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The role and function of general counsel continues to transition from primarily legal to one integrally involved in strategy and operations. This evolution provides GC’s an opportunity to reassess their relationship with the organisation and how to best serve it. What does it mean to be a ‘trusted advisor’ and how do you get there? How have organisational expectations evolved as the role of GC and legal departments changed? We asked an expert panel for their thoughts.
- Examining additional skill sets and traits needed to be an effective advisor?
- Navigating organisational dynamics when advising on strategy, operations and other key functions
- How has the evolving role of the GC changed its relationship with other parts of the organisation?
- What drives success for the modern GC?
Chief Legal Counsel, Canon Oceania
Legal Counsel, Legal & Governance, Corporate Services, Tourism Australia
General Counsel, Schindler
Head of Legal, Nova Entertainment
The past year has brought novel challenges to the Australian employment legal landscape unlike any other. Organisations need to continually monitor changes and new developments in employment law to ensure they are meeting their evolving duties and obligations to their employees. This session will examine some of the important legal developments of the past year, review the latest case law and regulatory changes and provide an overview of critical areas to keep an eye on as we move into 2021.
Partner, Bartier Perry Pty Limited
The legal department is a strategic partner to the business but some or all parts of your organisation may not understand or accept the strategic nature of the relationship. Bringing a strategic mindset to one’s work is critical in the new pandemic era. Managing the change to align to the vision of the legal department as strategic partner can bring organisational, cultural and efficiency challenges. How do you build or reshape the legal department to accommodate this changing role, especially in today’s dynamic environment? How does one ensure the culture of the legal department aligns with achieving the organisation’s strategic goals?
- What leadership skills are needed to drive change?
- Changing the culture and mindset of the department - key steps and considerations
- Working with limited budgets and resources while driving change and expanding scope
- How do you maintain a strategic mindset if you operate globally?
- Ensuring the right mix of talent, retention, skills development and training within the legal department
Director of Policy and Public Affairs, New South Wales Bar Association
General Counsel, Springfield City Group
National Legal Operations Lead, Origin Energy
Legal Director – Australia and New Zealand, Baxter Healthcare
How the legal team can function as a resource for the wider organisation – not just a siloed department
Led by LawVu’s CLO, Shaun Plant, join this open discussion with Andrew Lee, Senior Legal Counsel at Nissan, and Theo Kapodistrias, General Counsel at UpGuard, on how digital technology has helped them become a more trusted adviser and improved transparency with their wider organisation.
Chief Legal Officer, LawVu
PANEL: Legal Ops – How the New Environment and Digitalisation is Driving Legal Department Efficiency
As legal departments take on added responsibilities and issues become more complex, digitalisation can play a critical role when managing with limited resources. Further, technology can reduce dependency on external counsel by bringing inhouse work previously outsourced. How can legal departments embrace technology and other innovations to better manage workloads? What processes and tasks are ripe for automating?
- Identifying questions that need to be asked prior to the digitalisation journey
- Understanding how this impacts the organisations legacy and IT infrastructure
- Important considerations including hosting vs cloud, security and protection of data, custom vs out-of-box, and project budgeting
- Examples of automation, artificial intelligence and other innovations and tools that have been integrated successfully
Deputy General Counsel, QBE
CEO & Co-Founder, Checkbox.ai
Threatened or pending litigation, suspected wrongdoing or regulatory non-compliance, can land your organisation in a tough spot when time is of the essence. Finding the facts quickly to assess areas of strength and gauge potential liability can change the outcome of an investigation.
All too often, however, early case assessment and investigations take months or longer. There are a lot of steps involved, a lot of hands on the data and a lot handoff points.Discover how a new platform, Axcelerate™ Investigation, makes it possible to surgically collect, process and gain early insight into your data. Find out how this cloud-based investigation platform is being used by global corporations to get to the facts sooner.
