Lander & Rogers appoints former Coles managing director to board

Lander & Rogers' Melbourne office at 477 Collins Street features a boardroom table created and carved by Indigenous craftspeople.

Lander & Rogers has appointed retail industry heavy hitter and former Coles managing director John Durkan to its board on a three-year term.

Mr Durkan brings extensive commercial knowledge focused on strategic growth, market disruption and business transformation. He draws on over three decades of experience in large-scale food retailing and consulting in the UK and Australia.

According to Lander & Rogers' chief executive partner Genevieve Collins, "John offers a different industry-based perspective to our discussions about future direction, strategy and growth, which will be extremely valuable. We're proud and excited to welcome John to the board."

Mr Durkan is no stranger to the firm, having worked with its Real Estate & Projects practice for over a decade while in various roles at Coles.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Durkan said "I'm delighted to be working with an organisation with great vision, values and culture, and a focus on delivering great client outcomes."

"Lander & Rogers has the expertise and capability of a leading law firm, but the people and culture are different - in a positive way. The firm goes the extra mile to achieve the right result for the client, beyond just a commercial outcome", added Mr Durkan.

Mr Durkan sees exciting opportunities for the legal sector in unlocking data and analytics to drive superior outcomes for clients and firms, alike. "I'm particularly interested in the firm's focus on legaltech and improving the client experience through technology, data, process optimisation and new legal delivery models - and the potential for the use of artificial intelligence, which most firms aren't actively considering."

The non-executive director role is one of two on the Lander & Rogers board, which also includes Philippa Ryan, chair of the Standards Australia Blockchain Technical Committee and associate professor in the College of Law at the Australian National University, who has held the position since 2018.

Remaining members are drawn from the firm's equity partners and include Insurance Law & Litigation practice group co-leader Julie Smith as chair, chief executive partner Genevieve Collins, Real Estate & Projects practice group leader John Wells and Commercial Disputes practice group leader Greg McKenzie, making it a gender-balanced board.

Board chair, Julie Smith, said "John's appointment reflects our maturity as an organisation, and we expect it will be viewed positively by our people, clients and the market."

The news follows the appointment of new partners Tim McDonald, Vince Rogers, Sarah Fregon, Lisa Fitzgerald and five internal partner promotions in the past 12 months as the firm increases its capability and resource across its Real Estate & Projects, Workplace Relations & Safety, Commercial Disputes, Corporate and Family & Relationship Law practices.

Key contacts

Genevieve Collins

Chief Executive Partner

Julie Smith

Partner & Practice Group Leader