Minter Ellison chief to step down

Australian firm Minter Ellison will initiate the search for a new chief executive partner, after incumbent John Weber announced he is to step down in June next year.

Weber took on the top role in January 2009, succeeding outgoing chief Guy Templeton who left the firm.

The firm’s board has engaged recruiters Egon Zehnder to assist in the search for Weber’s replacement and said it hoped to make an an announcement in February.

Prior to his appointment as the chief executive partner Weber was the firm’s Canberra office manager and government industry group head. He was also a senior partner in the dispute resolution department.

“I’m proud to have led Minter Ellison for the past five years and wish all my colleagues every success in the future,” he said in a statement.

Chairman Bruce Cowley commented: “John foreshadowed this with me some time ago. Whilst we regret his decision, we respect his call that now is the time to embark on the next stage of his career.”

Minter Ellison is the largest independent Australian firm by lawyer numbers. According to The Lawyer’s 2013 Asia Pacific 150, the firm had 815 lawyers, including 203 partners at the end of 2012. In financial year 2012/13, the firm’s revenue stood at A$416m, a 1 per cent drop from the A$419m previous year.

Under Weber’s leadership, Minter Ellison has moved forward its agenda to be an Asia-Pacific regional player in its own right. The firm currently has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia. Around 25 per cent of its revenue is generated by offshore work. The firm is understood to be considering the possibility of a Singapore opening.