I was honoured to be elected Chairman of Partners on 1 July 2019.
Over the years, MinterEllison has gone from strength-to-strength by embracing the opportunities that have come our way, building a firm which has today become Australia's largest by market share.
At our core, we believe our strength comes from the way we approach our work, with a focus on building authentic and enduring relationships and delivering exceptional work. At a time when industries are converging and clients are looking to their trusted advisers to solve their most complex legal and business challenges, trust, authenticity and consistently delivering exceptional solutions are more important than ever. I am confident that our CEO Annette Kimmitt and the leadership team, with the continued commitment of partners, now have the structures and capabilities in place to deliver on our strategy and continue our success.
Our size and scale allow us to assist more clients, and to play a significant role in delivering greater impacts for our people and our communities. Over the past financial year we have made great progress on a number of these fronts.
Led by our RAP Working Group, MinterEllison implemented and delivered on our first Reconciliation Action Plan. This Action Plan reflects the commitment of all our people to closing the gap for Indigenous Australians, and on improving access to economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
We continued to seek gender equality by introducing a 2025 Partnership gender target of 40:40:20 – 40% women, 40% men, 20% any gender. Already, we have exceeded this target on our Partnership Board and Executive Leadership Team.
The work of our PRiME committee has been pivotal in fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion across our firm, and this dedication and momentum was recognised during the year at the LGBTI inclusion Awards with MinterEllison being named an AWEI Gold Employer and a Top 3 Employer in Australia.
We also launched our first Disability Inclusion program, including an Accessibility Action Plan, focused on providing more universal access and support for our people and clients in our workplaces, our technology and in the community.
Our impact in the community sits right at the heart of who we are as a firm. We’re partnering with our clients to deliver transformative outcomes for social enterprise and our people are committed to breaking the cycle of disadvantage in the communities they live and work in, through pro bono legal work, student mentoring and our diverse community investment program. In FY19, we provided $11.4 million in pro bono support and supported more than 100 organisations through our Community Investment Program.
On 1 July 2019 Kathy Reid, Simon Scott and Julie Whitehead joined the Partnership Board. A warm thank you to outgoing Board members Andrew Rentoul and John Prevost for their dedicated contribution to the Board and service to the firm. I would also like to thank the outgoing Chair, Bruce Cowley, for his exceptional stewardship of the firm for the past six years and his guiding counsel over the many years he and I have worked together.
Chair of the Partnership Board
Welcome to MinterEllison's FY19 Annual Report, my first since joining the firm as CEO and Managing Partner in October 2018.
I'm proud to say the 2019 financial year was one of momentum and impact.
We achieved strong revenue growth, which continues to underpin our relentless focus on building and investing in the depth and quality of our legal capabilities and offerings.
At the beginning of the financial year, we announced 68 senior appointments including 18 new Partners, 8 Special Counsel and 42 Senior Associates. And throughout the year, we welcomed lateral Partner hires, expanding the partnership to 268 Partners across our international network.
We broadened our footprint in Asia to meet increasing market demand – welcoming 10 new Partners and their teams to our Hong Kong office. This move doubled our Hong Kong presence, added Disputes, Regulatory, and Intellectual Property bandwidth to our strong regional capability, and enhances our ability to take a leadership position in supporting and enabling trade and investment flows around the Asia-Pacific region.
It's also been great to see the hard work of our people recognised in the market this year. Once again, MinterEllison was the firm with the most ranked Chambers practice areas in the Asia-Pacific, we received the highest number of individual listings (210) in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Australia and were named one of Asia-Pacific's most Innovative Law Firms at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards for our industry leading Legal Operations Model.
Like all industries, the legal profession is facing disruption like never before. New technologies, innovations and market entrants continue to emerge at ever-accelerating rates, challenging us to constantly consider how we create and deliver value for our clients and our people.
With this in mind, our focus for the year ahead is on ensuring our business is agile enough to embrace the opportunities disruption presents.
To do this we are redefining the boundaries of what it means to be a law firm. Putting innovation and digital transformation at the heart of our strategy, and collaborating with our clients in a unique way.
Listening to the market, we have noticed increased demand from clients who are asking for innovative, seamlessly integrated capabilities to help them solve their increasingly complex legal and business challenges. To respond to these needs, we're investing in consulting solutions that represent clear adjacencies to our core legal offerings. Our latest addition – Infrastructure Consulting – allows us to offer our clients a combined one-stop service for the whole infrastructure project lifecycle, including technical, commercial, financial, legal and transaction management.
MinterEllison will always remain a law firm at our core, focused on building authentic and enduring relationships with our clients. In saying that, I'm proud that we're leading the way in redefining what a law firm is, and what it can be.
Thank you to our people, our clients and our partners for your continued energy and support. I look forward to working with you all in the year ahead.
CEO and Managing Partner of the Firm