Issue No. 65 - June/July 2012
Presumption of innocence: MPs only?
Embattled Federal Parliamentarians’ claim to presumption of innocence is something Australia’s 2.2 million company directors can only dream about.
That’s the view of eminent South Australian lawyer and company director, Brett Cowell, who warns the Federal Government’s habit of enacting ‘laws to win votes’ is seriously impeding Australian business.
A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of AICD’s SA/NT Council and a member of the AICD Law Committee, Brett speaks with authority.
In April 1989, he formed the Adelaide-based commercial law firm, Cowell Clarke with Jon Clarke, aiming to develop a law firm providing specialist commercial law services of the highest calibre in Australia and internationally. The firm now has about 80 staff and continues to grow.
“I was Managing Partner of Cowell Clarke from its establishment until December 2001. From January 2002, I assumed the role of Executive Chairman of Partners,” Brett says.
Before Cowell Clarke, he led the commercial division of the Adelaide law firm then known as Ross McCarthy & Nosworthy.
During his 33-year career as a lawyer, Brett has dealt with corporate and business clients from small start up enterprises to large, publicly listed manufacturing and services corporations operating in Australia and overseas.
“I have advised in a broad range of corporate and business law matters. My specialties are M&A, takeovers, capital markets and corporate transactions. I also head Cowell Clarke’s IP/IT practice group, with a particular emphasis on commercialisation of high value IP assets in Australia and globally,” Brett says. “I have a passion for corporate leadership and how corporates work strategically.”
After building two businesses from start-up (Cowell Clarke and the commercial group within Ross McCarthy & Nosworthy) and working with clients, Brett has both led and experienced a wide variety of strategic a...