John W. H. Denton

Partner and Chief Executive Officer. Melbourne.

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John W. H. Denton

Corrs Partner and CEO John W.H. Denton is a global leader in three arenas; a legal expert in the areas of government, workplace relations, and international trade and investment; a national business leader and an international adviser on global policy. His advice is sought by the nation’s most prominent corporations and by governments and international bodies alike.

John is one of three Prime Ministerial representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); Chair of ABAC’s Finance and Economics Working Group; Chair of the Business Council of Australia’s Global Engagement Taskforce; board member of Asialink and Asia Society; Chairman (emeritus) of the Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia and a founding member of the Australia China CEO Roundtable meetings.

He was appointed by the Prime Minister and Treasurer as one of two originating Australian members of the B20, the business reference group of the G20 and is also now a member of the Australian B20 Leadership Group.

John was also an external adviser on the Federal Government advisory panel that oversaw the development of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper released in October 2012; a member of the Australian Government Cabinet sub-committee for the Asian Century White Paper review process; and a member of the Strategic Advisory Board advising the Government on implementation of the White Paper and on emerging policy issues.

John was a government appointed panel member of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and has been Chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia for more than a decade.

He is a former diplomat, has a double degree in Arts and Law, and is a Harvard Business School alumnus.

He is recognised as one of the best labour law practitioners in the Asia Pacific by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey and one of Australia’s best government and trade lawyers in the Best Lawyers peer survey.

John's Expertise

“Corrs has been blessed with great leadership and its commercial, client-led focus is second to none” Australian Financial Review

John's Leadership

  • APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Co-Chair (Finance and Economics Working Group)
  • The B20, the Business Reference Group of the G20 Australian Member
  • Australian B20 Leadership Group Member
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) G20 Advisory Group Member
  • Business Council of Australia (BCA) Chairman - Global Engagement Taskforce
  • Australia for UNHCR Chair
  • Teach for Australia Board Member
  • Asialink - The University of Melbourne Board Member
  • Asia Society Australia Board Member
  • Arts Centre Foundation Governor
  • Best Lawyers Advisory Board Board Member
  • The Global Foundation Advisory Council Member
  • Australian American Leadership Dialogue Participant
  • Georgetown University - Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies Board Member
  • Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia Chairman (Emeritus)
  • Large Law Firm Group (LLFG) Director
  • Employment Law Alliance Australian Representative
  • Harvard Business School Alumnus
  • Law Institute of Victoria Member

What others say

  • “Due to his profile and the advancements [Corrs] have made, they sit comfortably now among the top legal firms in Australia, in many ways punching above their weight.” John Eales, Learning from Legends Business
  • “The Denton web of influence extends far and wide” Australian Legal Business
  • “Long one of the most influential lawyers in the country, Denton is the personification of his vision for a law firm.” Australasian Lawyer Magazine
  • “The legal profession has a new male champion of change in John Denton” The Australian
  • “John Denton is a man on a mission” Australian Legal Business
  • “Best Lawyer - Labour” Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey
  • “A prominent figure in ... business circles ... a consummate networker with connections across the spectrum, from the corporate world, to the arts and into politics.” Fairfax Press
  • “Best Lawyer - Government” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2009-2014
  • “A ready recognisable name” Australian Legal Business
  • “A doyen of Australian policy in China” The Australian
  • “The firm is known for its thought leadership role in the Asia Pacific” Australasian Legal Business
  • “Denton the architect of a massive restructure of the firm that has seen it broaden its expertise and engage in high- level regional economic discussions” Lawyers Weekly
  • “Best Lawyer - Employee Benefits” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013 & 2014
  • “Best Lawyer - Trade” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2010-2014
  • “Melbourne Government Lawyer of the Year” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014
  • “Hot 40 Lawyer - Trailblazers - The intrepid lawyers breaking new ground in the legal industry” Australasian Lawyer Magazine, May 2014

John's Thinking

John's Speeches

Leadership Speeches

A complete archive of speeches delivered by John W.H. Denton and other members of Corrs' leadership.
All Leadership Speeches »