Media Centre - Henry Davis York

Diane Smith-Gander joins Board of Henry Davis York

Leading Australian law firm Henry Davis York is pleased to announce Diane Smith-Gander has joined its Board as a non-executive director (independent Board member).

Diane is a well-respected company director and last year was described as one of the most influential women in the country. She is presently a non-executive director of Wesfarmers Limited, Chairman of Broadspectrum (a role she will relinquish pending shareholder approval of her appointment to AGL Energy’s board) and President of Chief Executive Women, the leading organisation for senior women leaders across Australia's corporate, public service, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Diane was previously a partner at one of the world's leading business consultancies, McKinsey & Company.  She remains a senior advisor to McKinsey in Australia.

Diane has also held directorships with organisations including CBH Group, the NBN Co, BPAY Limited, Tourism WA, Basketball Australia and the Australian Sports Drug Agency.

HDY Chairman Scott Atkins said the appointment of Diane as a director was a coup for the firm and would strengthen the board immeasurably.

"Our firm understands that standing still is not an option, nor are slow and methodical changes to the way we operate. The pace and ongoing rate of change in the legal sector in Australia and internationally is virtually unrivalled by any other sector of business and we must continually and quickly adjust to the challenges this brings.

"We are genuinely excited by Diane's appointment as it strengthens our ability to meet these challenges head-on and ensure our firm is prepared and fully equipped to exploit opportunities as they arise. 

"Diane has outstanding business nous and acumen and will provide rich and valuable strategic, business and governance insights and knowledge. An experienced, independent voice at the table will also provide unique perspectives when it comes to our assessment of new business opportunities and areas for investment in the future.

"Introducing true innovation to more effectively deliver value to our clients is a key area for ongoing development at HDY and we are all excited at the opportunities we will have to draw on Diane's rich experience and knowledge in this area."

The attraction of HDY for Diane was to work with a dynamic organisation that clearly understands it must keep reshaping and remaking itself, not only to stay relevant in a hyper competitive environment, but to succeed through delivering excellence and value to its clients.

"HDY recognises it must swiftly and continually evolve in order to succeed in a market for legal services that faces enormous disruption occurring at unprecedented pace.

"I look forward to making a contribution to the ongoing and sustained success of this leading Australian law firm. Organisations that respect their legacy but have a bias to change for the good help Australia grow." 

Diane's appointment is the first time in the firm's rich history that a NED has been appointed to the Board.