Australia: Rising Stars 2019 – GC Powerlist
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Australia: Rising Stars 2019

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Adam Cooper

General counsel and company secretary | Flinders Ports Holdings

Transport and infrastructure

‘Adam Cooper is a very experienced commercial general counsel and company secretary, heavily relied on by the executive at Flinders Ports Holdings, not just in respect of legal matters, but...

Adrian Quah

Deputy general counsel and assistant company secretary | JB Hi-Fi

Adrian Quah, deputy general counsel and assistant company secretary at JB Hi-Fi, started his legal career in private practice with Clayton Utz, working his way up from an articled clerk...

Alethea Lee

Senior legal counsel and assistant company secretary | Nine Entertainment

Alethea Lee is a senior corporate transactional and commercial legal adviser, with extensive governance and company secretarial experience having developed an extraordinary amount of experience during her career to date....

Alex Butterworth

Senior legal counsel | McDonald’s Australia

Alex Butterworth serves as senior legal counsel at McDonald’s Australia, the Australian branch of the world’s leading foodservice retailer, working on legal issues around marketing, sponsorship, IT contracts, digital projects,...

Alex Staples

Associate general counsel | Sibelco Australia and New Zealand

Alexander Staples started his career working in private practice, with a focus on commercial litigation at TressCox (now HWL Ebsworth) and then at Russells. According to Staples, ‘I had a...

Amanda Devonish

Senior corporate lawyer and assistant company secretary | Santos Limited

Since April 2012, Amanda Devonish has served as senior corporate lawyer and assistant company secretary of Santos, having previously worked in-house and in private practice in Abu Dhabi with Abu...

Amy Jennings

Corporate legal counsel | Tennis Australia

Having started her legal career in 2013 at Herbert Smith Freehills, Amy Jennings recently assumed the role of senior legal counsel at Tennis Australia, having first moved to Melbourne to...

Andrew Finch

General counsel and group executive, office of the CEO | Qantas Airways

Transport and infrastructure

Andrew Lee

Senior legal counsel | Nissan Australia

Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 different models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. It is the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer,...

Barbara Carroll

Associate director, loans and specialised finance, loan structuring and execution | ANZ

Barbara Carroll has gained experience as a banking and finance lawyer having acted on a range of high value and complex transactions. She currently serves as an associate director, at...

Bella Manias

Deputy general counsel – IP and projects | Tabcorp Holdings

Bella Manias commenced her career at Golden Casket Lottery Corporation in 2005 as a corporate solicitor specliasing in intellectual property and consumer law matters, and then with Tatts Group in...

Ben Gilbert

Attorney | Microsoft Australia

Ben Gilbert, a University of Waikato-trained and Sydney-based in-house lawyer, is a commercial attorney supporting global information technology giant Microsoft’s Australia subsidiary. In particular he supports the teams engaged in...

Benjamin Willis

Head of legal and company secretary, privacy officer | NOVA Entertainment

Sports and media

What are the most important transactions and litigations that you have been involved in during the last two years? Nova’s podcast partnership with Acast: at inception this strategic partnership created...

Betty Ivanoff

Group general counsel | Coca-Cola Amatil

Food, beverages and tobacco

Bianca Gomez

Legal counsel | Dentsu Aegis Network

Dentsu Aegis Network is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company headquartered in London, operating in 145 countries worldwide, with more than 50,000 dedicated specialists. The Australian subsidiary of...

Brett Cameron

General counsel and company secretary | Dexus


Brooke Connell

Senior legal counsel | Velocity Frequent Flyer

Transport and infrastructure

‘I would like to nominate Brooke Connell to be included in the GC Powerlist: Australia 2019. She is effectively responsible for the general counsel role at Velocity Frequent Flyer (which...

Cameron Loughlin

Employment counsel (ANZ) | Uber

After six years as a solicitor at MinterEllison, Cameron Laughlin joined Uber in Sydney in January 2018 as an employment counsel covering Australia and New Zealand. In this short time...

