YOUNG LAWYER ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR
This award recognises those up and coming in the in-house profession, who have either practiced law for 5 years or less or are under 35 years of age. The award is based on performance, standing ability and leadership of an individual working in-house within a business, or government department.
SENIOR ASSOCIATE CORPORATE COUNSEL, VMWARE
Kelly is the lead employment lawyer for the Asia Pacific region at VMware and provides advice and training to both the HR department and to managers across 15 countries, in both English and Mandarin. Kelly is often the youngest person in the room, but this is not of concern to her. She is known at both VMware and amongst her clients, as someone who leads with passion and integrity. She shows courage in the way she handles all situations, is not shy to share thoughts on matters and sets a very high standard of work. In the past year, Kelly was the co-lead lawyer in opening an Indonesian office. With no automatic transfer provisions under Indonesian law, it was a complex task which took several months. Kelly created offer letters, employment contracts, collateral information, wrote work rules for filing with the government and determined the strategy for addressing employee concern about changes to benefits and programs. Outside of work, Kelly contributes to the legal community with her participation on panels discussing the importance of integrity to students at Sydney University and UNSW. She also spearheaded a pro bono program at a non-profit organisation, Settlements Services International, that educates refugees on their employment rights.
EXCELLENCE IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
This award recognises those in the in-house profession (individually or in a team), actively engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility within their organisation or through personal endeavours.
PERNOD RICARD WINEMAKERS
The breadth of social responsibility initiatives Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Legal Team has introduced is large; from establishing a ‘bottle bank’ in the staff carpark for recycling bottles, to organising donations for at risk and/or homeless women and working with suppliers to reduce landfill are just a few. The legal team has become both the owner and champion of the company’s ‘Good Times from a Good Place’ Sustainability and Responsibility 2030 roadmap which include objectives that support the UN’s sustainable development goals. The roadmap’s four pillars- Nurturing Terroir, Valuing People, Circular Making and Responsible Hosting - address all aspects of the organisation’s products life cycle, from grain to glass. The team is promoting and implementing this roadmap throughout the business across Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the US and is ambitious in its approach to ensure they can ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’.
MENTEE OF THE YEAR
This award recognises those who have shown drive and dedication to their progress as an in-house lawyer, shown commitment to the Future Leaders Mentoring Program and demonstrated positive change as a result of their participation.
LEGAL COUNSEL, JBS AUSTRALIA
Shanti whole-heartedly embraced her mentorship journey. She was eager to learn, absorb knowledge and challenge her own ideals and perceptions. At each meeting Shanti shared her goals, ambition and her desire to progress in her career and always arrived with a laptop, notebook, a meeting agenda, and an abundance of ideas and thoughts about what she wanted to gain from the program. Shanti brought a very high level of enthusiasm to the Future Leaders Mentoring Program, a touch of humility and a truckload of gratitude. One of the very first things Shanti asked her mentor was what she could do to ensure participating in the mentoring program was worthwhile for her mentor. Shanti’s achievements this year are a tribute to her willingness to take action and constantly step up to challenges that were set throughout the mentoring program.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
This award recognises those who have demonstrated excellence in mentoring through inspiring and guiding an ACC Australia mentee to high levels of goal attainment in the Future Leaders Mentoring Program.
IN-HOUSE LAWYER, AIME (AUST. INDIGENOUS MENTORING EXPERIENCE)
Justin has showed commitment, dedication and generosity of his time above and beyond expectations over the four years he has been part of the Future Leaders Mentoring Program. He believes that the best mentoring outcomes are achieved by the selective application of proven disciplines, to the organised chaos that represents the professional lives of most corporate lawyer mentees. Utilising this ‘freedom within the framework’, allows mentors and mentees to apply imagination, collaboration and boldness in formulating career strategies. Justin’s mentee described him as “the voice of reason and steady guiding hand’, and together they discussed career options where Justin encouraged his mentee to stretch themselves and participate broadly in corporate life; from signing up to committees of interest, to chasing non-legal secondment opportunities. Justin consistently and patiently actively listened, sought more information, challenged his mentee’s world view and provided alternative ways of thinking. Justin always looked to maximise opportunities and connections that he had gained over his career, to benefit his mentee.
LEGAL TEAM OF THE YEAR (SMALL)
This award is for team excellence by a small in-house legal department (consisting 1 – 9 lawyers) and recognises its effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development.
