Qantas appoints new general counsel from Allens

Global airline Qantas has appointed Allens corporate partner Andrew Finch as general counsel succeeding the long-standing incumbent Brett Johnson who will retire in October.

Johnson served as the group’s general counsel for more than 17 years. In 2006 he advised the company on the $11bn takeover bid by an international private equity consortium, although the deal ended up being rejected by its board.

Allens was also one of the legal advisors to Qantas on the abandoned bid and the newly appointed general counsel Finch was part of Allen’s team in this transaction.

Finch has nearly 20 years of private practice experience, spending most of his career at Allens. Between 2000 and 2001, he worked at Linklaters’ London office. He returned to Allens in 2001 and became a partner in the firm’s corporate and commercial department the following year. Apart from Qantas, he has acted for clients such as Westpac, OneSteel, Hutchison, GPT and Leighton Holdings in a variety of major transactions.

Finch’s appointment as Qantas group’s general counsel will become effective on 1 November 2012. Following his retirement from the general counsel post, Johnson will assist with Finch’s transition and will remain as a consultant with Qantas.

In April 2012, Allens signed an exclusive alliance with magic circle firm Linklaters in a tie-up which will see the firms combine in an Asian joint venture (23 April 2012).

Earlier this month Clyde & Co raided Allens for a team of eight to launch two offices for the firm in Australia (2 July 2012). In Sydney Clydes will be joined by  Allens insurance and reinsurance head John Edmond, insurance partner Dean Carrigan and insurance consultant Oscar Shub, alongside financial services and insurance litigation partner Jenny Thornton in Perth. Clydes lists Qantas as a client of its aviation practice.