Caroline Cox

Group general counsel | BHP

Materials and mining

Carolyn Scobie

Group general counsel and group company secretary | QBE Insurance Group


Catherine Morrongiello Conte

Senior corporate counsel and privacy officer | Toyota Australia

Catherine Morrongiello Conte is the senior corporate counsel and privacy officer at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. She is an experienced lawyer, with over 10 years PQE, largely in corporate in-house...

Craig Emery

Legal services executive – products and marketing | Telstra

Telecommunication services

‘Craig Emery has led a team through significant restructure and change, with a strong focus on the legal function supporting the strategic vision of the business into the future’.

Dan Cootes

Head of legal and company secretary | BT Australasia

Telecommunication services

What are the most important transactions and litigations that you have been involved in during the last two years? For BT’s Australian business, we are very happy with the work...

Daniel Moran

Group general counsel and company secretary | ASX


‘One of the most important financial entities in the Australian economy, the ASX is the primary securities exchange in Australia and is one the world’s most notable, being listed amongst...

Daniel Wall

Senior legal counsel and company secretary | Infomedia

Daniel Wall is the senior legal counsel and company secretary at Infomedia, a publicly-listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange and a leading supplier of information solutions to the parts...

David Dwyer

General counsel – Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand | Unilever

Consumer products

‘David Dwyer is general counsel of all of Unilever’s Southeast Asia and Australasian businesses, and is a member the legal leadership team and Southeast Asia leadership team. He manages the...

Deeksha Kumar

Senior legal counsel – manufacturing and logistics | Cochlear

Serving as senior legal counsel – manufacturing and logistics at Cochlear, a listed medical device company, Deeksha Kumar is a corporate lawyer with rich cross-jurisdictional experience. Her career began at...

Diana Broadhurst

Legal director Australia | Amazon

Consumer products

Edwina Stevenson

Senior legal counsel | Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard Winemakers is the premium wine division of Pernod Ricard, one of the largest alcoholic beverage companies in the world. Edwina Stevenson joined the company in 2017 and has...

Elisabeth White

Legal counsel | Diageo

Elisabeth White is responsible for legal matters in her position as legal counsel at Diageo, the global leader in alcoholic beverages with over 200 brands, old and new, large and...

Emma Roberts

Head of legal WA iron ore and nickel west | BHP

After a number of years in private practice, Emma Roberts found what she calls her ‘natural fit’ as an in-house counsel, first on secondment at BP in Scotland, to AngloGold...

Emma Zipper

General counsel and company secretary, Australia and New Zealand | Bupa


Fiona Harding

General manager, legal – dispute resolution, retail and regulatory | Bank of Queensland


Francesca Lee

Chief legal, risk and compliance officer | Newcrest Mining

Materials and mining

Frank Lavorato

Head of legal property | Harvey Norman

Consumer products

Gary Segal

Senior legal counsel, global banking | HSBC Bank Australia Limited


In March 2018, Gary Segal started his current role as senior legal counsel, global banking at HSBC Bank Australia. His in-house career experience is relatively recent but he carries with...

Gavan Sproule

Senior legal counsel and company secretary | KUFPEC Australia (KAPL)

KAPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of KUFPEC, an international oil company engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas outside of Kuwait and active...

Gemma Stabler

Legal manager, shipping and marketing | Fortescue Metals Group

Gemma Stabler serves as legal manager for shipping and marketing at Fortescue Metals Group, a global leader in the iron ore industry. Stabler worked as a senior associate in the...

Grant Smallhorn

General counsel Asia Pacific | WSP

Industrials and real estate

Hannah McMurtrie

Executive manager, legal | IAG

Hannah McMurtrie, executive manager, legal at IAG started her career as an articled clerk at King & Wood Mallesons. There, after various rotations throughout the firm, she settled in the...

Haylen Ann Pong

Legal counsel | Nearmap

Haylen Pong’s in-house experience began in Salmat, an ASX-listed marketing company. ‘Very early into my tenure I became an integral part of the legal team, created enduring working relationships across...

