Mills Oakley builds Financial Services practice in Melbourne

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Leading national law firm Mills Oakley has strengthened its Financial Services practice with the hire of partner Stephen Putnins from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Mr Putnins has over 15 years’ of top tier private practice and in-house legal experience, the latter including many years at leading funds UniSuper and Australian Unity. He is an expert in superannuation, funds management and investments, advising major Australian superannuation funds, global financial services institutions, investment managers, banking and corporate clients.

Stephen’s broad experience includes advising clients on major projects, general corporate and operational matters, outsourcing, cross border transactions, acquisitions and divestments, investments, derivatives, governance, regulatory and compliance matters, investor and member disputes and remediation.

Stephen has significant experience across all asset classes, internally and externally managed, including Australian and international equities, cash and fixed income, property, private equity and infrastructure including multiple billion dollar public private partnerships (PPPs). He has advised on successor fund transfers, major wind-ups and has significant regulatory and governance experience including executive accountability regimes and design and distribution obligations. He has advised on global non cash payment facilities, digital assets and carbon trading too.

Recently, Stephen has assisted a number of clients to manage a growing number of mandates with an environmental, social and governance (ESG) theme. He has advised on Reconciliation Action Plans and the Modern Day Slavery Regime, informed by his earlier experience as legal counsel at World Vision, and has moderated expert panel discussions. He is a sought-after expert who has facilitated impact investing, energy and environmental financial products, carbon abatement and derivatives. Stephen will join partners Luke Geary and Mark Bland in creating a cross-disciplinary Modern Slavery, ESG and impact investing offering for clients.

Mills Oakley CEO John Nerurker said that Stephen’s arrival would help facilitate the firm’s ambition to build a “one stop” capability for superannuation funds and financial services clients.

“Stephen’s work on ESG investments is an example of his leadership in areaswhich strike a chord with clients and reflect a growing level of board scrutiny and concern,” he said. “His skills and expertise, combined with the deep regulatory experience offered by our existing practice under Mark Bland, will strengthen the team’s holistic client appeal.”

Commenting on his move, Stephen added that he was attracted to the dynamic, innovative culture at Mills Oakley:

“The insourcing of talent at the top funds has raised the bar for their external advisors. Firms need to offer cutting edge advice and genuine flexibility in the way services are delivered. In Mills Oakley, I am fortunate to be joining a firm which fosters this approach,” he said.

Stephen commenced with Mills Oakley on October 4.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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