CEDA member profile: Herbert Smith Freehills


Tony Joyner, Managing Partner - Perth, Herbert Smith Freehills


What does your company do?

We are a global top-tier commercial law firm, with 23 offices around the world. We are the largest fully integrated law firm in the Asia Pacific.

In Australia we have been voted as the Best Professional Services Firm and Best Law Firm in the annual Financial Review Client Choice Awards for the last three years.

We help multinational clients, local corporations and government organisations with their legal and commercial issues.

What are your company's top priorities for the coming year?

The world just keeps getting more complicated, and commercial transactions and laws and regulations get more complicated with it. That complexity is exacerbated at the moment, when economies and markets are so uncertain.

Our priorities for the coming year fall out of this. We are focussing on how to best help our clients manage, and ideally flourish in, our ever changing world, in a way that is practical, commercial and cost effective.

Part of the solution to this will be found in innovation, and this is a big focus for us at the moment.

How long has your company been a member of CEDA?

We held a number of state based memberships with CEDA, dating back to 1999. In 2013 we took up a Premier National Membership.

Who is your favourite/most influential speaker at a CEDA event?

The quality of the speakers is always high; and more than that, the speakers are often different from those we usually see around the traps – they bring a fresh perspective.

In October 2014 I was lucky enough to attend the presentation on A Vision for infrastructure in Australia, for which the speakers were:

  • John Fitzgerald, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia;
  • Adrian Kloeden, Chairman, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia; and
  • Tony Shepherd AO, Chairman, Federal Government Commission of Audit.

It is hard to imagine a higher quality panel for a discussion on that subject.

And in 2015 we had the opportunity to host a lively and genuinely enlightening conversation with other members of CEDA, and Oliver Ramsbottom, a partner, with McKinsey & Company, Shanghai on emerging issues with China and Australia.

Why is your company a member of CEDA?

There are only a small number of independent policy/’think-tank’/research organisations in Australia that it is essential for any engaged business to be involved with, and CEDA is one of them.

The quality and topicality of its speakers, events and publications, and the way that it not just contributes intelligently to, but drives, the national discussion is unsurpassed; and has never been more important.

That is of course in turn reflected in the high calibre membership and participation CEDA generates, and so the networking opportunities and the shared insights are even more and valuable.

As a member of CEDA we have the unique opportunity to join and influence these critical conversations, that are so important to  the future of Australia’s economy, and indeed Australia more generally.