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It was an honour to lead the research for The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Rising Stars Australia 2023. The rising stars theme encapsulates a range of lawyers, in a variety of industries, who are all doing incredible work in their field; this edition is an offshoot from our usual research in Australia, The GC Powerlist Australia, a publication which identifies the most senior in-house counsel within Australia. Interviews in this edition have touched upon innovations that in-house lawyers have come up with that did not come at a large expense, significant transactions that the lawyers have faced, and causes that in-house lawyers care about.
In-house counsel in this edition shared occasions that they have come up with innovations for their legal department that did not come at a large expense. A large variety of responses were revealed by the in-house counsel selected for this accolade, ranging from introducing legal podcasts to the company to enhanced learning, to technological advancements utilised to speed up work-flow. For example, Will Aplin, senior legal counsel at Australian Radio Network (ARN) explained that the legal team ‘recently leveraged the internal skills of our organisation to record an “Ask a Lawyer” internal legal training podcast. The podcast was targeted at our news and journalist workforce, answering key questions that can arise in their roles around defamation, contempt, copyright, and privacy laws.’ Further, Oliver Scheiber, corporate counsel (Australia) at Atlas Arteria Group stated that he ‘recently led the transformation of our company’s supplier due diligence process, by embedding new lost-cost software into our supplier engagement processes. The software enables risk screening and supplier management.’
Despite the continuous economic uncertainty of global and local markets, esteemed counsel in this publication were delighted to share the most significant cases or transactions that themselves and their legal teams have been involved in within the past year. These include dealing ever-evolving technological advancements and regulations, joint ventures, and M&A opportunities. For example, Anna Jaffe, director of regulatory affairs and ethics at Atlassain stated that, ‘as part of Atlassian’s public policy team, we are and have been very focused on forward-looking regulatory developments across a wide variety of technology policy areas. This includes AI, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection, competition and consumer protection, electronic surveillance and sustainability, and there has been no shortage of developments in those areas in the past 12 months!’
In-house counsel featured in this edition also shared with us the causes that they care most about, business related or otherwise. The responses to this question were truly insightful, and covered a range of topics including the mental health and wellbeing of the broader businesses that they are a part of, healthcare for the vulnerable, education, sustainability, animal welfare, and support for refugees.
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 markets of Australia.
Francisco Castro | Lead researcher: GC Powerlist Australia Rising Stars 2023
Elena Lewis | Lead researcher: GC Powerlist Australia Rising Stars 2023
As the GC Powerlist series grows, we are constantly looking for ways to bring the world’s in-house legal community together in ways that will prove beneficial not only for them but also for the legal profession at large. One of the most important new initiatives as part of this has been our Rising Stars Powerlist series, which has now launched in a number of countries around the world. In the Rising Stars Powerlist editions, we look beyond the top level general counsel of the world’s largest companies, as we would usually do in a GC Powerlist edition, and look to highlight the general counsel and chief legal officers of the future.
The GC Powerlist: Australia Rising Stars 2023 was another milestone for the Australian in-house community, as the leading lights of the younger generation of the country’s corporate counsel gathered at DLA Piper’s Sydney office to share in their achievement, with guests being chosen ahead of 400 nominees on the basis of their achievements.
At the hugely well-attended launch event – despite inclement weather – GC Powerlist global editor Joe Boswell’s opening address was followed by a heartfelt congratulations from DLA Piper’s Sydney office managing partner James Morse, who spoke candidly of the need to build for the future challenges that will be faced by the legal community both in Australia and abroad. After this, Eleanor Gerrans of Dexus, one of those being awarded on the night, gave a rousing speech on the value of bringing one’s own personal touch to their work. Drinks, food and celebrations followed the keynote speeches, with many new connections and relationships formed.
Thank you to our event partners DLA Piper for making this unique initiative possible, and huge congratulations to all the up-and-coming general counsel who made our Australia GC Powerlist: Rising Stars 2023.