Managing partner of AU commercial firm leaps to global top tier

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has made good on its commitment to enhance client engagement with the appointment of Sharon Cook as managing partner, clients.
 
Cook has a wealth experience in firm leadership, having been the managing partner of Australian-headquartered leading commercial firm, Henry Davis York (HDY), for the past six years.
 
Her exit from HDY was confirmed earlier this year, but until now her choice of successor firm has remained under wraps.
 
In her new role as managing partner, clients, at KWM, Cook will work closely with Australian Managing Partner, Sue Kench, and the firm’s leadership team to further develop and enhance the quality, consistency and sophistication of client relationship management across the firm as well as the development of partners and lawyers’ client relationship skills and leadership capability.
 
“Our number one priority is to provide the best client experience consistently across the whole firm and put our clients at the centre of all we do. Sharon’s strong leadership, strategic thinking and deep client relationships will help accelerate our client-centric strategy. Sharon will pay an integral role in ensuring our clients get the best of KWM whenever they do business with us,” says Kench.

And Cook is no stranger to her new firm – she actually commenced her legal career at KWM and spent 12 years there in both its Sydney and London offices.

But since becoming managing partner of HDY in 2008, Cook has led it on a journey of major transformation towards becoming a tier one national law firm.
 
She says she’s “enormously” proud of what she and her team achieved at HDY, and she’s confident about the firm’s future.
 
“However, I am thrilled to be returning to KWM. In many ways it feels like coming home…I strongly believe in the strategic direction and vision of the firm, it is a very exciting opportunity,” she says.
 
Cook will retire from HDY this December and commence at KWM in February 2015. 
 
As reported in August, top litigation partner at HDY, Michael Greene, has been elected for the next three-year term as managing partner.
 
Greene, who has also held numerous senior leadership roles including as a member of the board, leader of the firm's commercial disputes group and head of the firm's government sector practice; told Australasian Lawyer the announcement of his election “was one of the best moments in my professional career”.
 
“I feel privileged to have been with Henry Davis York for 21 years, for the opportunities I have been offered and for the great people I have worked with. Henry Davis York is part of who I am, and I am excited about the possibilities for all of us that lie ahead,” he says.
 
And in other news, HDY has just announced the appointment of internationally recognised restructuring lawyer Cameron Cheetham from Kirkland & Ellis in New York, as partner. 
 
Cheetham, who has worked in Sydney, London and New York and has a strong focus on representing Australian, US and other offshore private equity, hedge funds and special situations funds in restructuring financially stressed corporations, will join the HDY partnership in January.

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