Leading human rights and public law expert Tessa van Duyn has been appointed CEO and Practice Leader of the Melbourne-based law firm, Moores.
Moores proudly boasts no gender pay gap, a practice leadership team that’s half female, and its place as one of the first major firms in Australia to abandon time-based billing.
Van Duyn began at the firm with a 50 year history in July 2019, following 11 years at the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission, where she led some of the most significant human rights cases in Australia.
“I am delighted to be entrusted by the team to lead Moores into the next version of itself,” van Duyn said in a statement. “I have found the perfect fit at Moores with my values, my experience and my purpose.”
“We will always be people-before-profits-driven, because we know that if we have the right people, the profits will follow,” she said.
“We focus on community and connection and the health and wellbeing of our people is a core focus as it enables our strong relational approach. As such, meeting employees’ needs in the context of what they value personally will remain paramount to the success of the company.”
She also shared her thoughts on the innovation that’s occurred at Moores, as well as the firm’s staff engagement.
“We actually innovate – we were the first law firm to ditch timesheets in favour of value pricing. Our staff love working here – in 2018, Moores ranked in the top 5 per cent of Australian organisations surveyed by InSync in relation to employee engagement. And, we are a purpose-driven organisation – we focus on working with ethical clients to deliver great outcomes that benefit the community.”
Andrew Sudholz is a Board member of the firm and said its values-driven approach and purpose of doing good is a natural alignment with van Duyn’s commitment to social justice.
Sudholz also shared his own thoughts on the push to end time-based billing.
“The culture of time-billing is competitive, stressful, fails to award efficiency, inhibits communication and certainty for clients, and discourages collaboration amongst employees. It was a bold move to remove billable targets firm wide, however it has paid off, and I’m proud of the firm we are today.”
van Duyn starts in the role this week.