Mark Bryant – GC Powerlist
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Australia 2022

Industrials and real estate

Mark Bryant

General counsel and company secretary | Charter Hall

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    Australia 2022

    legal500.com/gc-powerlist/

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    Mark Bryant

    General counsel and company secretary | Charter Hall

    What are the most significant cases and/or transactions that your legal team has recently been involved in?

    Despite the challenges of FY21, Charter Hall generated record fund growth and equity inflows across the business. In FY21, Charter Hall achieved $11.7bn of FUM growth and this rate of growth has continued through the current financial year. Significant recent transactions have included the expansion of our existing BP partnership into New Zealand, the acquisition of a $280m Telstra telco exchange on Pitt St in Sydney CBD, the acquisition of the David Jones flagship in Sydney, the acquisition of the listed ALE Property Group and our partnership with Paradice Investment Management. Our legal team has also worked closely on the establishment of newly created investment partnerships with existing capital partners around the world.

    How do you feel the pandemic has changed the world of work for in-house counsel and the function of the general counsel?

    Technology platforms to enable remote working during lockdowns were put to the test at the height of the crisis. Despite the success of these, the pandemic demonstrated the value of face-to-face collaboration and the benefits of collaborating in the office. Integrating new team members, sharing knowledge, checking in on one another and building relationships with internal stakeholders is not something that unfolds naturally when we are not in the same physical space.

    The initial uncertainty at the start of pandemic required in-house counsel to work closely with internal clients to understand the impact on existing contractual arrangements. In our sector, the continually evolving leasing code and resulting impact across our thousands of tenant customer relationships was a big issue to manage.

    The success of temporary regulatory reforms related to electronic signing and the holding of physical meeting will helpfully lead to these becoming more permanent. The pandemic also saw us bring forward a number of technological improvements. One legacy of the pandemic will hopefully be the increased digitisation of processes to allow in-house teams to focus on where they best add value.

    Looking forward, what technological advancements do you feel will impact the role of in-house legal teams in the future the most?

    In our case, the pandemic brought about a need to bring forward a range of technological innovations, particularly around automation and digitisation. As a profession, we have now embraced electronic signatures and I think a shift toward document automation will inevitably follow.

    Mark Bryant - Australia 2019

    Group general counsel and company secretary | Charter Hall Group

    What are the most important transactions and litigations that you have been involved in during the last two years? With over 28 years’ experience in property investment and funds management,...

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