Global Chair and Global Co-Head of Restructuring
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Related services and key industries
- Regulation and investigations
- Financial services and regulation
- Government relations and public policy
- Risk consulting
- Risk advisory
- IBOR and benchmark reform
Key industry sectors
Scott Atkins was appointed global chair of Norton Rose Fulbright on 1 January 2023. He also serves as global co-head of financial restructuring and insolvency, the firm's Australian chair, and head of the Australian risk advisory practice.
Scott is an internationally acclaimed industry leader in restructuring and insolvency, as well as risk, governance and complex litigation. He has more than 25 years' of industry experience and is based in Sydney.
Scott has one of the most reputable restructuring and insolvency practices in the Asia-Pacific, having been recognised as Australia's only Eminent Practitioner for this category in the Chambers and Partners regional legal rankings for each of the last three years. Scott's gravitas and deep industry knowledge, experience and insights see him shape the global policy and regulatory agenda in the restructuring and insolvency industry and act on some of the most high-profile and precedent setting insolvency matters in the world.
Scott is recognised for his leading experience in cross-border insolvency, acting on both inbound engagements in Australia and advising clients on outbound engagements in jurisdictions including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Nauru and the Netherlands. Scott has also led capacity building, policy development and reconstruction projects across a broad range of countries, including the developing economies of Myanmar, Armenia, Bhutan, Brunei, Nauru and Indonesia. These projects have enhanced economic and financial stability and leveraged public and private sector funding, foreign investment and development finance to unleash the economic potential of these nations.
In Myanmar, Scott led a team which drafted a new insolvency and restructuring framework, culminating in the passage of Myanmar's Insolvency Law in February 2020. This work was transformative in Myanmar's modernisation process, and the legislation now serves as a best practice model for other nations as they seek to strengthen their domestic and cross-border insolvency regimes to underpin financial and economic stability.
Scott is also president and an inaugural fellow of INSOL International, the peak global restructuring and insolvency professional organisation consisting of over 11,000 members. Scott is currently leading the design and implementation of INSOL's 2030 Strategic Plan, which seeks to drive change and transformation across both INSOL and the broader insolvency ecosystem, leading to enduring contributions to global economic growth, financial stability and the enrichment of communities in emerging markets.
Additionally, Scott serves as as immediate past president of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), Australia's restructuring and insolvency professional association with over 2,200 members.
In the risk space, Scott established the firm's dedicated risk advisory practice in October 2018, the first of its kind among Australian law firms. The success and impact of this practice has since been the focus of a Harvard Law School case study.
Scott's risk advisory practice leverages the capability of a team of multi-disciplinary personnel across the world and traverses a multitude of complex, rapidly evolving legal, regulatory and ESG issues – including cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, money laundering and financial crime, corporate governance and culture, the challenges posed by technological change and disruption, and the business risks and opportunities arising from the global transition to net zero emissions. Scott acts for public and private sector organisations and their officers across various key industries and sectors, including energy and resources, government, banking and finance, fintech, transport, infrastructure, food, agribusiness and tourism.
From 2019 to 2021, Scott was joint Solicitor Assisting the Inquiry conducted by the Honourable P A Bergin SC into Crown Casino, established by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. The inquiry has been instrumental in effecting wide-spread change and regulatory scrutiny across the casino and gaming industry, and in the regulation of money laundering and organised crime in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.
Scott has also been a global thought leader on novel and emerging issues such as the commercialisation and governance of outer space, and the complexities arising from cryptocurrency and the interplay of fintech and traditional finance and payment models.
Scott is recognised as a trusted advisor and a persuasive, effective leader and communicator. He regularly publishes thought leadership articles to a worldwide audience on the latest market developments, substantive law and policy reform and complex legal trends and emerging issues. He is also a sought after speaker, and each year he presents at conferences, seminars and industry events across the world.
Professional experienceExpand all Collapse all
- Harvard University - Leadership of Professional Firms (2012)
- Fellow of INSOL International (2009)
- LLM, University of Sydney (1996)
- BEc LLB, Macquarie University (1993)
- Federal Court of Australia 1999
- High Court of Australia 1999
- Supreme Court of New South Wales 1994
- Chambers Guide 2020 and 2019 – Eminent Practitioner – Restructuring and Insolvency
- Nominated as inaugural Insolvency Partner of the Year 2016 by Lawyers Weekly
- Awarded Fellow, INSOL International in 2009
- International Insolvency Institute Member (invitation only, conferred 2016)
- Awarded the 2015 ARITA President's Award for outstanding contribution to the professional development of ARITA
- Listed as a leading lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013
- Listed as a Leading Lawyer in IFLR 1000 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012
- Listed by Best Lawyers for Restructuring and Insolvency 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
- Recognised as a Recommended Lawyer in Restructuring and Insolvency in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013
- Listed as one of the world's leading Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers in Who's Who Legal: Insolvency & Restructuring 2014
- Ranked as a Pre-eminent Lawyer in insolvency in the Doyles Guide to The Australian Legal Profession 2015
