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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Legalvision

This award recognises the General Counsel who has shown highest excellence beyond the expectations of their role and demonstrated added value to their organisation.

Ann Tan

ANN TAN
HEAD OF LEGAL & BUSINESS EXCELLENCE,
OLA (ANI TECHNOLOGIES PTY LTD)

Ann shows outstanding leadership through leading and building a team of legal and compliance professionals, and developing risk management and compliance systems from the ground up. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ann set up industry safety standards for employees and thousands of drivers. This, completed through complex operational change management processes, demonstrates the highest level of excellence, and significant value beyond expectations of her role.  

With the support of her team, in response to the pandemic, Ann upgraded the Ola safety management system to manage risks of COVID-19 from a product, policy and process perspective, ensuring that each and every ride serviced by Ola drivers were safe. She made full use of technology to establish standards on minimising the risk of COVID-19, establishing additional screening requirements for drivers and their vehicles, quality assurance audits and the implementation of mandatory reporting requirements from a policy and process perspective.

 

IN-HOUSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

LawVu

This award recognises the in-house lawyer who has shown highest excellence beyond the expectations of their role and demonstrated added value to their organisation.

Linda Oliver

LINDA OLIVER
LEGAL COUNSEL, CLARKE ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LYD

Creating the role of legal counsel at Clarke Energy, Linda has increased accountability across the business by creating legal cheat sheets, risk assessment matrices, supplier pre-approval processes and contract approval documentation which has reduced the average contract execution by more than three days.  She leads all high-value contract negotiations and has reduced reliance on external legal support by more than 75%, as well as redefined the company’s risk profile.

Linda is the Regional Data Privacy Champion for Clarke Energy’s parent company Kohler Co, is responsible for any local data privacy queries and actively educates the business and leaders on data privacy.   She also sits on the Global Contracts Committee for Kohler Co, which involves leading projects to harmonise contracts and clauses across jurisdictions and responsibility to ensure regulatory compliance.

 

NEW TO IN-HOUSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Bird&bird

This awards recognises the in-house lawyer who has demonstrated highest aptitude and achievement beyond the expectations of their role during their transition into an in-house legal career.

Kate Sherbun

KATE SHERBURN,
IN-HOUSE COUNSEL, WHO GIVES A CRAP

Joining Who Gives A Crap as their first-ever Legal Beagle, Kate has established the entire legal function from the bottom up! Kate successfully balances the speed and risk management required in such a high growth company and loves solving the weird and wacky queries that get thrown her way.  

According to her colleagues, Kate encourages bold ideas and helps create the path to execute them. Rather than strictly saying ‘no’ when a specific idea poses legal risks, she goes above and beyond to identify the risks, evaluate them and identifies several pathways forward. Kate co-pilots the business’ creativity, helping navigate, providing technical legal advice spanning jurisdictions, to protect the business, the people, and it's creative integrity.


LEGAL INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Plexus

This award recognises an individual or team who introduced and championed significant innovation through their role as an in-house counsel or in-house legal team: whether in the areas of thought leadership, legal operations, technology, substantive law, or ways of working that resulted in Legal Innovation. 

Kristen Porter

KRISTEN PORTER,
GROUP GENERAL COUNSEL, DEXAR GROUP

Kristen Porter can’t help but innovate. After going through several notifiable data breaches, Kristen saw that there was a better, more efficient way of assessing a data breach and reporting it. As it is procedural in nature, Kristen designed and built Pria Privacy, the privacy bot that can assess whether an organisation’s data breach is notifiable, and if it is, it can then prepare the notifications for you. Pria Privacy saves businesses time and money, and removes the need for a lawyer in the process, freeing up the in-house legal team's time to focus on higher value work.  

Kristen always finds better ways of doing things. If a task or process can be made more efficient, she will not only design the ‘better way’, but she will implement it with lightening speed. Kristen also rolled out a training program to educate not only her organisation, but the industry more generally to lift their baseline of knowledge and protect them from huge fines as a real estate agent’s data base is their livelihood. 
 


DEAL MAKER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Blue rock

This award recognises individual or team who has/have developed/negotiated complex deals, ventures or organisational change resulting in an outcome exceeding expectations.

