Barry Nilsson appoints new Chairperson

18 June 2024

Barry Nilsson has appointed Insurance & Health Law Principal, Peter Murdoch, as Chairperson for a two-year term, effective 1 July 2024.

Mr Murdoch succeeds National Insurance & Health Lead Principal, Rhett Kennedy, who has served as Chairperson for two consecutive two-year terms.

Mr Murdoch brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the role of Chairperson. His strong industry reputation in insurance law includes recognition in Doyle’s Guide as a Preeminent Public & Product Liability Lawyer since 2015, and ongoing recognition in Best Lawyers for Insurance Law since 2016.

An integral member of the Barry Nilsson team since 2001, Mr Murdoch’s expertise encompasses a broad range of industries and professions, including local authorities, sporting organisations, mining, small-to-medium sized enterprises, and engineering.

Mr Murdoch said his priority will be to continue to execute the firm’s strategic plan and deliver sustainable growth across its national footprint.

“In our diamond jubilee year last year, we made a deliberate strategic decision to grow the firm’s capacity and capabilities to support the evolving needs of our clients in insurance and family law.”

“To achieve this, our priority is to continue upholding our track record of excellent client service, which goes hand in hand with an internal focus on staff engagement, and identifying, attracting and developing our next generation of leaders,” Mr Murdoch said.

“This approach has strengthened our firm, and we are pleased with the headway we’ve made across the board in achieving our strategic goals. By focusing on our clients and our people, everything else falls into place”

“In particular, the strategy set an ambitious revenue target which we are on track to achieve ahead of the 2025 timeframe.”

Despite the current economic climate, demand for Barry Nilsson’s legal expertise has continued to grow, with a near 20% increase in revenue this financial year. Staff numbers have also grown by 11%, including an almost 9% increase in lawyer headcount to 236.

“This progress would not be possible without our national team of highly skilled staff, a number of whom we’re thrilled to recognise in our upcoming firm promotions.”

“I’d like to thank Rhett for his contributions as Chairperson over the last four years and I look forward to continuing to work alongside him, as he is a valued leader within the firm.”

Outgoing Chairperson, Mr Kennedy, said he is incredibly proud of the firm’s achievements over the past four years.

“We’ve achieved a great deal, including substantial national growth, the launch of a refreshed brand, setting a renewed strategic direction for the firm, and recently launching our 2026 D&I strategy,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Our Impact Project has also achieved significant milestones during this time, including reaching our $200,000 pledge to our major community partner, Shoreline – an organisation dedicated to providing First Nations students with educational and employment pathways.”

“Our pro bono strategy has also resulted in a highly successful pro bono practice, with BN quickly exceeding the aspirational National Pro Bono Target.”

“Our Graduate Pro Bono Placement Program saw a 100% uptake from graduates which is a reflection of our commitment to cultivating a strong pro bono culture early in our lawyers’ careers.”

“We estimate that, by the end of this financial year, the firm will have provided free legal services of around 8,700 hours valued at over $2.6 million in fees waived and around $50,000 in contributions which support clients and community legal centres.”

BN’s contribution and commitment to the pro bono space has been recognised on a national level, with finalist nominations for ‘Pro Bono Partner of the Year’, as well as ‘Not-for-Profit, Pro Bono or Community Legal Centre Lawyer of the Year’.

“I depart the role of Chairperson at the end of June confident that we have excellent leadership continuity and I look forward to being part of the continuing Barry Nilsson success story.”

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