Group executive governance and sustainability and general counsel | Flinders Port Holdings
Director legal - trains, systems, operations and maintenance | Sydney Metro
Group general counsel and company secretary | HMC Capital
Legal director - Australia and New Zealand | Uber
Spotlight on Cameron Loughlin I lead the legal team for Uber’s mobility and delivery businesses in Australia and New Zealand and am a member of Uber’s ANZ leadership team. I...
Chief operating officer and general counsel | Australian Fusion Corporation
Group general counsel, group executive legal and group secretariat | Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Group general counsel and company secretary | QBE Insurance
Spotlight on Carolyn Scobie Carolyn joined QBE in 2016 as group general counsel and company secretary. Carolyn has extensive experience in corporate law, compliance, regulatory matters, litigation and managing the...
Chief legal and transformation officer, company secretary | Domain Group
Senior vice president, general counsel, franchise relationship officer | McDonald's
Head of legal, Southeast Asia and Australasia | BT (British Telecom)
Director and associate general counsel - strategy, capability and data | Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Senior corporate counsel, global energy development projects | Rio Tinto
Spotlight on Danva Poyntz I am an Australian qualified lawyer with more than 14 years of experience, specialising in the development, operation, acquisition and disposal of renewable energy projects. I...
Senior legal counsel and co-chair of the junior board | Chubb Insurance Australia
Manager, legal support – Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia; executive director — Australia | Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions
Group general counsel and company secretary | Asahi Beverages
Executive general manager, group general counsel, regulation and CoSec | Ampol Australia
Chief counsel – commercial and first assistant secretary Australian industry capability | Commonwealth of Australia Department of Defence
General counsel and company secretary | Australian Rail Track Corporation
General counsel and company secretary | Kimberly-Clark Australia
General counsel and company secretary | Transport Asset Holding Entity of New South Wales
General counsel, company secretary and executive for people and culture | Plenti Group
General counsel and company secretary | Northern Star Resources
Senior legal counsel, marketing and trading | Woodside Energy
Chief legal and sustainability officer and company secretary | The a2 Milk Company
Chief legal officer and company secretary | Australian Radio Network (ARN)
Group general counsel and company secretary | ASX
Spotlight on: Johanna O’Rourke As the group general counsel and company secretary of ASX Limited, I am a valued member of the ASX executive team, responsible for ASX’s legal, company...
General counsel and company secretary | Sigma Healthcare
Spotlight on Kara McGowan Kara McGowan was appointed Sigma Healthcare’s general counsel and company secretary in October 2021. Sigma Healthcare is an ASX listed pharmacy wholesale and distribution business. The...
General counsel and company secretary | Wagners Holding Company
General counsel and executive director – legal, risk and compliance | Indara
General manager - legal and company secretarial | Harvey Norman (Yoogalu)
Executive director legal, government regulatory and prosecutions | Transport for NSW
Group general counsel | WiseTech Global
Spotlight on Katrina Johnson Katrina is the group general counsel of WiseTech Global. WiseTech is a leading developer and provider of software solutions to the global logistics execution industry. Its...
Chief legal officer and company secretary | Loyalty Pacific (Flybuys)
Head of legal and company secretary | Secure Electronic Registries Victoria
General counsel and executive general manager, external relations | ENGIE ANZ
Regional legal counsel and executive, Australia and New Zealand | Cognizant
General counsel and company secretary | Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Australia and New Zealand
Group general counsel and group executive - sustainability, external affairs and legal | Telstra
Chief general counsel and company secretary | The Foxtel Group
Spotlight on Lynette Ireland My team and I provide legal support to constantly evolving Foxtel Group. This involves providing services to the different businesses within the group, including Foxtel, Foxtel...
Head of legal, Australia and New Zealand, and company secretary | Demant
General counsel Australia and New Zealand | Worley Group of Companies
Director - legal, compliance, regulatory and corporate affairs, Oceania | Danone
General counsel ANZ / Asia (Acting) | Computershare
Since 2011, Mark has worked as an in-house counsel at Computershare Limited, which is a global market leader in share registration, transfer agency, employee equity plans, stakeholder communications and related...
General counsel and company secretary | OneVentures
General counsel and company secretary | Fletcher Building
Spotlight on Matthew Paterson In March 2020, Matthew joined Fletcher Building, overseeing the legal affairs of all Australian Fletcher Building businesses. As General counsel, Matthew leads a legal team of...
General counsel and head of property | Sydney Fish Market
General counsel, Australia and Papua New Guinea | Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
Head of legal and company secretary, Australia and New Zealand | Haleon
Spotlight on Navaneetha Dilipumakanth Navaneetha (Neetha) is head of legal for Haleon in Australia and New Zealand and achieves success by partnering broadly across the business, collaborating with the...
