Sam has over 15 years international experience and brings a diverse corporate governance, company secretarial, legal, risk management, compliance, and strategy background. Leveraging this background, she particularly enjoys bringing the ‘and …’ factor for clients. Her experience includes a range of sectors including regulated, consumer and government organisations. She initially joined Switch Legal in 2017, left for some company secretarial contract work, and returned to the fold in 2020.
She has a strong understanding of key themes from the recent Australian corporate governance reviews, and particularly enjoys considering how best to apply those themes to help manage confidence during these uncertain times.
Sam’s a typical camp mother: highly organised and loves a chat by the metaphorical campfire. Her favourite thing to do is to eat.
Sam qualified as a barrister in the UK, was a solicitor for Chapman Tripp, one of New Zealand’s top tier law firms, and has held senior positions in Australia, including senior lawyer for a Victorian Government Department and was a corporate governance leader for Australia Post.
She is passionate about keeping things simple, sensible, meaningful and useful – both in legal matters and corporate governance. In particular she advocates for the value best practice (and simplified) corporate governance adds to the business.
- Rewrote a constitution, departing from a complex ‘off the shelf’ document to useful and relevant to the unique circumstances of the company and easy to understand.
- Ensured relevant corporate governance foundations/frameworks were in place, improved governance and streamlined ways of working, such as the amount of board and committee meetings actually needed, by planning.
- Developed board and committee paper templates to help boards and management focus on what is important (‘so what’ factor vs tick the box).
- Developed streamlined policy template, making polices easier to understand ‘at a glance’ and therefore more likely to be read, understood and effectively implemented.
- Updated SaaS terms for a supplier whose services are increasingly being used across new government-driven EDI initiatives (like PEPPOL) – and analysed and advised the client on the Government’s extensive PEPPOL framework documentation for this purpose.
- Advised ASX listed financial institution on prudential standards and their practical application.
Past Law Firm
- Chapman Tripp – Wellington (Solicitor)
In-house Legal Roles
- State Services Commission – Wellington (Solicitor)
- Department of Transport – Melbourne (Senior Lawyer)
Corporate Governance/Company Secretarial Roles
- Australia Post – Melbourne (Head of Risk, Compliance, Assurance and Reporting)
- Docklands Studios Melbourne (Company Secretary)
- ANZ Bank – Melbourne (Assurance Manager)
- Various short-term contract/consulting roles, including:
- MLC Life Insurance – Melbourne (Deputy Company Secretary)
- Blackhall and Pearl – Melbourne (Associate Director, Board Reviews)
- LLB (hons) law degree – University of Derby, UK
- Postgraduate diploma in professional legal skills – The City University, London – Inns of Court School of Law, UK (to qualify as a barrister)
- Postgraduate diploma in applied corporate governance – Governance Institute of Australia
- Graduate Member Australian Institute of Company Directors Course
- Fellow Governance Institute of Australia
- Fellow Chartered Governance Institute (formerly institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators)