Australia and New Zealand 2016 – GC Powerlist
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Australia and New Zealand 2016

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Aliesia Gartrell

Manager, supervisors oversight | Financial Markets Authority - New Zealand

‘Without a doubt, the thing I enjoy most in my role is working with my FMA colleagues, in the various wider teams’, Aliesia Gartrell says. ‘The FMA staff are here because...

Andrew Cordner

Group general counsel | Fonterra Group

With over 20 years of legal experience in New Zealand and the United States, Andrew Cordner currently acts as group general counsel for the Fonterra Group, New Zealand’s multinational co-operative...

Anna Lenahan

Group general counsel and company secretary | Suncorp Group

Since June 2013, Anna Lenahan has acted as group executive group general counsel and company secretary of the Suncorp Group. After joining the company in March 2011 as group general...

Anne Lock

General counsel | Robert BOSCH (Australia) Pty Ltd

‘Each day brings an assortment of interesting tasks and concepts, with challenges and fun’, Anne Lock says, adding: ‘Sharing a tea room with brilliant inventors is awesome’. Heading legal support...

Anton Shead

General counsel and company secretary | Goodman NZ

Home-grown kiwi lawyer Anton Shead led the nation’s first ever joint venture between an NZ-listed property vehicle and a sovereign wealth fund. ‘It was an absolute highlight’, Shead says of...

Ari Bergman

Chief operations officer - Property and Asset Finance | Wingate

Ari Bergman is the current chief operations officer for the property and asset finance division of Wingate, he took up the Melbourne-based post in October 2015 after 11 years role...

Betty Ivanoff

Group general counsel | GrainCorp

‘An outstanding lawyer with an excellent grasp of the issues which affect her industry’, Betty Ivanoff is ‘unfailingly commercial, insightful and frank’. As general counsel to ASX 100 agribusiness GrainCorp,...

Brian Salter

Group general counsel | AMP

One of ACLA’s GC100 founding members and its deputy chair, Brian Salter is among Australia’s most known and respected in-house lawyers. Focused on thought leadership in Australian business law, the...

Brigid McDonald

Legal counsel - property and construction | Auckland Transport

‘A dynamic, customer-focused and people-focused manager’, Brigid McDonald impresses not only with her leadership and mentoring skills, but also with her technical understanding. Auckland Transport is responsible for all of...

Bronwyn Arthur

Chief legal advisor | Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)

When the 2011 earthquakes hit Christchurch, New Zealand faced a crisis of unseen proportions. As the legal head of the body responsible for dealing with its aftermath, Bronwyn Arthur, in...

Carmel Mulhern

Group general counsel | Telstra

Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company, Telstra, has undergone significant transformation in recent years. As its group GC, Carmel Mulhern has made her name both inside and outside the company...

Caroline Beaumont

General counsel | Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand

Food, beverages and tobacco

‘As in-house lawyers are often labelled as “handbreaks or naysayers”, it is critical that I have the trust and confidence of my colleagues so that they aren’t afraid to seek...

Carolyn Scobie

Group general counsel and company secretary | QBE Insurance


Acting as group general counsel and company secretary of QBE Insurance Group Limited, Carolyn Scobie joined Australia’s leading global insurer in January 2016. Scobie assumed her position at QBE after...

Cathy Manolios

General counsel and head of corporate governance | Zurich Financial Services Australia

Awarding-winning general counsel Cathy Manolios leads a highly regarded team, and is praised for her contribution to Zurich Financial Services’ national corporate governance program. A member of the senior management...

Charles Bolt

General counsel and company secretary | Fletcher Building

As general counsel and company secretary of one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies, Charles Bolt has made a substantial impact during his two years in the role. In 2013,...

Chris Bertuch

Group general counsel and company secretary | Insurance Australia Group


‘An extremely capable general counsel and company secretary’, Chris Bertuch is ‘focused on achieving high value outcomes for the company that he represents’. During a varied and impressive in-house career,...

