James Wyatt – GC Powerlist
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Australia 2022

Financials

James Wyatt

General Counsel and Company Secretary | 7-Eleven Australia

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    Australia 2022

    legal500.com/gc-powerlist/

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    James Wyatt

    General Counsel and Company Secretary | 7-Eleven Australia

    Team size: six

    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 changed the world of work for in-house lawyers in many ways, some obvious and some not so much. I think the flexibility to work from home when there is serious drafting or reviewing of contracts to be done is much welcomed and will continue to be so. However, the immediate downside of having to work from home during the pandemic for more junior lawyers was that it slowed their development. I also found it difficult to train them in my team with the distance created by remote working. Getting back into the office has not only allowed us to reconnect socially but also makes learning from one another’s experiences easier. As a lawyer, you had to make a more conscious effort to catch up with people to understand what you missed out on during those water cooler discussions. In this way, working remotely made it harder to get visibility of what people in the business were wanting to do so. Whilst we had already started a journey to adopt a greater use of technology, the pandemic accelerated that and remote working into the future will only continue that. Technology adoption also meant the pace of work increased from what was already incredibly fast-paced and what we are seeing now is lawyers whose resilience is worn down by the increased volume and pace of that work. General counsel’s challenge will be to ensure team members can manage their energy levels to make it through another busy year.

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