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DLA Phillips Fox appoints new head of board

DLA Philips Fox has appointed a new chairman on its board.

user iconOlivia Collings 20 November 2009 The Bar
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DLA Philips Fox has appointed David East as Chairman of the Board.

Sydney-based East replaces interim chairman, Martin Wiseman, who has held the position of Chairman since March 2008.


East has been a member of the board since July 2008 and joined the DLA Phillips Fox partnership in 2002.

A finance and projects lawyer, East has more than 25 years experience in the field and has previously worked at Clifford Chance in London, where he worked primarily on syndicated lending and cross-border aircraft financing transactions; Blake Dawson, where he was partner; and Andersen Legal, where he was also partner.

“I am very excited and optimistic about our firm's future and I look forward to taking on the role of Chair at this time of significant change in the legal services market,” East said.

East’s other areas of expertise include infrastructure and PPP projects, construction and project finance, structured and tax effective finance, acquisition finance and debt capital markets. Recent infrastructure projects include desalination, water treatment, energy, health and hospitals and transport. Wiseman, who is a partner at the Auckland office, will remain at the firm, but not on the board.

Caroline Atkins, partner in the firm's Canberra office, will instead join the board. Atkins joined the firm in May 2002 and has over 25 years experience in commercial law advising both the government and the private sectors with specific expertise in government procurement, strategy and policy implementation as well as intellectual property rights, technology law and legal risk and contract management.

The new board appointments were announced at the annual Partners' Conference held in Melbourne last weekend, which was attended by 139 partners from Australia and New Zealand as well as 25 DLA Piper representatives and the firm's new Chief Executive, Tony Holland. Holland was appointed as the firm's new chief executive, late last month, but will not officially start take on the role until February 2010.

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