In-house star to lead KPMG NZ’s legal arm

In addition to a wealth of in-house experience, the new GC also worked with top AU and NZ firms

In-house star to lead KPMG NZ’s legal arm
Seshani Bala

KPMG New Zealand has appointed in-house star Seshani Bala to lead its legal arm.

“Seshani is an accomplished legal strategist and governance professional and is recognised as such. She has a proven track record leading high-performing teams to support business growth and transformation,” CEO Godfrey Boyce said. “We are pleased to add such talent to our leadership team as the firm continues to deliver on its purpose to fuel the prosperity for New Zealanders.”

Bala has a wealth of in-house legal experience gleaned from working across New Zealand and Australia. She served as group executive and GC at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and was global GC at several FMCG and tech companies.

She has tackled matters involving the specialties of law, governance, and risk management. She has also overseen international legal ops in industries like professional services, technology, FMCG and education.

Bala has advised on cross-border M&A transactions as well as PE deals. In addition to her in-house work, she also recorded stints in private practice with top Australian firm Clayton Utz and with Bell Gully.

She was included in the Legal500’s General Counsel Powerlist in 2019, and is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. She is qualified to practise in both New Zealand and New South Wales.

Joining KPMG New Zealand marks Bala’s return to the country after 13 years in Australia. As the Big 4 firm’s new GC, she will provide guidance on all legal and governance concerns, working with Boyce and risk management partner Paul Herrod.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to join KPMG New Zealand and to lead the firms’ legal function. I look forward to working with such a highly respected and diverse team and firm,” she said. “With a strong focus on people, clients, innovative solutions, and commitment to sustainability, it’s exciting to be a part of the firm as it transforms for the future.”

Bala’s tenure with the firm began last month, and she is presently working from Sydney. She will join KPMG New Zealand’s Auckland branch once borders lift.

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