Chris Bignold

Chief legal counsel and HR director - Kellogg ANZ | Kellogg Company

Responsible for legal, company secretarial and HR, Chris Bignold’s exceptionally wide remit brings with it a panoptic view of Kellogg’s Asia Pacific operations. ‘There has been a lot of learning...

Chris Crooks

Senior director - international law | Apple

‘A highly regarded practitioner’, Chris Crooks has been pivotal to strategic decision-making in Apple’s Asia Pacific operations, and is praised for his commercial and pragmatic approach. Sources particularly point to...

Chris Ryan

General counsel and company secretary | EnergyAustralia

State-owned enterprise EnergyAustralia owns a multibillion dollar generation portfolio servicing more than 2.7 million customers nationwide. In September 2015 Chris Ryan saw his department expand to include the Regulatory Compliance...

Claire Bibby

Senior vice president legal and general counsel | Brookfield Property Partners

‘A true business partner’, Claire Bibby is widely regarded across Australia and New Zealand’s legal landscape for her commercial approach, technical knowledge, and high-powered transactional expertise. She supported Brookfield’s takeovers...

Claire Miller

General counsel and company secretary | Jacana Energy

Embarking upon her fourth general counsel role, Claire Miller is rated for her operational understanding, ‘leadership’ and ‘communicative, collaborative and inclusive management and work style’. Charged with a comprehensive remit,...

Clifford Tuck

General counsel | Drillsearch Energy

‘I am passionate about the role of in-house counsel – what the role is, and the value and contribution I believe the role can add’, says Clifford Tuck. ‘I also...

Craig Cawood

Vice president general counsel and company secretary | McDonald's Australia

As vice president, general counsel and company secretary, Craig Cawood works closely with several different arms of the global brand’s national business. He is responsible for all legal matters in...

Craig Mulholland

General counsel and company secretary | ANZ Bank


‘Craig has led and continues to lead a fantastic legal team at ANZ’, opines one private practice source. Heading 32 lawyers supporting New Zealand’s largest financial institution, Craig Mulholland is...

Dan Cootes

Head of legal and company secretary, BT Australasia | BT

As head of BT’s Australasia legal team, Dan Cootes has advised on many complex global telecommunications and outsourcing deals, as well as supporting the BT business through a sustained period...

Daniel Krutik

Head of legal, Sydney | Origin Energy

Award-winning in-house lawyer Daniel Krutik routinely handles billion-dollar cross-border transactions for Australia’s leading energy company, Origin. He drew particular recognition for his handling of its $3.26bn acquisition of two electricity...

David Cohen

Group general counsel and group executive, group corporate affairs | Commonwealth Bank of Australia


David Cohen became group general counsel of CBA in June 2008 and assumed the role of leading group corporate affairs at the beginning of 2012. Cohen advises the CEO and...

Elaine Pretorius

General counsel ANZ | Kimberly-Clark

‘Supportive and conscientious’, ‘enthusiastic and always prepared to explain’, Elaine Pretorius ‘is a team player with the ability to see the larger picture while focusing on the task at hand’....

Emily Madder

General counsel and company secretary | Siemens

‘Understanding the goals and strategy of the organisation is key to fulfilling the role of in-house counsel’, opines Emily Madder. During nearly 20 years with the global technology leader, Madder...

Frank van der Kooy

General counsel | Horizon Power

Frank van der Kooy has impressed with his innovative leadership, most recently spearheading the legal function’s wide-reaching strategic review and reorganisation. ‘Frank has put in place systems so that Horizon...

Gail Hambly

Group general counsel and company secretary | Fairfax Media

For over 20 years Gail Hambly has served as the group general counsel and company secretary of Fairfax Media, one of the largest media companies in Australia and New Zealand...

Gavin Carney

General counsel and company secretary | Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC)

Federal government-owned ARTC manages most of the nation’s interstate rail network. It has been through considerable changes over recent years, with significant development projects, and the announced plans for its...

Gavin Ryan

General counsel | PTTEP

‘A dedicated professional’, during 26 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, Gavin Ryan has managed a diverse range of projects across more than 30 countries. These have included...

