Deakin University taps technology specialist as new law school dean

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Deakin University has appointed a top commercial law expert as the new dean of its law school. Jenni Lightowlers takes on the role, after serving as interim dean since May.

Lightowlers is a founding partner of the boutique technology law firm Francis Abourizk Lightowlers. The university said she is considered to be one of Australia’s leading advisors to Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) as well as to research, innovation and commercialisation entities and universities in both Australia and the South Pacific.

“We now have a strong, stable and well-balanced executive team in place to continue to consolidate the upward trajectory of the school,” said executive dean Mike Ewing. The school has also named criminal law expert Marilyn Mcmahon deputy dean.

The law school recently ranked among the top 100 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU), and among the top 150 in the QS World Rankings.

Lightowlers has long been involved with the university – she was appointed to Deakin Council in 2004, and served as deputy chancellor from 2009 to 2015. Last year, she was made a vice chancellor's distinguished fellow and conferred an honorary doctorate for her services to the University and for her support of research and commercialisation in Australia.

She provides legal advice to various Australian Stock Exchange-listed firms in relation to technology and advises clients on a wide range of issues across the health, biotech, IT, defence export controls, mining, corporate governance, government and education sectors, the university said.

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