GC on tour

At GC magazine, we pride ourselves on having the pulse of in-house counsel the world around. To keep abreast of developments and fulfil our international mandate, the GC team are frequently sent to far-flung corners of the globe to learn how the roles of in-house counsel are changing and evolving to meet the needs of the markets their businesses operate in.

In our GC on Tour blog, we showcase the stories of counsel we encounter on our travels, sharing a snapshot of what life as a lawyer entails in different countries.




In a world where companies face constant scrutiny and are expected to excel on multiple fronts, prominent concepts like ESG and Corporate Social Responsibility have compelled legal leaders to extend beyond their traditional legal obligations. They are now expected to take the helm in shaping the company’s brand image and actively participate in the decision-making processes of the business, thereby driving organisational growth. In the intricate ecosystem of modern business, where brand reputation can determine success or failure, the role of the GC emerges as indispensable. They serve as guardians, protecting the intangible yet invaluable asset of brand reputation.

South Korea


Roger Chae was exposed to the business side of law from an early age, as his father asked him to look over contracts for the family business in Hawaii. “ ‘I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Just use common sense and keep learning’ was his instruction to me,” recalls Roger. “The compensation for the legal service was lunch and ice cream. I savor ice cream. Sometimes I would skip lunch and just eat ice cream; there were so many flavours!” Looking back, Roger shares how his legal career was very much by design and, curiously, ice cream has played a notable part in his journey.



In 2023, Pilar Perez celebrated 20 years at the investment management firm Lorinvest. Pilar is today the company’s compliance, human resources and – you guessed it – legal director. During our informal conversation, we delved into her legal team’s proactive initiatives aimed at fostering environmental responsibility and sustainability within not only her company, but the entire investment management industry. With impassioned dedication, Pilar articulated the strategic vision driving their efforts, highlighting innovative approaches to corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Hong Kong


At a time when IPO activity has slowed to a trickle, and some lawyers have relocated their Asia headquarters to Singapore, much remains uncertain in Hong Kong – though it still retains a unique character that no other city can fully emulate.  So, how is the situation on the ground really? During a trip to the Pearl of the Orient, Joe Boswell spoke to eminent GCs Michelle Hung and Victor Ding about their experiences.



To explore how companies are approaching more frequent and varied crises, the Ashurst Leadership Centre convened a roundtable in partnership with The Legal 500 in Sydney in November 2023.



After completing her studies in Japan’s picturesque Norther city of Hokkaido, Mina Hoshizawa began her legal career with Freshfields’s Tokyo office before moving in-house. Now a compliance manager at Bayer, she manages and supports other compliance professionals. Joe Boswell caught up with Mina on our last trip to Japan and asked her to reflect on her career so far.


Toshimi Itakura is now general manager of the Sojitz Corporation’s legal department. But it has been a long road to get there – she has worked her way up from the most junior position in the legal team all the way up to the top job at one of Japan’s largest companies. Toshimi spoke to GC about her philosophy.


Our opening speaker, the hugely charismatic Lily Tsen of Amcor Flexibles, opened proceedings with a wide-ranging talk which urged the in-house lawyers in the audience to find their voice and assert themselves in their organisations to make positive change in the wider world at large.


In our next instalment of ‘GC on Tour’ Harveen Kaur looks back at a pre-COVID-19 world where she swapped her London umbrella for Sydney sunscreen and headed across the globe to discuss all things business with leading in-house practitioners in Australia.

Sydney is known around the world for its iconic landmarks such as Bondi Beach, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Yet the city has also developed a reputation as a commercial metropolis and a hotspot for major industries to flourish. Finding out how Sydney got its reputation as the business capital of Australia, Harveen sits down with industry leaders across media, entertainment and charity sectors.

Beginning the tour she heads into the heart of the city to speak with Connie Carnabuci, general counsel of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Discussing recent case developments and what in-house counsel in Australia should be aware of, Carnabuci reflects upon the challenges and rewards presented by social media.

Then it is lights, camera, action! We sit down with Nina Stamell general counsel of the hugely successful children’s music band, The Wiggles. She shares with Harveen what is top of her agenda in 2020 and the importance of finding work life balance as she takes on her new role as mother.

In our final leg of the tour, we uncover the important part general counsel play when advising and supporting the not-for-profit sector. Taking us behind the scenes is Katrin O’Sullivan general counsel of The Fred Hollows Foundation – a charity focused on eliminating preventable blindness around the world – she shines a light on the opportunities present for in-house counsel within altruist organisations.

Join us in the land down under as GC goes on Tour!

Heading to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) headquarters in the heart of Sydney, GC’s Harveen Kaur catches up with general counsel Connie Carnabuci to find out how social media is transforming industry practices.

Nina Stamell, general counsel of The Wiggles, catches up with GC’s Harveen Kaur to discuss what is top of her agenda, as she prepares to head back to work after a three-month maternity leave stint.

GC’s Harveen Kaur sits down with the legal brains behind The Fred Hollows Foundation, Katrin O’Sullivan, to discover the important role general counsel play within the not-for-profit sector.


In the first of our GC on Tour series, we visit Italy – a country synonymous with fashion, tourism and – of course – carbohydrates. But among the hustle and bustle of city life, big business continues to drive the country’s economy. At the helm of these successful companies are a humble, yet essential team of in-house lawyers.

GC’s Harveen Kaur, went behind the scenes to investigate the strengths, challenges and lessons learnt from pioneering professionals across fashion, tourism and government.

Stepping into the world of high fashion, Harveen spoke exclusively to general counsel from iconic Italian design houses, Giuseppe Zanotti and Trussardi. She found out just what it takes to run the legal department of some of the most recognisable brands in the world, and how technology and social media is changing the way customers view, buy and feel about high fashion.

Italy welcomes a record number of travelers every year who want to experience the country’s rich culture, cuisine and history. Harveen visited Airbnb’s Milan headquarters to speak with Matteo Frigerio, country manager and senior counsel, to reveal how the global e-rental service is transforming the accommodation market.

Rounding off the tour, Harveen found herself in a bustling coffee shop with Gianluca Di Nunzio, head of legal for Italy and Iberia at PayPal. With the Italian government determined to shed their reputation of being a technological laggard, they spoke about the integral role the global payments giant has played in transforming the way everyday official expenditures are handled.

From Rome to Milan, GC goes on tour!


Running the legal department for one of the most recognisable luxury fashion brands in the world is not all glitz and glam. Travelling to Milan, the epicenter of Italian fashion, Harveen exclusively sits down with general counsel from Giuseppe Zanotti and Trussardi, to discuss the crucial role lawyers play behind the scenes.

Harveen discovers what it takes for leading in-house counsel to overcome challenges arising from advertising, copyright and counterfeit. In order to succeed in the prestigious world of high fashion in-house lawyers have to be business savvy and tactical. Technological innovation and new privacy concerns are transforming the role of in-house counsel as they take on a new digitally acute consumer.

The technology behind global e-rental service Airbnb is transforming the accommodation and tourism industry in Italy. As regulators struggle to keep up, Harveen uncovers what in-house teams are doing to assist, while ensuring their businesses remain running.

In a country where government has been more synonymous with debt issues than technological progression, Harveen finds out how with the assistance of PayPal, they’re becoming a leader in the digitisation of payments.

As the role of specialised legal technology for in-house counsel continues to come to the fore, GC assembled a selection of counsel from across Italy to share their own experiences and debate the impact it stands to have on the profession.