Geoff Healy

Chief legal counsel | BHP Billiton

Reporting directly to the CEO, Geoff Healy occupies the chief legal counsel position at the flagship Australian mining company, having joined BHP Billiton in June 2013. Prior to this, Healy...

Graeme Edwards

General counsel and company secretary | ASB Bank


‘I enjoy most that my counsel is actively sought by the CEO, chairman and my colleagues’, Graeme Edwards says. ‘I have the opportunity to contribute and make a difference in...

Grant Fraser

General counsel | Mitre 10

Grant Fraser faced a unique situation for a GC, stepping into the CEO’s shoes when the role became unexpectedly vacant at Mitre 10 in 2013. Fraser, who had joined the...

Grant Smallhorn

APAC General Counsel | WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Grant Smallhorn has impressed sources with his support of Parsons Brinckerhoff International’s changing business profile. ‘The acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff by WSP Global Inc. has created fresh opportunities for legal...

Helen Burgess

Executive general manager – people, corporate relations and governance | National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA)

‘To succeed, you need to be passionate about what you do and how it contributes to others and to the overall success of your organisation’, Helen Burgess says. ‘The NRMA...

Ingrid Player

General counsel and company secretary | Healthscope

Ingrid Player stands apart for her ‘exceptional business mindset’, drive and commitment to the task in hand. ‘She is a motivated and talented lawyer who covers a broad range of...

James Orr

General counsel and company secretary | Asaleo Care

Leading personal care and hygiene company, Asaleo Care, manufactures products across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. As its general counsel, James Orr has taken considerable steps to heighten efficiency...

Jean Paul Wallace

General counsel and acting general counsel, Leighton Asia India & Offshore (LAIO) | CPB Contractors Pty Limited

‘A rising star in Australia’s general counsel community’, Jean Paul Wallace is recognised as one of Australia’s leading construction lawyers. As legal head of CIMIC Group member, CPB Contractors Pty...

Jenny Rees

General counsel | Optus

‘Optus was born to bring competition to the telecommunications market in Australia’, says Jenny Rees. ‘Being a challenger has always been part of its DNA’. GC to Australia’s second largest...

Jeremy Stevenson

General counsel | Accolade Wines

‘There is a constant challenge working in-house to prioritise where we spend our time’, opines Jeremy Stevenson. ‘We need to get the balance right between urgent day-to-day work and work...

Jessica Lyons

General counsel | Carlton and United Breweries

‘One of the best lawyers in the market’, Jessica Lyons is praised by sources for her versatility and business focus. During the short period in her current role as CUB’s...

Jodie Hatherly

General counsel and GM legal Australia | INPEX

‘I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on various LNG projects in the pacific region’, Jodie Hatherly says. ‘Working in the oil and gas sector is...

John Frangi

Group counsel - property | Woolworths

Leading a highly regarded cross-border team, the ‘strategic’ and ‘stoical’ John Frangi has carved out a reputation for his management of ground-breaking real estate transactions in the region. These include...

John Rodger

General counsel | Vector Limited

‘An excellent lawyer’ with ‘strategic vision’, John Rodger ‘discharges himself with passion, professionalism and a good sense of humour’. He has held a variety of legal and commercial roles during...

Julian Hoskins

Group general counsel and company secretary | Tabcorp Holdings

‘I rarely see the same matter twice at Tabcorp’, Julian Hoskins says. ‘It is a terrific organisation to work for and my team is fabulous, which makes my job a...

Julie Galligan

General Counsel and Company Secretary | Transurban

Julie Galligan has supported Transurban during a period of ambitious growth in the jurisdiction, and has worked on some of Australia’s most complex and innovative infrastructure projects in the process....

Karen Pederson

Group general counsel | Lend Lease Corporation Limited

With over 20 years’ in-house experience in the property and construction industry, Karen Pederson has led high profile national and international projects. During her time as Brookfield Multiplex’s GC, she...

Karl Vincent

Associate general counsel | Vector Limited

Karl Vincent assumed his current role in November 2015, acting as associate general counsel of utilities company Vector Limited in Auckland. Vincent strongly believes that ‘legal is not a box...