- Listed as an expert in Insolvency and Reorganisation Law in Best Lawyers 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011
- "An emerging leader of the profession who stands out in the cross-border insolvency space." Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2014
- Author of the Australian jurisdiction chapter in B. Wessels & R.J. de Weijs (eds), International Contributions to the Reform of Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, European and International Insolvency Law Studies (2015) Eleven International Publishing, The Netherlands
- Author of the Australian jurisdiction chapter in F.D. Yates (ed), Avoidance of Antecedent Transactions and Cross-Border Insolvency (2014) INSOL International, London, UK
- Author of the Myanmar jurisdiction chapter in Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency in Asia 2020, April 2020, Asian Business Law Institute and International Insolvency Institute
- L.C. Ho (ed) A Commentary on the UNCITRAL Model Law: Cross-Border Insolvency Cases and Materials (Australian Chapter) (2017) Globe Law and Business, London
- S. Atkins "Cross-border insolvency protocols: co-operation and co-ordination" in K.E. Lindgren (ed) International Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution (2009) Commercial Law Association of Australia in conjunction with the Ross Parsons Centre, University of Sydney
- S. Atkins and K. Luck "How Australian courts are advancing corporate and business rescue during COVID-19 and the agenda for enduring law reform" International Corporate Rescue (2020) vol 17(4) 249
- S. Atkins and K. Luck "Corporate and business rescue in a COVID-19 world" ARITA Journal, June 2020
- S. Atkins & N. McCoy "First appellate decision in Australia on UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency: a warning to foreign investors and liquidators" International Corporate Rescue (2014) vol 11(5) 306
- S. Atkins "INSOL Hong Kong - 2014" Australian Insolvency Journal (2014) vol 26(2) 41
- S. Atkins, R. Mason & S. Maiden, "The emerging framework of cross-border insolvency in and around Australia: Saad Investments, Japan Airlines and Lehman Brothers - part 1" International Corporate Rescue (2011) vol 8(4) 262
- S. Atkins, R. Mason & S. Maiden, "The emerging framework of cross-border insolvency in and around Australia: Saad Investments, Japan Airlines and Lehman Brothers - part 2" International Corporate Rescue (2011) vol 8(5) 329
- S. Atkins "McGrath v Riddell: attrition in the battle between universalism and territorialism and the ongoing harmonisation of international insolvency law" International Corporate Rescue (2009) vol 6(3) 141
- S. Atkins "Public policy: the law's guardian in the clash between insolvency and maintenance in the context of litigation funding arrangements" Insolvency Law Journal (2004) vol 12(1) 41
- S. Atkins "The jurisprudence arising from judicial review of schemes of arrangement" Insolvency Law Journal (2003) vol 11(1) 18
- Consultation group expert for Guide on the Treatment of Insolvent Micro and Small Enterprises in Asia, May 2022, Asian Business Law Institute and International Insolvency Institute
- 10 May 2019 - United Nations Commission on Commercial Law, Canberra 'Law Reform: Processes and Approach to the Reform of Law in Emerging Economies – A Case Study on Myanmar'
- April 2019 - INSOL International Annual Conference, Singapore. Plenary address 'Taskforce 2021 and the Strategic Future of INSOL International – Launch of Taskforce 2025'
- May 2018 - INSOL International Annual Conference, New York. Plenary address 'Taskforce 2021 and the Strategic Future of INSOL International'
- March 2017 - INSOL International Quadrennial Conference, Sydney. Plenary address 'Launch of Taskforce 2021 and the Strategic Future of INSOL International'
- 24 January 2016 - INSOL International Annual Regional Conference, Dubai UAE. Plenary address 'Taskforce 2021 and the Strategic Future of INSOL International'
- 28 May 2015 - ARITA Annual National Conference, Perth Australia. 'ARITA's Place in the Insolvency World' - a panel discussion comprising INSOL President Mark Robinson, ARITA President Mike McCann, ARITA Technical Director Kim Arnold, moderated by Scott Atkins
- 7 May 2015 - RITANZ 14th Annual Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Conference, Auckland New Zealand. 'Legal Update from Across the Tasman' - an update of topical cross-border and Australian insolvency cases and developments relevant to New Zealand, moderated by Justice Paul Heath
- 22 March 2015 - INSOL International Annual Regional Conference, San Francisco USA. Paper presented: 'The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in Action - Sad about Saad'
- 16 October 2014 - American College of Investment Counsel Annual Conference, New York. A discussion of bankruptcy issues, trends and developments in the U.S. and Australia with the Hon. Cecelia G. Morris, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of New York and Scott Atkins of HDY, moderated by Michael Reilly (then of) Bingham McCutchen LLP
- 21 May 2012 - INSOL International Annual Regional Conference, Miami, Florida, USA. A panel discussion moderated by Robert Hertzberg on the topic of "New and Emerging Legal Issues: current issues and new cases from across the globe"
- President, ARITA, May 2019 – current
- Board Member, ARITA, 2010 – current
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission Liaison Group 2011 – current
- Vice-President, INSOL International, April 2019 – current
- Board Member, INSOL International, 2014 – current
- Chair of INSOL International 2021 & 2025 Strategic TaskForce 2014 – current
- International Insolvency Institute (invitation only) Member 2016 – current
- INSOL International Global Insolvency Practice Course Core Committee 2015 – current
- Inaugural Chair of INSOL International Fellows Committee 2009 – 2015
- Editorial Board Member, International Corporate Rescue 2011 – current
- Editorial Board Member, 'Global INSOLvency', ABI & INSOL International 2010 – 2015
- Editorial Board Member, INSOL's Technical Newsletter 2012 – 2015
- Chair, Marketing & Sponsorship, INSOL Main Organising Committee – Hong Kong 2014
- INSOL International Global Insolvency Practice Course - Lecturer on "Co-Operation and Co- Ordination in Practice" with R. Pedone & T. Graulich, 22 January 2016, Dubai
- Visiting lecturer on cross-border insolvency at University of Sydney in its undergraduate and postgraduate law programs lead by Professor John Stumbles - 2012 - ongoing
- Australian Restructuring Insolvency Turnaround Association, Insolvency Education Program Course Leader 2009 - 2014
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