The Legal 500

Understanding ESG in Australia – a guide for general counsel

13 May 2021, 2.00pm AEST

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Understanding ESG in Australia – a guide for general counsel


After a year like no other, Australia’s businesses and their general counsel are still trying to decipher what Covid-19 means for their operating models. The unprecedented human and economic costs of the pandemic mean plotting a sustainable recovery is almost certain to feature in their plans. Identify and mitigating risks across supply chains, establishing new corporate governance standards, and finding new ways to cope with emerging problems have all become essential skills in uncertain times. For GCs, the message is never let a good crisis go to waste.

In this webinar, we ask what the growing focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards mean for Australia’s GCs, and explore how getting to grips with sustainability is now a vital part of the senior counsel role.

Drawing on the experiences of some of Australia’s leading GCs, we will discuss:

  • ESG indicators as an indicator of the underlying sustainability of a company and its exposure to risk;
  • How the pandemic has introduced radical changes in corporate governance;
  • How Australia’s GCs can help guide their businesses through uncertain times;
  • The future regulatory and ESG pressures facing business.


George Papanikitas, general counsel and company secretary, Kimberly-Clark

Shoshana Sheilds, director of legal, Google Australia and New Zealand

Katrina Johnson, general counsel, Wisetech Global

Katherine Grace, general counsel and company secretary, ‎Stockland

Rhys Davies, partner and international lead, sustainability and ESG, DLA Piper

Shane Bilardi, partner, DLA Piper

James William Tayler, head of ESG, Ellerston Capital