Katherine Evans

General counsel | Zespri

‘The most enjoyable aspect of my role is the oversight that I get across the entire business’, Katherine Evans says. ‘It gives me a unique perspective among other managers, and...

Katherine Grace

General counsel and company secretary | Stockland

Katherine Grace is recognised by many as one of Australia’s leading property lawyers. In her previous role as Westfield Retail Trust’s GC, she completed the Trust’s merger with Westfield Group....

Kylie McPherson

Corporate relations and legal director | Diageo Australia

Praised for her ‘exemplary’ industry knowledge, Kylie McPherson sits on the governing executive of both Australia’s Distilled Spirits Industry Counsel and Spirits New Zealand. With broad strategic input at board...

Larissa Vaughan

Head of legal - wealth | Kiwibank


A recognised national expert, Larissa Vaughan has drawn particular notice for her ground-breaking work with New Zealand’s recent FMCA legislation. ‘I feel I have been able to draw on my...

Lawrence Kim

General counsel and company secretary | GDF SUEZ Australian Energy

‘In my view, the biggest challenges and perhaps the greatest opportunities for general counsel to demonstrate their value-add, are in the context of major strategic transactions and large-scale regulatory changes’....

Liang Tang

General counsel | OceanaGold

‘Liang, as general counsel for OceanaGold, is a highly capable corporate counsel’, says one private practice source. ‘She is a motivated and talented lawyer who covers a broad range of...

Louis Mostert

General counsel and company secretary | Barminco

An international leader in hard rock underground mining, Barminco is continuing to grow, and Louis Mostert is at the helm of its strategic transactions in the region. Sources praise his...

Luke Facer

Vice president, general counsel and company secretary | Orion Health

‘I am fortunate to work for a high growth company in a high growth industry’, says Luke Facer. ‘As industries, IT and healthcare are both evolving extremely fast to keep...

Lyndall Stoyles

Group general counsel and company secretary | Asciano Limited

As general counsel to leading infrastructure business Asciano, Lyndall Stoyles has been recognised for the positive and effective way she has partnered with the business. ‘I structured the team to...

Marcus Clayton

General counsel and company secretary | Adelaide Brighton Limited

Marcus Clayton is valued by those he works with for his ‘clear vision’ and cohesive management style. As general counsel for one of Australia’s largest home-grown brands, he has supported...

Maria Polczynski

Head of group legal | Bendigo Bank


A highly respected corporate counsel and recognised financial services expert, Maria Polczynski leads an award-winning team at one of Australia’s leading retail banks. Known for her innovative and business-focused approach,...

Matt Vaughan

General counsel and company secretary | Xero

‘Prioritising and operating in a fast-paced, hyper-growth environment, encompassing multiple jurisdictions, has been my biggest challenge’. A multiple-award-winning corporate counsel, Matt Vaughan has made great waves from an early stage...

Maya vanden Driesen

Group general counsel | Wesfarmers Limited

Maya vanden Driesen is responsible for the legal arm of one of Australia’s largest listed companies, which has a diverse array of business operations including large supermarket chains Coles, Kmart...

Melissa Anastasiou

General counsel | Spark New Zealand

Melissa Anastasiou has created a bespoke 18-strong function to support a business in, what she terms, ‘a constant state of transformation and innovative growth’. Following two restructures the function now...

Michael Riches

Executive director, external affairs and general counsel | Alinta Energy

Heading legal, regulatory and company secretarial, Michael Riches not only built Alinta’s function from scratch, but also forged its place within the business, where none had previously existed. ‘We had...

Michael Tropea

General counsel and company secretary | AIA Australia

With eight years’ life insurance experience across Asia Pacific, Michael Tropea has an impressive list of cross-border transactions and projects to his name. AIA Australia is among the nation’s leading...

Mike Brooker

General counsel | Foodstuffs

Mike Brooker has drawn significant attention for his role in the 2013 merger, which created New Zealand’s leading supermarket brand Foodstuffs in its current form. Given the market dominance of...