Chief legal and risk officer | The Lottery Corporation
General counsel | Scentre Group
Spotlight on Paul Giugni Paul Giugni is general counsel at Scentre Group. Paul was appointed general counsel of the group in June 2014. Prior to the establishment of Scentre Group,...
Associate counsel, acquisitions and divestments and new business development | Shell Australia
General counsel and company secretary | Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings
Global head - contracts, procurement and supply chain | Fortescue Future Industries
Group general counsel and company secretary | Downer EDI
Head of legal Australia and New Zealand | Hitachi Energy Australia and New Zealand
Head of legal, business and private bank transactions | National Australia Bank
Head of legal - technology and property | Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
General counsel and company secretary | Link Administration Holdings
General counsel and company secretary Australia and New Zealand | IBM
General counsel and company secretary | Toyota Motor Corporation Australia
Director and associate general counsel, ANZ and Pacific Islands | Meta Platforms
Head of legal and internal audit | Viva Energy Australia
Spotlight on Stuart Nicol Stuart is head of legal and internal audit at Viva Energy Australia, one of Australia’s leading energy companies that supplies approximately a quarter of the country’s...
General counsel and company secretary | Brickworks Building Products
Chief legal and risk officer and company secretary | Virgin Australia
Vice president, general counsel and ethics and compliance officer | Capgemini
Group executive, general counsel and corporate assurance | Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Regional head of legal and treaty, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa | Munich Reinsurance
It was a great pleasure to lead the research for The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Australia 2023, which encapsulates a range of the most elite lawyers, who are all doing groundbreaking work in their field. Interviews in this edition have touched upon the challenges that have impacted in-house teams in the past year, future technological advancements, and the unique qualities required to be successful in a variety of industries.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be in the past, the difficulties imposed by it are still very much present; adapting to a hybrid working environment, economic instability and increasing use of technology have all been serious challenges to in-house lawyers in the past year. Despite this, esteemed in-house counsel in this publication were delighted to share their success in aiding their organisations to continue to thrive and grow. Matt Sinnamon, general counsel at OneVentures, claimed that ‘These added difficulties have made it necessary for me to be agile and quick to adjust to the continuously shifting business environment.’ In-house counsel emphasised that the fast-paced current economic environment requires the ability to adjust to any situation, as highlighted by Anne Lock general counsel at BOSCH Australia, ‘It is a fascinating time to be working in a large global group, and a lesson in patience and adaptability.’
With regards to technological advancements, there seems to be a lot of hope for the future of IT, especially regarding artificial intelligence (AI), and the benefits of what has already been implemented. Hilary Thorpe, head of legal – corporate at AGL Energy, claimed that ‘whilst ChatGPT currently has limitations and could be seen as having a negative impact on the legal profession (for example, replacing skills and detracting from the value of personal interactions) it could make simple tasks easier and free up more junior members of the profession to take on more high value, challenging and interesting work at an earlier stage of their careers. It could also increase accessibility to legal services.’ Caroline Cox, chief legal, governance and external affairs officer at BHP, went on to say that ‘artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the legal profession. Within the next few years, AI will be able to perform the routine transactional and administrative aspects of legal advice and allow lawyers to focus on the areas they can add the most value.’
In-house counsel also highlighted the unique qualities needed to be successful in their industry, and the responses were truly insightful. Industry-specific qualities, as well as more general qualities, were shared; by far the most highlighted point was the need to be an expert in your field, and adaptability, on top of having excellent legal knowledge. Chris Govey, senior counsel at Google Australia, claimed that ‘the most important quality for in-house lawyers in the technology industry is adaptability. Technology is constantly changing. The business is constantly changing. The laws are constantly changing. We need to be able to change too.’ Sally Webb, chief legal officer at Transport for NSW, went on to say that ‘The successful in-house lawyer in this industry must have good judgment. It is important to have the ability to discern the best course of action and make judgment calls when the situation calls for it.’ The in-house lawyers in this publication provide excellent advice on succeeding, so I encourage you to read on and study the expertise on display on this list.
We would like to congratulate and thank all the in-house counsel featured in this edition on their incredible achievements in the legal industry, and on joining the list of hundreds of the most trusted, effective and innovative in-house lawyers across the globe. It was a pleasure to speak to all included and gain insight into the Australian legal market.
Elena Lewis | Lead researcher: GC Powerlist Australia 2023
The Legal 500 was delighted to be in Sydney on 16th May, to celebrate the launch of the 2023 edition of the GC Powerlist Australia. Our research editor Allan Cohen and global business development manager David Freeman were joined by leading GCs from the country for a magnificent reception.
A huge thank you to McCullough Robertson and Taylor Root for sponsoring the publication and partnering with us to celebrate the most influential in-house legal lawyers in Australia.