Jaime Frasca

Senior legal counsel, Australia and New Zealand | Dell Technologies

With over 15 years’ professional experience specialising in commercial, consumer, competition, IT, IP, privacy, and franchising law, Jaime Frasca is a senior legal counsel at Dell Technologies, covering Australia and...

Jake Elsworthy

Managing counsel | BHP

Jake Elsworthy is a managing counsel at leading global resources company BHP. In this role, Elsworthy provides legal support for strategic commercial activities and transformational projects across BHP’s Australian businesses,...

James Hebron

General counsel | New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment

‘James Hebron now leads one of the largest government departments in New South Wales with the recent merger of the Department of Industry into DPE’.

Jaron McVicar

General counsel and company secretary | The a2 Milk Company

Food, beverages and tobacco

‘Jaron McVicar joined The a2 Milk Company in November 2016 as its inaugural general counsel. Since that time he has built up a legal team of six lawyers and managed...

Jarrod Woodward

Senior legal counsel | ENGIE Australia and New Zealand

Jarrod Woodward works as senior legal counsel at ENGIE, a multinational electric utility company, covering Australia and New Zealand. He started his legal career at international law firm Allens, a...

Jessica Do

Lawyer, dispute resolution | Westpac

Employed at Westpac since 2016, Jessica Do – an in-house lawyer specialising in dispute resolution within the company’s in-house legal team – has greatly impressed in her three years at...

Jessie Porteus

Legal Counsel | Coca-Cola Amatil

Food, beverages and tobacco

Jessie Porteus has served as the legal counsel for Coca-Cola Amatil for four years, working with a multitude of departments in several business units across Australia, advising on everything legal-related...

John Connolly

General counsel ANZ | Electrolux

Consumer products

Julie Galligan

Group general counsel | Transurban

Transport and infrastructure

Justin Forsell

Chief legal counsel | nbn

Telecommunication services

Justine Rowe

Legal services executive – Enterprise | Telstra

Telecommunication services

‘Leads passionate causes within their teams, including the importance of mental health and well-being. [She has been a] key note presenter on tackling the challenges around progressing women in the...

Karen Pedersen

Group general counsel | Lendlease Group

Industrials and real estate

Karen Tompkins

General counsel and company secretary | Sydney Airport

Transport and infrastructure

Kate Hasbani

Director, real estate and special counsel | WeWork

Kate Hasbani, director, real estate and special counsel at WeWork, began working for the company in London in July 2018, and moved home to Sydney with the company in November...

Katerina Paras

General counsel | Asurion Australia

Information technology

Katie Dillon

Legal Counsel | Telstra

Katie Dillon is a legal counsel at Telstra. Recognised in the industry press as a notable young in-house lawyer, she is a rising star among corporate in-house counsel in Australia....

Katrina Johnson

Associate general counsel and head of legal, Uber Asia Pacific | Uber

Information technology

Kelly Xiao

Associate employment counsel, Asia Pacific and Japan | VMware

Kelly Xiao began as a paralegal and then solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney and then moved to Alice Yang & Associates Solicitors before taking up her current position...

Kim Schoeman

Legal counsel | Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kim Schoeman qualified as an attorney at law in South Africa in 2008 and moved to the UK the year after. Whilst in London, she worked in-house at dunnhumby, a...

Kirsty Cargill

Senior commercial counsel – operations and technology | QBE Insurance Group Limited


Kirsty Cargill has been described by nominators as ‘a talented lawyer’ who has led large telecommunications projects including a global data and analytics platform, global telecommunications deals and transformation projects....

Kylie Gray

Deputy general counsel, regulatory investigations and dispute resolution | Westpac

Prior to joining Westpac, Kylie Gray was part of the team at King & Wood Mallesons, specialising in technology and telecommunications law. In the last eight years she has held...

Lachlan McMurtrie

Group manager legal | Newcrest Mining

During his five years at Newcrest Mining, Lachlan McMurtrie has advised on almost all aspects of the company’s business including exploration and M&A growth activities across a wide range of...