Monique Green

General counsel | Powershop NZ

Online electricity retailer Powershop NZ is one of the nation’s biggest start-up success stories of recent years. Amid a sea of recognition, Monique Green says she is particularly proud of...

Nancy Peterson

General counsel | Clean Energy Finance Corporation

US- and Australia-qualified Nancy Peterson has a wealth of global experience, with particular expertise in a broad range of asset-based lending, leveraged facilities and secondary market transactions. An innovative business...

Nathan Butler

General counsel, governance, corporate and enterprise services | National Australia Bank Limited


Heading legal and governance at one of Australia’s largest banks, Nathan Butler’s impressive transactional experience spans Asia Pacific, Europe and the US. He has provided strategic, board-level advice on some...

Nick Myers

General counsel | MMG

As general counsel of global metal mining company MMG, Nick Myers has exceptional cross-border transactional experience. He gained special recognition for his role in the company’s $5.85bn investment in Peruvian...

Nigel Lowry

Senior legal counsel | CIMIC Group Limited

Appointed to his current position in September 2015, Nigel Lowry previously spent seven years heading the legal section of the Australian lending business in Macquarie’s corporate and asset finance group....

Peter Lim

Executive general manager, legal and corporate affairs | Caltex Australia

With almost 10 years’ experience within Australia’s leading transport fuel supplier and convenience retailer, Peter Lim was appointed to the position of general counsel and company secretary in January 2012,...

Peter Lloyd

General counsel and company secretary | Nestlé Australia

“With extensive FMCG and manufacturing experience, Peter Lloyd’s shining moments in-house have included complex acquisitions and divestments, alongside significant competition and regulatory issues accompanying them. Leading legal and company secretarial...

Peter Lorbeer

Head of legal/managing counsel | Shell

Managing a 20-strong cross-border team, Peter Lorbeer leads all upstream activity in Australia and is director of its national upstream holdings company. Shell Australia is the centre for the company’s...

Peter Tehan

General manager, legal and business affairs | Beyond International Limited

Peter Tehan handles all legal and regulatory support across Beyond’s broad international media business. Since it began in 1984, the business has produced several leading TV titles, and developed sizeable...

Peter Tompkins

Group general counsel and company secretary | Downer

Heading a 30-strong cross-functional team, Peter Tompkins has done a great deal to optimise support of Downer’s diverse business lines across the resource-management sector. This has included centralising all legal...

Philip Woods

Senior legal counsel | Thiess, Australia

Thiess, a leading mining and construction business, made historic gains in 2015, with its first ever Americas project. The landmark $137m Chilean copper mining project looks set to signal the...

Pita Williams

General counsel | QBE Insurance


‘The ultimate success of a legal team is how intrinsic it is to the way business is done’, opines Pita Williams. ‘This flows from how well it collaborates with the...

Quentin Lowcay

General counsel and company secretary | Synlait Milk Limited

‘Dairy is the back-bone of New Zealand and being part of an innovative and dynamic company is very exciting’, says Quentin Lowcay. ‘Everyone at Synlait is very committed to ensuring...

Rachel Besley

General counsel, board secretary and partner | Deloitte

‘The role of the general counsel as a business leader is vastly underrated’, opines Rachel Besley. Heading a 20-strong team, she has supported Deloitte’s Australian operations through a period of...

Randal Barker

Vice president group legal iron ore | BHP Billiton

Taking up his role in December 2013, Perth-based Randal Barker is the General Counsel of BHP Billiton’s Iron Ore business which is part of the BHP Billiton group headquartered in...

Rebecca Hayward

Senior legal counsel | Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

‘Skilled strategist’ Rebecca Hayward has been nominated for the pivotal role she played in Fortescue the $9bn T155 project, expanding Fortescue’s production capacity by 100 million tonnes per annum. The...

Rebecca Lim

Chief compliance officer and group general counsel | Westpac Group

Rebecca Lim has held a variety of senior legal and business roles over 13 years at Westpac. Now as the chief compliance officer and group general counsel, Lim leads a...

