Liz Humphry will become the newest partner of the Clayton Utz Perth office come 1 January - one of five new vertical partners the firm has appointed nationally.
A corporate law specialist, Liz says her promotion to the partnership reflects the continued expansion of the Perth Corporate practice and the firm's confidence in the outlook for the Perth market.
"Clayton Utz already has market-leading corporate capability here in Perth. I add greater depth to the team, with significant experience in public and private M&A, ECM and regulatory compliance matters, particularly in the energy and resources sector," says Liz. "As we continue to grow, the Perth Corporate team - as part of the Clayton Utz national corporate team - offers clients the whole range of corporate law expertise, with the support of all the other key legal services they need."
Liz says she is genuinely optimistic about the increasing number of cross-border deals the team is seeing, particularly as the Perth economy continues to pick up. "A number of our clients and much of our transactional work is cross-border, both inbound and outbound. We're anticipating more cross-border activity heading into 2019."
Originally from Perth, Liz began her legal career with Clayton Utz in 2005, re-joining as a Senior Associate in 2012 after some time working in Sydney including at a Magic Circle firm. As a result, Liz is very familiar with the Perth market, and the firm's clients. Liz has a passion for working with clients to get the best possible outcomes and setting them up for success. For her, it's about being business as well as legal minded. "We have a real client service ethos at Clayton Utz," she says. "How we can deliver to our clients a smarter, more efficient, cost-effective service that makes their lives easier and shows we understand their business and commercial drivers is always front-of-mind for me."
Alongside her corporate M&A practice, Liz is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion - a key strategic driver for Clayton Utz. She co-chairs the firm's national LGBTI program and actively promotes initiatives such as flexible work, business excellence / skills training, and mentoring, all of which have made a difference in her career. "With four children 6 years and under, I would have found it very difficult to make headway in my career without the firm's support," she says. "It says a lot about our culture and approach that partnership was never not an option for me."
She says the legal profession continues to make steady progress with respect to diversity and inclusion. "We're seeing more women being promoted to the partnership ranks - Clayton Utz has a target of 35% of women in the partnership by 2022 (as of 1 January we will have 29%) - and a greater focus generally on making the changes we need to make to ensure we have a more diverse profession into the future."
Clayton Utz Perth managing partner Nick Cooper says Liz's appointment is a vote of confidence in her, and the firm's continued success. "We have made a significant investment in Perth in building the right capabilities and having the right people on board to provide the type of services our clients need and which reflect how their businesses are changing and growing," Nick said. "Right now, there's a genuine sense of renewed confidence in the Perth economy and we're excited to watch that play out and be part of it with our clients."