Laura Iskander

Legal advisory and compliance director | UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation

Laura Paulus

General counsel | Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator

Administrative bodies

Leigh Holder

General counsel | Yara Australia

‘Leigh Holder is an exceptionally capable general counsel and has led the process of integrating the Yara Pilbara Group into the broader Yara International Group. This has involved a wide...

Lena Chapple

Corporate legal counsel | Thales Group

Lena Chapple is a part of the Thales Group legal and contracts team, an international network of commercial, contracts, trade, compliance, and legal professionals, who are at the heart of...

Libby Davidson

Group general counsel and external relations director | Lion

Food, beverages and tobacco

Lily Wong

Senior legal manager | PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand

Food, beverages and tobacco

Lily Wong joined PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand in 2016 and was soon promoted to senior legal manager in 2017, a leadership role supporting the sales and beverage teams, as...

Lindsay Dick

General counsel | Power Ledger

Lisa Godfrey

Senior corporate counsel and company secretary | Goodman

Goodman is a global industrial property group which owns, develops, and manages industrial real estate in 17 countries including logistics facilities, warehouses and business parks. It is the largest industrial...

Lisa Nguyen

Counsel and manager | American Express

Lisa Nguyen, an associate counsel at American Express, has demonstrated excellence in her almost four years at the company and has been recognised as a rising star in the industry...

Louisa Manfre

Senior legal counsel – employment law | Healius

Healius is one of Australia’s leading listed healthcare companies with a commitment to supporting quality, affordable and accessible healthcare. Its senior legal counsel for employment law Louisa Manfre started her...

Lyndall Stoyles

Executive general manager, people, communications and governance | Caltex Australia

Energy and utilities

Mark Paige

Acting deputy general counsel – projects | Transport for NSW

Capturing the attention of nominators as well as recently assuming a more senior role within his organisation, Mark Paige has distinguished himself as a member of the Transport for NSW...

Martha Maiorana

Senior legal counsel | AxiCom

Martha Maiorana, senior legal counsel at Axicom Pty Ltd, started her career as a property paralegal and spent 15 years at firms such as Makinson d’Apice, Herbert Smith Freehills, and...

Matthew Rumpus

Senior legal counsel and assistant company secretary | Navitas

Navitas is a leading global education provider that offers an extensive range of educational services to over 70,000 students across its global network. Rumpus is currently a senior legal counsel...

Matthew Thompson

General manager legal – corporate and commercial | Bank of Queensland (BOQ)


Matthew Thompson is a highly skilled transactional legal specialist, and leads the corporate advisory internal legal team at the Bank of Queensland. He has a primary responsibility for corporate development...

Maya vanden Driesen

Group general counsel | Wesfarmers

Industrials and real estate

Michael Abbott

Senior vice president corporate and legal | Woodside

Energy and utilities

Michael Helmer

Chief legal officer and company secretary | NEXTDC

Information technology

Michael Herring

General counsel and head of group legal and governance | Macquarie


Michael Napoli

In-house lawyer | Supercars

Having always possessed a passion for sports due to his prior spell as an athlete, Michael Napoli knew he ‘wanted to forge a career as a sports lawyer, as it...

Michael Pinczuk

Vice president – intellectual property and business partner strategy and ventures | ResMed

Michael Pinczuk, vice president intellectual property and business partner strategy and ventures at medical equipment company ResMed is a highly skilled lawyer with multinational jurisdictional experience and is a true...

Michael Tropea

General counsel and company secretary, Australia and New Zealand | AIA Australia


As a member of AIA’s executive committee in Australia and New Zealand – what unique attributes do lawyers bring to this level of management? Historically, the role of general counsel...

Nick Myers

General counsel | MMG

Materials and mining

Nick Phillips

Legal counsel | Coca-Cola Amatil

Food, beverages and tobacco

Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of ready-to-drink non-alcohol and alcohol beverages, coffee and food snacks in the Asia Pacific region, and one of the world’s...

Nicole Diepenhorst

Legal counsel | AIA Australia

In her current role as legal counsel in the retail Insurance team, Nicole Diepenhorst provides support to the retail and health insurance distribution channels of AIA Australia, which includes the...

