Mark Pistilli is new Gadens CEO

“Firm on the rise” picks lawyer with extensive experience “building and managing high-performing law firms and teams”

Mark Pistilli is new Gadens CEO

Mark Pistilli is the new Gadens chief executive of the Melbourne and Sydney partnership.

Pistilli moves to the firm from PwC, which he joined as legal partner in 2016 in a three-partner move that also included Danny Simmons and Joni Henry. The three joined PwC just months after leaving Clifford Chance and launching a boutique firm in Sydney.

Pistilli and Simmons were name partners at Chang, Pistilli & Simmons. When Clifford Chance combined with the legacy firm in 2011 to expand in Sydney, Pistilli became the Magic Circle law firm’s managing partner in Australia.

Jeremy Smith, Gadens chairman, said that the national firm is delighted to appoint someone of Pistilli’s calibre to lead the firm. Pistilli, an experienced law firm leader, is also known for his expertise in corporate and commercial matters, including in M&A, board advisory, major projects, and litigation strategy.

“Gadens is a firm on the rise, and Mark's background and experience will be of enormous benefit to us – especially as we look to significantly grow our presence in the Sydney market,” Smith said. “Mark has a wealth of experience in building and managing high-performing law firms and teams.”

The firm has been on a steep growth curve in the last three years, especially in lateral appointments. Smith said that 40% of the firm's current partnership has been appointed in the last three years, and many among the new partners joined from top-tier Australian and global firms.

He said that the appointments have boosted key practice areas, including banking and finance, construction, corporate advisory, disputes and litigation, and intellectual property and technology.

The Gadens edge

Pistilli said that Gadens is “going places” and that he is delighted to have been trusted to lead the firm through the next stages of its growth.

“Gadens has a significant growth strategy focused on the quality of its people and work the firm does to provide clients with an outstanding client experience, innovative solutions and value,” he said.

The new CEO also shared the characteristics he expects will give the firm an edge against rivals.

"Gadens is known as a leader in the lawtech space, and continues to collaborate with other businesses to develop innovative solutions for clients. The firm's commitment to flexible ways of working, building a collaborative culture and attracting quality people are areas that really resonated with me in our discussions as being critically important to the partners in their aspirations as to where they want to take the firm – all of which manifests in the wellbeing of all people within the firm,” he said.

Pistilli also expounded on what swayed him to move to Gadens.

"Throughout the recruitment process I was extremely impressed by the passion shown by the partners in their firm, their ambition to build a leading national firm, and the acceptance that the firm needs to evolve to meet the ever-changing market. Their desire to continue to build depth in key practice areas and Sydney was another area that attracted me to Gadens,” he said.

Smith said, “Mark is an exceptional candidate, great leader and ideally suited to the role. The learnings he will bring to Gadens from leading domestic and global law firms will be of significant benefit in growing our firm in the years to come. We are all looking forward to the contribution he will make.”

Mark Pistilli

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