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Perpetual Guardian has a new general counsel

Perpetual Guardian appoints a new General Counsel as it prepares for the start of a new regime for trusts.

Thursday, August 15th 2019, 12:36PM

Henry Stokes

The country’s largest trustee company firm has appointed Henry Stokes to the role of General Counsel. 

He was most recently General Counsel – Retail for state-owned trustee company Public Trust and was previously a partner of Hamilton law firm McBreens Solicitors. He holds
a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Waikato.

“I was attracted to the business because of its track record of innovation and its reputation for being proactive in the fiduciary services sector. The company is out there in the marketplace looking to provide a different approach and be more flexible and innovative, both for employees and services to clients. As an organisation it is forward-thinking and willing to lead and advocate for positive change.”

“The legal profession and trustee services can be viewed as traditional and not particularly fast-paced – though to me, as someone that likes to break down these stigmas, the trustee
services space is an area where you get to have a massive impact on more people. It is both a very interesting and rewarding area of law to be in.”

Stokes says in addition to his core duties as General Counsel, much of his focus in the first year on the job will relate to the new Trusts Act 2019, which will come into effect on 30
January 2021. “Perpetual Guardian is already leading the industry in trust management, but there is a lot more we can do as the obligations for trustees become more serious and
consequential. As the largest trustee company, we are in a unique position to unify the trustee industry and lead everyone forward to be ready for the coming changes.”

Perpetual Guardian’s General Manager – Personal Client Services John McFetridge says, “Henry’s expertise in our field is second to none, and we are very pleased to welcome him at
a time when Perpetual Guardian is focused on leading industry responsibility in relation to new legislation and also progressing innovation in the sector. Henry’s fine balance of deep legal talent and strong people skills makes him the ideal General Counsel for the next phase of our business.”

Andrew Barnes, the founder of Perpetual Guardian say Stokes’ experience and skill set were ideally suited to the business. “As a company we have maintained a focus on innovating from a traditional base, and Henry will lead much of our innovation across the personal client services business as well as advocacy in the new trust law environment. It will be critically important to have industry spokespeople who can bridge the gap between the law and consumers and help people understand what the law changes mean for them, and Henry is one of those advocates.”

Tags: Andrew Barnes Perpetual Guardian trusts

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