Georgina Koch – GC Powerlist
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Australia 2022

Financials

Georgina Koch

General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive for People & Culture | Plenti

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    Australia 2022

    legal500.com/gc-powerlist/

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    Georgina Koch

    General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive for People & Culture | Plenti

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

    During 2021, there was a significant amount of regulatory change in the financial services sector including new Breach Reporting regime, DDO legislation, RG271 changes. Many of which came out of the recommendations from the Royal Commission. All financial services in-house teams had to navigate these regulatory changes and implement them in a way that was both compliant with the legislation, while ensuring the additional compliance burden placed on both the legal team and the business is appropriately understood, managed, and resourced.

    Being a technology-led company with a small in-house legal team, Plenti sought to automate many of these additional compliance requirements, which saw the legal team work closely with the business and the technology team to develop the most appropriate platforms to comply with the raft of new legislation. A comprehensive training and education program was then implemented across the business. This was all undertaken while managing the BAU work of a rapidly growing company throughout a global 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 general counsel is also well placed to have a good sense of employee expectations and can be the bridge between employees and the board both in relation to the return to the office post Covid but also as the ‘new way of working’ slowly starts to embed itself in an organisation. The board of directors should be able to utilise a general counsel as a conduit of information and a good ‘temperature check’ as to how employees are feeling post pandemic and in this sense the role of the general counsel has broadened post Covid.

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

    The advancements in technology and increased sophistication of threat actors and growing ransomware attacks, have a significant impact on the role of in-house legal teams. In-house teams are increasingly required to work closely with the technology team to ensure the company is sufficiently protected from attacks and has plans in place in the event of an attack.

    This is not a set-and-forget type arrangement, constant improvement, penetration testing, and cybersecurity assessments need to occur on a regular basis. Excellent data privacy credentials are essential for customers to trust an organisation and the legal team needs to ensure that there are protocols in place to ensure sensitive information is handled and stored appropriately. With threat actors becoming more sophisticated, in-house legal teams need to work closely with technology teams to stay one step ahead.

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