New executive team members have also joined from top firms
Chris Ward will be Cooper Grace Ward’s (CGW) managing partner for four more years.
“I am pleased to be continuing in the role of managing partner, and while I don’t doubt there will be challenges ahead, I do see many opportunities for independent firms like ours to succeed in a market where you need to be nimble and highly responsive to clients’ changing requirements,” Ward said.
CGW has also scored seasoned executives from top firms as it bolsters its management team. CGW has welcomed James Rimmer, Damon Graham, and Laura O’Hare, while Evelyn Fong Chong has been promoted internally to chief financial officer.
Rimmer, who takes on the role of marketing and business development director, was previously Ashurst’s head of business development in the Asia-Pacific region. Graham, who has become CGW’s IT director, was formerly EY’s IT service delivery manager for the Asia-Pacific. O’Hare, who was a best practice manager at MinterEllison, has been appointed as CGW’s technology and innovation project lead.
“Evelyn, Damon, James and Laura will work closely with Neil Baker, our director of people and culture, and me in driving forward the firm’s strategy and operations to best support our team and our clients,” Ward said.
Evelyn Fong Chong
CGW has also confirmed that CEO Janet Wilson will retire later this year as she relocates to North Queensland. The firm also said that Terry Batch, a senior partner in its insurance practice, will retire in June.
“Janet has been a driving force in the firm since 2006. She has helped steer the firm through a major period of growth and has lived and breathed the firm’s strategy and values as our CEO. Janet will be sorely missed by our team and we wish her all the best as she relocates north,” Ward said. “Terry joined us through our merger with Bain Gasteen in 2009 and has contributed strongly to the firm since that time, particularly in our commercial insurance practice. We wish Terry well in his retirement at the end of a very successful career.”