Board of Directors


Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill has practised as a barrister in NSW since 2004. She holds a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Sydney. She has a broad ranging equity and commercial practice covering such areas of the law as contracts, corporate law, insolvency, equity, property, trusts and wills and estates. Sarah has given presentations in many of these areas at industry conferences and to various legal bodies. She was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW, the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia in 2003. Sarah was appointed to the Board of Directors of the CLA in 2018 and was elected President of the CLA in 2022.
Vice President

James Biady

Jim Biady is an experienced commercial lawyer who has practiced for over 35 years. He advises clients in a number of specialty areas including structuring of entities, employment law, commercial litigation, dispute resolution, sales & purchases of businesses, sales & purchases of property, commercial leasing and Wills and Probate. Jim also has a keen interest in SMSF’s, trusts and assisting business owners to resolve difficult issues. He focuses on understanding each client’s business and finding appropriate commercial solutions. Jim is a Business Law Specialist accredited by the Law Society of New South Wales.


Norman Donato

Norman has practised since his admission in 1987 in corporate finance and corporate commercial law. His qualifications include Bachelor degrees in Law and Economics, as well as a Master of Laws. Norman has extensive corporate and finance experience obtained from advising national and international clients including government bodies, major banks, public companies, SMEs and entrepreneurs. He is associated with a number of industry bodies. Norman was appointed to the board in 2008 and was the President of the CLA from 2015 to 2022. He is currently the Treasurer of the CLA.


Stephen P McMahon


Stephen is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (Finsia). He is the principal of McMahon Worth Forensic Accountants. He specialises in forensic and investigative accounting, litigation support, business valuations, investigating complex financial and business issues which require the application of a combination of accounting and detective skills. Stephen's interests are in the commercial law and finance sectors. He was appointed as a Director of the CLA in 1998 and currently serves as the Membership Chairman.

Edmund Finnane

Edmund Finnane has practised as a barrister in NSW since 1997. He has a wide ranging practice in commercial law and equity. Edmund is particularly interested in corporate insolvency, mortgage law, equity and contract law. He has delivered seminars to members of the legal profession on areas including commercial damages, equity, insolvency law and de facto relationships law. Edmund is co-author of two books: Equity Practice and Precedents (2nd Edition) (Finnane, Newton and Wood, Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 2019), (as well as the first edition of that book published in 2008) and Pleading Precedents (Azize, El Khoury and Finnane [6th Ed], Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 2009). From 2009 to 2022 he was the author of the annotations in the Thomson Reuters annual and online publication, Corporations Legislation with Annotations. Edmund has been the general editor of the Company and Securities Law Journal (Thomson Reuters) since 2018.

Sally Moten

Sally Moten was admitted as a Solicitor in NSW in 2005. She has a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Hons), and Bachelor of Commerce, both from the University of Sydney. Sally specialises in all aspects of employment and safety law and has spent several years working in large commercial laws firms, Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) and Henry Davis York (merged with Norton Rose Fulbright). She also spent time working in-house at a large NSW Government Agency.  Sally joined Landers and Rogers Lawyers in November 2017 as Special Counsel. She was appointed as a Partner in 2018. Sally provides advice on matters ranging from performance management and disciplinary matters to defending unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, managing industrial disputes, advising on restructuring of organisations, defending WHS prosecutions and providing WHS advice on compliance and safety legislation. Sally joined the CLA’s Board of Directors in 2016.

Professor Gerard Ryan

Gerard is a Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA). He graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Economics and Law. His Masters of Law included an Honours thesis in competition law. Gerard was admitted as a solicitor in 1991. He was a partner in a large city commercial law firm, specialising in commercial work in the energy sector (including electricity derivative transactions, large energy infrastructure projects and regulatory advice).  From 2008 to 2012 he was Dean of the School of Law, Sydney at UNDA. His main areas of teaching are contracts, commercial practice, commercial drafting, ethics, corporations law and property. He has supervised research students in contracts, competition law and other areas. Gerard and his UNDA colleagues have conducted the CLA’s annual CPD presentation on ethics, practice management and professional skills since March 2011. He joined the CLA Board of Directors in 2018.

Max Wilson

Chief Executive Officer

Max Wilson joined the Association as Chief Executive Officer September 2000. He is a Graduate of Macquarie University, and the Commonwealth ASIA Pacific Centre, India. He was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Management Communication in June 2001. Max is an associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a member of the Australian Society of Association Executives, the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and the Australian Marketing Institute.

Ben Whitten

Ben has practised as a barrister in Queensland since 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws majoring in commercial law. Ben practises in all aspects of commercial and insurance litigation, with special interests in matters involving technology, engineering and construction issues. Having practised both as a solicitor and as a barrister, he has gained considerable practical experience in representing companies, businesses and individuals in mediations and in interlocutory, trial and appeal hearings in all levels of State and Federal courts. Ben is a committee member of the Building Dispute Practitioners Society, member of the Society of Construction Law of Australia, member of the Australian Insurance Law Association, and an interstate member of the Melbourne Technology Engineering and Construction Chambers. Ben’s work has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide as recommended leading counsel in construction law for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Ben is a Fellow and Director of the CLA, and the inaugural Chairman of the Queensland Division of the CLA. He was appointed to the CLA’s board in 2021.

Alison Haly

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