George Papanikitas – GC Powerlist
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Australia 2022

Consumer products

George Papanikitas

General Counsel and Company Secretary | Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand

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    Australia 2022

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    George Papanikitas

    General Counsel and Company Secretary | Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand

    Team size: three

    What are the most significant cases and/or transactions that your legal team has recently been involved in?

    Supporting the $1.2 bn acquisition by Kimberly-Clark of Softex Indonesia, our team was uniquely placed to assist on a transaction involving Australia’s largest neighbour and one of the world’s most populous, emerging markets for personal care products. We also played a key role in the subsequent integration of that business into Kimberly-Clark’s operations, which presented a range of operational and regulatory challenges that had to be addressed whilst respecting and preserving the existing cultural and other factors that have underpinned the success of Softex Indonesia. It was a unique privilege to be involved in a deal of this scale, despite and in the midst of a pandemic.

    How do you feel the pandemic has changed the world of work for in-house counsel and the function of the general counsel?

    The pandemic has allowed in-house counsel to shine. Aside from the obvious impact on ways of working that have affected all of us, we have been called upon and in turn played a central role in addressing the strategic and operational challenges that the pandemic has thrown up. Greater operational reach, an enhanced voice at the management table, and the opportunity to convey stability and resilience to our organisations in the midst of uncertainty, have all helped to cement the function of the general counsel as a critical one.

    Looking forward, what technological advancements do you feel will impact the role of in-house legal teams in the future the most?

    Much is made of technological advancements that streamline workflows, matter management and reporting, but I would suggest that the most critical advancements in the short term are those that will enable and enhance connection to each other and our clients in what is now a hybrid remote/F2F working environment. Better collaboration, information and document sharing, and conferencing platforms will allow us to be better connected to one another, our clients and our external providers while allowing us to embrace the benefits of flexible working.

    George Papanikitas - Australia 2019

    General counsel, Australia and New Zealand | Kimberly-Clark Australia

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