Law firm MinterEllison has officially appointed a new CEO, with Virginia Briggs to serve as CEO and managing partner of the firm.
The news comes after former CEO Annette Kimmitt was ousted from the role earlier this year, following an email she sent to staff checking in with them regarding the firm’s representation of former Attorney-General Christian Porter.
Briggs has been acting in the role since Kimmitt’s departure. The firm said she received far-reaching support from the partners as part of its formal voting process.
MinterEllison’s board determined that Kimmitt’s position was untenable back in March, due to an email she sent to staff saying she was hurt by one of the firm’s leading partner’s decision to represent Porter. In the email, Kimmitt also took the opportunity to check in with staff, saying that “the nature of this matter is clearly causing hurt to some of you, and it has certainly triggered hurt for me.”
Kimmitt had been with the firm since 2018, she had come across from accounting firm EY. She had been criticised for being a “non lawyer” operating a law firm.
Briggs has been practising as a solicitor for 31 years. She is also described as a “second-generation Partner”, with the media release noting that her father served as partner in the MinterEllison Canberra office. It was there that Briggs completed work experience as a 14 year old.
Chair David O’Brien noted that she, “has a deep knowledge and understanding of MinterEllison, and legal and professional services, and has a successful track record in practice leadership, growing businesses and developing people.”
Briggs said on her appointment that her goal as CEO is to see the firm becoming the “market-leading brand” in its chosen markets and industries, and known by clients and the broader communities for the work they do.
MinterEllison is working to reach a 40 per cent female partner target by 2025.