Baker McKenzie's Maria O'Brien becomes first female President of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Australia chapter. Maria is a director of TMA, as well as the head of the Restructuring & Insolvency (R&I) practice at Baker McKenzie's Australian offices and a member of the firm's global R&I Steering Committee.

In Australia, the TMA is the pre-eminent industry body concerned with promoting the benefits of turnaround. In doing so, it draws on the skill and experience of the leaders in turnaround and restructuring in Australia that make up its board and members of its various committees.

This appointment recognises Maria's long standing as a respected insolvency and restructuring practitioner and the long term commitment of both Maria and Baker McKenzie to the TMA.

In assuming the position, Maria stated: "I am proud of what TMA has achieved in promoting turnaround and restructuring in Australia including by law reform, particularly through a period of immense upheaval caused by COVID-19. I thank my predecessor Carl Gunther for his excellent stewardship of the TMA during COVID, and commend him for bringing an organisation well known for the very active participation of women to 40% female board representation."

When asked what she hopes to achieve in her term as President, Maria responded: "I am excited to return to a 'post-COVID normal', and the resumption of the TMA's outstanding in person annual conference and state events. I am committed to the reinvigoration of the TMA's education offering including to help engage new members and sponsors in turnaround. I also look forward to continuing to work with our fabulous board, our hard working state committees and general manager Allison Robinson, as well as with our valued sponsors and partners, to promote the benefits of turnaround in Australia."

Maria is a restructuring and insolvency professional with a background in commercial litigation. She has considerable experience acting for distressed or insolvent companies, their external administrators and creditors on a wide range of insolvency issues (both contentious and non-contentious), including informal workouts, with a particular focus on cross-border restructuring and insolvency. Maria also has extensive experience in facilitating the court approval of members' and creditors' schemes of arrangement under the Corporations Act.

Maria is a Fellow of INSOL International (the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals), and has been ranked as a Leading Individual in Restructuring/Insolvency by Chambers Asia Pacific every year since 2011. She has also been ranked in the peer-assessed Best Lawyers for Insolvency and Reorganisations every year since 2009.

Diarise the ‘in person’ 2021 TMA National Conference on 6 and 7 October at Crown in Sydney - not to be missed! Details at

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