Nigel Lowry

General counsel and company secretary | Ausgrid

Energy and utilities

Niva Sivakumar

Senior legal counsel | Mesoblast

Niva Sivakumar, senior legal counsel at Mesoblast, a world leading innovative cellular medicine company, is a talented commercial and IP lawyer from a strong corporate private practice background with a...

Paul Gregory

Senior legal counsel | WesTrac

WesTrac, a wholly owned subsidiary of Seven Group Holdings, is one of the largest Caterpillar dealers and heavy mobile equipment solution companies in the world. As the senior legal counsel,...

Philip Richards

Group executive, group general counsel | Rio Tinto

Materials and mining

Philip Ware

General counsel | Stanwell

Energy and utilities

Rachel Lunn

General counsel | Sonic Clinical Services


Rebecca Lim

Group executive, legal and secretariat | Westpac


Ria Manguray

Senior legal counsel | Tourism Austalia

Ria Manguray has been a legal counsel at Tourism Australia since October 2017, supporting the Australian Government agency responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia, both for leisure and business...

Robert Tran

General counsel | Nearmap

Information technology

‘I would like to nominate Robert Tran to be included in this GC Powerlist. Tran is the general counsel for Nearmap, a fast growing ASX listed company recently admitted to...

Samantha Evans

General counsel Australia | Goodman Australia

Industrials and real estate

Samantha Walker

Legal counsel | Nova Entertainment

In an extremely short space of time – having only undertaken her first in-house legal position in 2014 – Samantha Walker has hugely impressed her peers and the wider in-house...

Sara Hughes

Senior legal counsel | AccorHotels

Sara Hughes serves as a senior legal counsel and in-house lawyer at AccorHotels, one of the world’s leading hotel management companies. She is a commercial lawyer who advises on a...

Sarah Croft

Corporate lawyer | CBH Group

Sarah Croft began her career at King & Wood Mallesons in Melbourne in 2009 (then Mallesons Stephen Jaques). After three years at KWM, she relocated to Perth and joined Clayton...

Sari Baird

General counsel | Oxfam Australia

Saul Lazar

Senior legal counsel – retail insurance | AIA Australia

AIA’s Australia legal department is brimming with legal talent at all levels, and senior legal counsel Saul Lazar has drawn praise from nominators and colleagues alike for his talent, persistence...

Sharon Cook

Chief legal and commercial counsel | NAB


Sheldon Renkema

General manager – legal | Wesfarmers

What are the most important transactions and litigations that you have been involved in during the last two years? The acquisition of Catch Group Holdings Limited in June 2019 for...

Simon Kalinowski

Senior legal counsel | Springfield City Group

Simon Kalinowski, senior legal counsel for Springfield City Group, has already demonstrated the potential required for a high-level general counsel role during his time with the public planning and development...

Simon McDonald

General counsel and company secretary | IBM ANZ

Information technology

Stefani Russo

Legal counsel | IRESS

Stefani Russo is a highly skilled commercial technology lawyer at IRESS, an ASX 200, listed global leader in financial technology. She is considered an upcoming lawyer in the technology, media...

Steve Clayton

Legal counsel | AIA Australia

Steve Clayton works as a legal counsel at AIA Australia, and is described by a nominating source as a ‘leadership focused corporate lawyer who specialises in group life insurance and...

Susan Schneider

General manager – legal | Virgin Australia

Transport and infrastructure

‘Since commencing operations in 2000, Virgin Australia Group has developed into a real alternative to Qantas. Selected as the acting chief legal officer for the Group while Dayna Field was...

Sylvia Hands

Senior legal counsel | Medibank


Sylvia Hands, senior legal counsel at Medibank, is an experienced and motivated corporate counsel. She manages a team of three lawyers, providing support to the marketing, sales, product, digital, and...

Tammi Chau

Legal head of property | McDonald’s Australia

Tammi Chau is the legal head of property at McDonald’s Australia, providing legal advice on a range of matters, including overseeing and supporting the national development group (NDG) on all...

