Seasoned partner leaves private practice for GC post

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A global assets manager has recruited a seasoned finance lawyer to become its general counsel.

Margaret Cole has left Pinsent Masons to become the top lawyer at New Forests, an asset management firm that specialises in sustainable forestry investment and conservation finance. New Forests manages commingled funds and separate accounts for institutional investors and has $4.5bn in assets and funds under management.

Cole brings to the company more than three decades’ experience focused on finance. She was a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney from 1989, before joining the International Finance Corporation as principal counsel in 1991.

She then moved to White & Case in 1995. At the elite Wall Street firm, she practiced as a partner in London, Bangkok, and Singapore until 2005, when she joined ASX-listed investment and advisory firm Babcock & Brown Australia.

She moved back to White & Case in 2010 and relocated to the firm’s Abu Dhabi base. She joined Pinsent Masons and moved back to Sydney in 2016.

“As a steadily growing investment management business, New Forests must navigate increasing regulatory complexities and diverse financial, legal, and operating environments. I look forward to leading our team in the provision of high-quality services that not only support New Forests but also generate efficiencies and value for our investment clients,” Cole said.

 “Margaret’s extensive experience in global financial markets, and particularly in alternative investments, will be a tremendous resource to New Forests and the investment funds we manage,” said David Brand, the company’s founder and CEO. “Not only is she a veteran general counsel, but Margaret has shepherded businesses through significant growth phases, with a view toward deploying effective and pragmatic approaches to legal and compliance services. She will no doubt be an asset to New Forests.”

Margaret Cole


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