Chris is a co-founder of Riordan & Riordan with his son, Simon. He is a highly regarded accredited business law specialist, combining a distinguished legal career of over 50 years with extensive business/corporate experience.
Chris’ outstanding reputation in the corporate sector stems from his integral role in reviving iconic Australian businesses: SPC (as Chairman) and Golden Circle (as Deputy Chairman). In each case, he was a key player in planning and implementing a major restructure of the business operations and capital structure. Each business was converted from an unwieldy, co-operative near financial ruin to a successful, financially secure, publicly listed entity.
He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Escor Group (a Smorgon family group). Chris has also previously held Chair positions with many high profile companies, including Patties Foods Ltd, Radio Rentals Ltd, Australian Glass Group Holdings Pty Ltd, Future Capital Development Fund Ltd and Ferndale Confectionery Holdings Pty Ltd. He also held a non-executive director’s role at Wingara Wine Group Pty Ltd (Katnook, Riddock and Deakin brands).
Chris is sought after as a strategist, negotiator and adviser by significant family groups, high net wealth individuals and SMEs for his skills and practical experience in major transactions. He regularly advises business founders on the formation of structures to protect family wealth and to ensure a seamless transition to succeeding generations.
Chris now focuses on the following areas:
- business contracts, strategy and negotiations
- mergers and acquisitions
- estate and succession planning
- joint ventures – including shareholder, unitholder and partnership agreements
- business structures – including company and trust formation and advice
His achievements include:
- he was in the first group of lawyers to achieve accreditation by the Law Institute of Victoria as Business Law Specialists
- Council member of the Law Institute of Victoria
- Founder – Law Week (a significant annual event on the legal calendar)
- the historic SPC workforce EBA in 1991
- merger of SPC and Ardmona Food Products Ltd
- sales of major businesses for the Cootes (Cootes Transport), Gschwenter (Britz), Copulos (Ollies Family Restaurants) and Deegan (QVS Group) families.