, securing a competitive position in the global legal market,” she said.
“Since his initial appointment to CEO in 2001, John has implemented an agenda of strategic change and growth. His dedication to significant and sustained improvement across every area of the firm – from hard financial management to the softer aspects of firm culture – is evident in Corrs’ ongoing achievements and successes.”
The firm’s partnership voted unanimously to reappoint Denton – a decision Handicott said is a “resounding endorsement” of his leadership and strategy for the firm’s future.
Denton said it was a privilege to continue to lead the firm.
“It is truly humbling to be called on by my partners to continue to lead this great firm,” he said.
“I see this endorsement as a renewed mandate for change within the firm to support our 2015 aspirations of being a world-class law firm determined to drive Australia’s competitiveness and its economic engagement with Asia.”
During his tenure as the head of Corrs, Denton has had to steer the firm through some rough seas.
Corrs was struggling to match the financial muscle of the top tier shortly after he became the CEO, and he saw number of high-profile partners defect to rival firms. In 2006, Matthew Latham and Chris Ahern left Corrs to establish an Australian law practice for Jones Day in Sydney, while in early 2007, Corrs closed its Canberra office.
The firm was also viewed in many quarters as being “Melbourne-centric”.
Denton said he is committed to growing the firm’s scale and capability by at least a third by 2015, with a key focus on energy and resources and projects and infrastructure.
During his tenure, Denton has introduced a number of key initiatives, such as reshaping the firm around target sectors; an incentive-based remuneration system to reward high performers; a significant increase of investment in learning and development; a dedicated legal excellence program; international scholarships; a formal pro bono and giving program; and the launch of an ASX-compliant diversity policy.
In addition to his role at Corrs, Denton is one of three Prime Ministerial representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); chair of ABAC’s Finance and Economics Working Group; board member of the Business Council of Australia (BCA); chair of the BCA Global Engagement Taskforce; and chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia.
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