Freehills adds new positions to the board

Top five Australian firm Freehills has changed its management structure to add the new positions of chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO) and heads of both the Sydney and Melbourne offices.

It has also appointed a new board, with former senior partner Geoff McClellan taking on the role of chairman.
McClellan has been a partner since 1998 and will continue to run his litigation practice alongside the role of chairman.
Peter Hay, who was previously executive chairman, will become the new CEO, overseeing the management and performance of the firm. He will need to maintain the momentum that has made Freehills the leading Australian firm for M&A.
Gavin Bell who did not previously hold an executive role, will become COO. He will undertake the day-to-day management of Freehills proper, as well as its associated businesses.
John Colvin will become head of the Sydney office, replacing retiring partner Bruce Cutler, and John Atkins, who has been acting managing partner of the Melbourne office since earlier this year, will take on the role permanently.
Freehills was one of several Australian law firms to institute a national partnership structure last year, and the new positions were seen as necessary to cement this change.