As Thiess’ Legal Manager, Corporate and Compliance, Brent and his team provide commercial support and advice enabling Thiess to develop and grow.
We spoke to Brent about what he loves about his role, his team and how it feels to be named as finalist in the Infrastructure, Utilities and Energy Lawyer of the Year category for the Corporate Counsel Awards.
How long have you been with Thiess?
I’ve been with Thiess for 15 years, first starting as a Contract Administrator as part of the Thiess Sedgman Joint Venture at the Saraji mine in Queensland.
What do you/your team do each day?
We help to ensure the business complies with all relevant laws and obligations globally. We also support business growth through mergers and acquisitions, maintain integrity through training and enforcement of our Code of Conduct, manage litigation and provide company secretarial services to our operating company and subsidiaries.
What do you love about your role?
There’s a lot of variety in what we do, we’re not the kind of lawyers who pore over documents all day. We get involved in the business as much as we can and are fortunate enough to work with almost every team at Thiess in some way.
What’s your proudest achievement?
I was involved in establishing our business in South America which was a highly complex transaction requiring the acquisition of a contracting company, renegotiation of a head contract with the client, refinancing equipment and employment of numerous people. We had a fantastic cross-functional team who spent a lot of time together in Chile and the result has been Thiess establishing a presence in Chile.
What have you learnt during your time with Thiess?
People enjoy helping others and if you tell people what you want to do and you work hard for it, then you will find plenty of colleagues who will support you get there.
What does inclusion mean to you and what are the benefits of having an open inclusive workplace?
Diversity is fundamental and, in my experience, the most successful outcomes are obtained when you’re engaging with people from a multitude of backgrounds, life experience and world views.
What does it mean to you to be named as a finalist for the Infrastructure, Utilities and Energy Lawyer of the Year in the Lawyers Weekly Corporate Counsel Awards 2021?
It’s great recognition of the support I’ve received at Thiess and I’d like to think it’s an acknowledgement of our team rather than myself individually.
Congratulations and good luck Brent for the awards night this Thursday!
Fast facts about Brent:
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pilot and flew solo in a Cessna when I was 16. Unfortunately, it’s expensive to become a pilot and so I decided to get straight into the workforce which led to me joining the Queensland Police Service when I was 18.
Who inspires you? Who is your role model and why?
Richie McCaw, the famous All Blacks captain who led his country 110 times, won two world cups and had a winning percentage of 90 per cent.
Best driving song and why?
My song choices are driven by my kids these days. Is it wrong that I really like Love is an open door from Frozen?
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
My wife Fran and I would love a month in Italy, although I think she’s a bit worried I’d spend all my time sitting in a café drinking piccolos, feeding the pigeons and happily arguing with all of the other old men.