Chris is currently based in Dubai and is General Counsel at the holding company of a Middle East quasi-sovereign wealth fund conglomerate.
Before moving in-house, Chris was a senior associate at a top-tier Australian and then English ‘magic circle’ firm (respectively, McCullough Robertson and Allen & Overy). Whilst in private practice in the early and mid 2000s, Chris acted predominantly for banks and large financial institutions including, among others, Westpac, St George, NAB, BNZA, ANZ, HSBC, RBS as well as a range of institutional investors, financial services companies, PE houses and REITs. He has advised clients on a wide variety of borrowing/lending, corporate, commercial, capital market, real estate and restructuring transactions.
After transitioning in-house in 2009, Chris has overseen some of the Middle East’s most high-profile and complex commercial and investment transactions. His deal list is extensive with expertise covering banking, insurance, property, funds and distressed asset deals using a variety of conventional, Islamic and derivative funding structures and vehicles.
Following the global financial crisis in 2009/10 he was involved in a geo-strategic and systemic-risk USD12Billion corporate and debt restructuring which was widely acknowledged by experts to have been one of the Middle East region’s most complex restructurings.
In recent years, as the nature of corporate governance and the role of in-house counsel more generally have evolved, Chris has focused on providing a critical link between the CEO and board level, and the conglomerate’s myriad subsidiary, affiliate and global operating entities and their respective business needs.
Chris has also advised on all manner of corporate governance, fiduciary and directors’ duties and compliance issues to countless boards and directors across multiple jurisdictions. He has served as a non-executive director, or ‘invited adviser’, on some SME and start-up boards and as a trustee for family trust structures.
Chris has a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations major) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland. He has a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Master of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology (banking, securities and insolvency law), and an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Hult International Business School in Boston. Most recently, Chris was awarded the Certificate in Corporate Governance from the Faculty of INSEAD at Fontainebleau, France (INSEAD IDP-C (20); October 2017).
Chris is admitted by, and maintains a current practicing certificate with, both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Senior Courts of England and Wales. He was a shortlist finalist for the England and Wales Law Society’s ‘Solicitor of the Year’ award in 2014 and his team won the Corporate Counsel Middle East ‘Small Legal Team of the Year’ award in 2014 and the In-house Community Counsels of the Year ‘Small Legal Team of the Year’ and ‘Change Management Team of the Year’ in 2017. Chris is Australian and may become fanatical about rugby and cricket. He enjoys skiing and occasionally attempts golf.