Principal Solution Consultant, OpenText
Whether working for a for-profit or private organisation, dealing with the boardrooms and owners can be a complicated and challenging duty for a GC. In addition to advising on complex governance and other boardroom issues, GCs are involved with complex interrelationships within the boardroom, between the CEO and the board, and among subcommittees and outside stakeholders.
- Discuss the different approaches GCs take to communicate and navigate the relationship with the boardroom
- Dealing with multiple personalities
- Gaining boardroom confidence
- What are the key trends driving change in the relationship with the board?
- Examine when, where and why outside counsel might need to be engaged
- How has the heightened focus on corporate governance by stakeholders impacted the advisor role?
- GC as intermediary - balancing the relationship with the CEO/executive and the board
Executive Director (Ailier); Chairperson (National Gender Equality Task Force & Queensland Academy of Sport), Ailier
General Counsel, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
General Counsel & Company Secretary, Winc
This session will consider the critical immigration compliance obligations for organisations and the key role in-house counsel play in educating the executive suite on major organisational risks including criminal and civil penalties, reputational damage and potential loss of operational resources.
Partner, Hammond Taylor and Co-Founder & CEO, Complize
PANEL: The In-House Counsel’s Role as Business Risk Manager – Balancing Risk Tolerances and Strategic Objectives
Each day, inhouse counsel can be overwhelmed with an intake of requests for advice and guidance from across the organisation. These can involve a diverse range of scenarios and business issues, all of which can have different degrees of legal and operating risk. Whether advising on contracts, marketing law, or cross-border regulatory issues, decisions must be well-informed and oftentimes made within limited timeframes. How can an inhouse counsel ‘square the peg’ - be agile and adaptable, yet offer guidance that is sound and informed? How can they maintain the trust and confidence of the organisation while ensuring the organisation maintains the appropriate risk boundaries?
- Examining how differences in risk tolerance across an organisation can influence judgment
- How does one best educate themselves on distinct types of risk and best advise on them?
- Knowing and appreciating one’s limits
- How do IHC ensure their voices are head and that they are included in early conversations to mitigate risk?)
- Examples of how to manage inherently risky strategy and operational challenges encountered daily
- What should IHC do when advice is ignored?
FAICD, Senior Lawyer, Superannuation Trustee Governance, Legal, Westpac
Senior Legal Director & Company Secretary, Australia & New Zealand, Dell Technologies
Snr Legal Counsel and Compliance Officer, Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Ltd
Vice President - General Counsel & Company Secretary (Australia & New Zealand), American Express
Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel – Bridging the Divide as Business Partner and Organisational Guardian
The multiple hats an inhouse counsel wears can bring numerous ethical challenges as GCs balance their advisor role with their professional legal obligations. Adding to this challenge, those in other functions may not discern the complexities of these constraints, which include conflicts of interest, breaches of duty and violations of privilege and confidentiality. This session will examine some of the ethical bear traps inhouse counsel regularly face and advice on how to overcome them.
Director, Aspen Legal
The role of In-House Counsel provides a strong opportunity to gain a deep understanding of an organisation’s operations and competitive environment, and events of the past year have brought many learning opportunities. Further, their position has given them a comprehensive view of other leadership roles, corporate strategy, and other challenges beyond the scope of a traditional IHC. For IHCs looking for a career change, this experience provides a sound platform to move into a new role, but one that can carry certain risks. What does a IHC need to consider prior to transitioning? How should they approach their organisation when they decide they want to step into another leadership role? How can their experiences from the pandemic help them succeed in other positions?
- How does a IHC initially communicate their interest to move outside the legal department?
- How does one prepare in advance to ensure they have the right transferrable skills?
- Examples of skill sets critical for leadership
- What does a healthy transition look like? What are some of the risks that need to be considered?
COO & Company Secretary, Uniti Group Limited
Chief Commercial Officer, Zero Latency
CPD activities are not accredited by the Law Society of New South Wales. If this particular educational activity extends your knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to your practice needs or professional development, then you should claim one (1) “unit” for each hour of attendance, refreshment breaks not included. The annual requirement is ten (10) CPD units each year from 1 April to 31 March.