Rob Simpson

Director - legal and business affairs | Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Taking a central legal and commercial role at Australia’s public broadcaster, Rob Simpson is a highly respected industry figure. Sources praise his strong commercial and legal understanding in the face...

Sally Glover

Chief legal and corporate affairs officer | Yum! Restaurants International

With an impressive in-house background including Pfizer, Southern Australia’s cabinet office, Constellation Wines and now global fast food giant Yum!, Sally Glover is seasoned in both major projects and complex...

Sam Barbaro

General counsel, executive manager of the legal and governance business unit (and company secretary) | Western Power

Valued for his energy, ‘drive’ and ‘common sense approach’, Sam Barbaro has achieved a great deal in a short space of time. Less than a year ago, he was a...

Sarah Turner

General counsel | EBOS Group

Formerly GC for Australasia’s largest diversified healthcare distributer, EBOS, Sarah Turner joined REA Group as general counsel and company secretary in August 2015. Turner has gained respect for her transactional...

Shoshana Shields

Director of legal - Australia and New zealand | Ebay

‘The business comes to the legal team not just for legal advice but for strategic and commercial advice’, Shoshana Shields says. ‘We are often seen as thought leaders in the...

Stacey Hester

Senior in-house lawyer | Indue Ltd

Taking up her current role in November 2015, Stacey Hester currently acts as a senior in-house lawyer for Indue Ltd. In her previous role, also in the financial sector, Hester...

Stephen Tudjman

General counsel | MLC & NAB Wealth

National Australia Bank’s $136.7bn wealth management partner MLC operates an extensive global portfolio; providing superannuation, investments, insurance and private wealth services to retail, corporate and institutional clients. With 15 years’ in-house financial...

Steven van der Donk

Deputy chief legal counsel and EGM legal counsel - Build Operations | NBN Co

‘Senior legal in-house counsel leadership in a complex corporate setting is an exciting and multi-dimensional challenge’, opines Steven van der Donk. Operating at the heart of Australia’s biggest ever infrastructure...

Stuart Thomas

General counsel | Network Ten

Stuart Thomas was already high profile in Australia’s entertainment industry before he joined Network 10, with former roles including Macquarie Radio Network’s COO and GC and Nine Network’s GC. Since...

Tig Pocock

Manager - legal | BHP Billiton

A well-known and highly regarded member of Australia’s in-house legal community, Tig Pocock is firmly established as a thought leader in his industry. ‘He’s a pretty exceptional in-house lawyer’, says...

Tim Silverstone

General counsel and general manager corporate affairs | Sealord Group

‘Fishing is a relatively volatile industry which creates business challenges’, says Tim Silverstone. ‘Especially in an environment where the economies in some of our traditional export markets have been struggling....

Trent Czinner

General counsel and company secretary | Vodafone Australia

Telecommunication services

‘Taking on the role of general counsel at Vodafone was a big honour but also a challenge’, Trent Czinner says. ‘It meant shifting from operating as a task-focussed senior lawyer...

Troy Swan

Head of legal and company secretary | Staples Australia and New Zealand

‘Being a business enabler and making a positive impact within our business and with my team is my aim’, Troy Swan says. ‘I am excited about what we can achieve...

Vanessa Oakley

General counsel and company secretary | Chorus

‘An exceptional legal professional with strong business acumen’, award-winning corporate counsel Vanessa Oakley played a central role in New Zealand’s largest demerger, between Chorus and Telecom NZ in 2011. Her...

Vanessa Simons

Head of legal - compliance | Financial Markets Authority - New Zealand

Vanessa Simons made her mark during her previous role at Meridian Energy when she led the due diligence and verification workstream of its IPO – the largest of its kind...

Vivienne Webster

General counsel and company secretary | Chubb Insurance


With the imminent $28bn purchase by leading Swiss insurer Ace, Chubb Insurance looks set to become part of a global commercial and P&C insurance leader. Australian GC Vivienne Webster has...

For 29 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Australia and New Zealand, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.

The GC Powerlist is a series of publications, highlighting the most influential in-house lawyers in business today.