Collaborative and open, the Pacific National legal team is instrumental in ensuring the interest of its people, management and shareholders is protected. The legal team is seen as a true business partner, guiding the business through risks and confidently delivering on Pacific National’s aspirations for asset efficiency and innovative rollingstock and train service designs. The team has developed over 80 new template documents for the business - from forms, employment contracts, commercial contracts and process guides - and supports the business to deliver on their own outcomes, by giving them the tools to be self-sufficient in managing high volume, but simple, low risk, standard and repeatable tasks. In addition, they run training sessions on employment law, whistleblower legislation, industrial relations, contract law, competition law, WHSE obligations and rail safety. The team has been recognised for supporting the business in its strategic goals, including the acquisition of the Acacia Ridge Terminal and development of the Parkes Logistics Terminal; all assisting with achieving Pacific National’s role in moving Australia’s economy.
LEGAL TEAM OF THE YEAR (LARGE)
This award is for team excellence by a large in-house legal department (of at least 10 lawyers) and recognises its effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development.
The Australia DXC Technology legal team continually embraces change as it transforms to a digital legal department. The highly productive team delivers measurable value to the business and its end customers with a unique model that leverages innovative technology, award-winning contracting approaches, and a deep commitment to teamwork and professional development. DXC Legal’s innovative operating model was designed to break the cycle of “do more with less”, which has dominated many in-house legal departments. It also negates the traditional assumption that “transformation” is something that happens to business units of a company, but not its legal department. DXC’s legal team uses a range of technology tools to receive legal support requests, assign new matters, store contracts, track progress, report to senior leadership in legal and the business, measure utilisation, brief external counsel, and hold meetings and collaborate. The legal team also participates in some of DXC’s most interesting social impact initiatives, including the DXC Dandelion Program – a program designed to build skills and careers for people on the autism spectrum; the establishment of digital transformation centres in academic research centres such as ANU and Swinburne universities and much more. DXC’s legal team demonstrates expertise in integrating and transforming disparate systems, processes, organisations and legal teams. They thrive on change and together they form one seamless, close-knit, inclusive team, proud of their progress and plans.
GOVERNMENT LAWYER OF THE YEAR
This award recognises individuals working within a government department who demonstrate excellence in the provision of legal services; have outstanding leadership and management skills; make significant positive contribution to the Department; while showing innovation and thought leadership in the in-house profession.
EXECUTIVE LEADER, LEGAL AND RISK SERVICES, GENERAL COUNSEL AND BOARD SECRETARY, QUEENSLAND URBAN UTILITIES
Tracey is recognised within all levels of Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) as an innovative leader who provides essential support for a variety of transformation projects as well as helps to shape QUU’s strategy, brand and service delivery models. Tracey has guided the legal department to adopt a business partnership approach, providing pragmatic advice to help the company achieve its strategic and operational objectives, all while minimising organisational risk in a highly-regulated, customer orientated, service industry. Tracey has created an environment that provides the team with the opportunity to work flexible hours, work part-time and work from home. This has enabled members of the legal team to achieve the work/life balance that is important to them and that provides flexibility on their return to the workforce after extended leave.
CORPORATE LAWYER OF THE YEAR
This award recognises individuals working within a corporate organisation who demonstrate excellence in the provision of legal services; have outstanding leadership and management skills; make significant positive contribution to the business; while showing innovation and thought leadership in the in-house profession.
SENIOR LEGAL COUNSEL, DOMAIN GROUP
In her role as Senior Legal Counsel, Amy has led Domain’s corporate M&A activity, working on a large number of corporate transactions and commercial partnerships. Over the past 12 months, Amy has managed seven acquisitions, one of which was Commercial View, an online commercial real estate portal. Amy was responsible for the end-to-end negotiation and execution of this complex, multi-party acquisition where she showed continued leadership through her involvement in the integration of CommercialView into Domain’s commercial real estate business. Amy has demonstrated considerable legal skill and law-related management skills, throughout the acquisition and integration processes. With an aim to redirect the legal team’s focus towards high-risk, high-value work, Amy developed legal process enhancements by way of checklists, cheat sheets, precedents and practice notes for the business. She also introduced a drop-in clinic for Hack Teams during Domain Hackathons to assist teams in exploring issues such as privacy and intellectual property constraints, business structuring and monetisation strategies, resulting in more viable pitches to management, and allowing the legal team to demonstrate the value of early involvement of legal advisors in product ideation. As well as her role at Domain, Amy is Company Secretary of GorillaStack, a technology business focused on cloud infrastructure solutions.