Theo Dorizac

Senior legal counsel | SBS (Special Broadcasting Service)

Theo Dorizac started his legal career in private practice in a small boutique litigation and commercial firm in Wellington, New Zealand where he states he was ‘fortunate to work with...

Theo Kapodistrias

Lawyer | University of Tasmania

Theo Kapodistrias, an in-house lawyer supporting the University of Tasmania, has a demonstrated passion for educational and public law which first started during his studies. He was the 2013 president...

Tina Davey

Senior legal counsel – group insurance | AIA Australia

Tina Davey joined AIA Australia (AIAA) as senior legal counsel in April 2016. She provides strategic legal support to AIAA’s group insurance channel and shared services teams, and is also...

Toby Yiu

Legal counsel | Nine Entertainment

Toby Yiu joined Australian publicly listed media company Nine Entertainment in 2013 as corporate counsel, and has been working across a number of aspects of the Nine business, including content...

Verity White

Legal counsel | Telstra

Verity White is a multitalented legal counsel within enterprise consumer contracting at Telstra, supporting large “whole of business” tenders for some of the largest Australian banks and other service providers....

Vivian Faraj

General counsel and compliance officer | Svitzer

Transport and infrastructure

‘Vivian Faraj was appointed general counsel for Svitzer Australia in July 2016. She is responsible for providing legal advice to the board of directors and senior management, as well as...

Wendy McIntyre

General counsel and head of risk and compliance | Hub24


‘[She is] instrumental in driving strategy. Hub24 is a next-generation service with state-of-the art portfolio management, transaction, and reporting solutions for licensees, financial advisors, accountants, stockbrokers, and institutions’.

Will Duffy

Senior legal counsel | Treasury Wine Estates (TWE)

Food, beverages and tobacco

Despite the exponential growth of The Legal 500’s in-house research in the past few years, including three consecutive titles in the GC Powerlist series that cover the Australian market, the plethora of in-house legal talent in Australia demands even further coverage. Therefore, in this new project, rather than simply highlighting corporate counsel that have been established as having reached the top of their profession, we have concentrated on those in-house lawyers who are demonstrating capabilities for these positions in the near future. …read more

The term “rising star” is loosely defined as a “person or thing that is growing quickly in importance in a particular field”. Whilst it in some ways has been more challenging putting this shortlist together than our traditional research, it provides an opportunity to recognise and highlight the outstanding work being done underneath the chief legal officer, general counsel or legal director level, as well as to identify where the market is heading and which practitioners are pushing these boundaries.

The in-house lawyers featured in this publication have different types of legal and business expertise, work across different market sectors and often deal with different challenges. The diversity of inclusions is also seen through the varying amounts of experience of lawyers on the shortlist, which ranges from senior legal counsels overseeing sub teams to those with only a handful of years of post-qualified experience. The overarching theme tying them all together however, is that they are each projected to be future leaders of the Australian in-house legal industry in some form, and have demonstrated this ability and potential to our team of researchers.

Our criteria and metrics for selection were not specific, but each shortlisted counsel had to prove that they fulfilled the profile of a rising star. In some cases this was demonstrated through rapid progression at the beginning of an in-house career or through a company’s legal department, recognition from peers and colleagues and the wider industry press, or simply having an impact that proves their ability to confront existing issues and be prepared for future ones that will define the practice of the law or the development of the role of the in-house legal counsel.

After an exhaustive research period involving conversations with our extensive network of senior in-house counsel and private practice lawyers, we have identified legal professionals who we believe have demonstrated the potential of being at the forefront of the in-house legal market in Australia in the future. These talented, upcoming in-house lawyers are projected to soon be the torchbearers at the vanguard of the market in their respective sectors and the industry as a whole, defining, leading, and practising on the most important legal discussions that will define and shape the legal and business environment in years to come.

I would like to thank our sponsor DLA Piper for supporting this publication, and a hearty congratulations to all those shortlisted and recognised as one of Australia’s rising stars in the in-house legal market.

Jamie Rayat
Research editor

DLA Piper

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