We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across Australia and New Zealand, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each jurisdictional list. The GC Powerlist: Australia and New Zealand features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from the law firms about how they feel individual corporate counsel have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.

David Burgess
Publishing Director
The Legal 500 Series


KPMG logo

2016 is proving to be a year of significant change both internationally and domestically. Abroad, we have witnessed increased levels of global market volatility, due in part to uncertainty around central bank policy and forward looking guidance, significant macroeconomic events such as the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union, and ongoing changes occurring in China, as it rebalances from a manufacturing and production led economy to one based on domestic consumption. Add to the mix the uncertainty surrounding the US election and we look set to be in for an interesting end to the year. Similarly, the Australian economy also remains topical. The RBA’s August rate cut, relatively low inflation, a stubborn AUD exchange rate, the recent overhaul in the country’s foreign investment framework, as well as a marginal victory for the Coalition, are all adding to a feeling of uncertainty for Australian corporates.

At the same time, the Australian legal market has continued on its path of transformation with law firms and general counsel alike being challenged by a business environment that is requiring new
and innovative ways to deliver legal solutions.

Many general counsel are now under greater pressure then ever from their internal stakeholders to ‘do more with less’ and obtain cost-efficient legal advice from their external legal advisors. For law firms the reality is that there is now significantly increased competition for work, a growth in disruptive technology and the emergence of alternative service providers. These factors have created an environment which in many ways is unrecognisable from the landscape that many of us faced when first entering the legal profession.

Given these factors, perhaps it comes as no surprise that the best solutions arise when there is close collaboration between general counsel and their legal and other professional service providers. The new KPMG Law service offering seeks to provide this solution.

KPMG Law is not a traditional law firm. Our model is to deliver high quality legal services to our clients as part of “oneKPMG” integrated team, with the aim of providing end to end solutions for our clients. We seek to add value by complementing traditional KPMG expertise with legal expertise, particularly in the areas of corporate advisory, M&A, equity capital markets, employment, technology, real estate and tax dispute resolution and controversy. We aim to deliver a complete multi-disciplinary service to our clients by working in collaboration with all of the divisions of KPMG. KPMG Law also works seamlessly with the global KPMG legal network to provide our clients with international legal solutions. We also leverage our technology platforms to deliver state-of-the-art results.

In these times of change, KPMG Law understands the pressures faced by general counsel. We are committed to becoming your trusted advisor. This means not only delivering advice which is technically excellent, but ensuring that it addresses your needs and the needs of your stakeholders.

KPMG Law is proud to sponsor this year’s GC Powerlist Australia and New Zealand. We recognise the crucial role general counsel play in their businesses and warmly congratulate each of the general counsel who have been selected in this year’s GC Powerlist.

Thomson Geer

Thomson Geer logo

AJ Park

AJ Park logo

GC Powerlist: Philippines Teams 2024

For our second edition of the Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: Philippines, we decided to turn the focus of the publication on to legal teams rather than individual lawyers, based on conversations we had with in-house and private practice lawyers in the region. By doing so, we moved our attention on to hardworking but often less heralded members of the legal team alongside the general counsel and other senior lawyers that are famous in the community. The response the community was intensely positive, and we were happy to welcome around 150 people to the beautiful Rainmakers Lounge at Villaraza & Angangco’s V&A Law Centre in Manila for our exclusive launch event.
After speeches from managing partner Sylvette Tankiang, Dodjie Lagazo of ACEN Renewables who provided the in-house legal perspective, and Legal 500 editor Joe Boswell, we moved on to the award ceremony where each legal team was given their accolade on stage by Sylvette. As you can see from the photos, we had a huge range of teams in attendance, many of whom made great efforts to represent their companies. Of particular note are the team from Globe who attended wearing matching T shirts to fly the flag.
As always, celebrations continued well past the official end time and the energy in the room was hugely positive. Special thanks for the massive success of our second GC Powerlist Philippines must go to our excellent sponsors V&A, who were helpful throughout the research in giving nominations and tips regarding the in-house legal community there, as well as faultlessly organising a complicated reception and award ceremony.