Krista Stewart

KRISTA STEWART
GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE, ORICA LIMITED

Krista Stewart demonstrates excellence, a superb work ethic and a commercial approach to problem-solving. This is achieved while leading various cross border and complex legal workstreams to successfully deliver Orica’s transformational A$302m acquisition of an 83.5% interest in Peruvian explosives manufacturer and distributor Exsa S.A., and associated A$500m capital raising.

In need of someone with an open mind, pragmatic approach and meticulous attention to detail, Orica turned to Krista to be the ‘closing captain’ of the deal. Krista led all elements of legal analysis, drafting and negotiation of the acquisition and coordinated all the final pieces to come together in a seamless transaction. She worked with regulators in Peru and successfully closed the deal.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE EXCELLENCE

Sponsored by:

Diligent

This award recognises an individual or team who has/have created or improved the culture and impact of their organisation and the broader community through driving CSR programming, diversity and inclusion initiatives, sustainable business practices and demonstrating positive and collaborative team behaviour.

Frances Hoskins

FRANCES HOSKINS
SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER,
DEPARTMENT OF WATER & ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

Frances Hoskins is an environmental law specialist who has worked for almost a decade for environmental agencies, leading projects of a state-wide significance. These projects have included the implementation of a review of the EPA, developing a container deposit scheme, creating new corporate values and leading reform of environmental legislation.   

Frances’ work on the environmental law reform was commended at a state and federal level. Frances reviewed more than 30 years of legal advice on the state’s licensing regime for polluting industries and identified problems with the current provisions. She coordinated with legislative drafters, external counsel, carried out briefings with stakeholders and assisted the Minister’s office. Frances developed the Environmental Protection Amendment Bill 2020, introduced into Parliament in April 2020.

 

MENTEE OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Dovetail

This award recognises the in-house lawyer who demonstrates the highest goal attainment, resulting from participation in the ACC Australia Future Leaders Mentoring Program.

Linh Tran

LINH TRAN
LEGAL COUNSEL & CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER, 
ARNOTT'S BISCUITS LTD

Linh epitomised what it means to be a mentee. Drawing on the experience and wisdom of her mentor, Linh crystallised a plan to achieve her goals, which she pursued with vigour.  With optimism, determination and persistence along her journey, she challenged herself, took risks and ultimately landed her dream job.  

After setting a goal of securing a role in the highly competitive FMCG industry, Linh decided that the support of ACC Australia’s mentoring program would help her achieve this. After her first meeting, Linh prepared a plan crystallising her goals and sub-goals, took responsibility for the administrative side of the mentoring relationship and set to work. Today, Linh has settled into her dream job and looks forward to taking up mentoring opportunities in the future.

 

MENTOR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

College of Law

This award recognises an in-house lawyer showing highest level of excellence in mentoring and promoting the benefits of mentoring both inside and outside of ACC Australia.

Courtenay Zajicek

COURTENAY ZAJICEK
LEGAL COUNSEL, NANDO'S AUSTRALIA

Courtenay is the sole in-house Legal Counsel for Nando’s Australia and has been a mentor in the ACC Australia mentoring program for the last three years. Having always had her own strong role models and mentors throughout her career to date, Courtenay appreciates how vital these relationships are and is similarly committed to giving her time to support others unlock their own goals and ambitions.

Courtenay committed to herself that she would always proactively seek opportunities to listen, help and support others. Outside of mentoring, Courtenay has been a panellist  speaker at ACC Australia events and also participated in the ACC Australia's Industry in the Spotlight sessions where she was interviewed by Orbit Legal on her career, the roles she has had in the retail industry, her successes, greatest achievements and her insights into the ACC Australia Future Leaders Mentoring Program. Courtenay also participates in Nando’s own mentoring style program called “My Family Program”. 

 

NOT FOR PROFIT LAWYER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

MinterEllison

This award recognises the in-house lawyer who has shown highest excellence beyond the expectations in the provision of legal services, leadership, overall contribution in the NFP sector.

Cate Bennett

CATE BENNETT
GENERAL COUNSEL & COMPANY SECRETARY, MOVEMBER

Cate has quickly made an extremely positive impact as Movember’s General Counsel. She isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves whenever needed and is always focused on ensuring her team’s work is aligned to the mission, values and strategic goals that drive everything Movember does to change the face of men’s health.

Cate works with a legal team spread across Australia, North America and the UK. One of Cate’s proudest achievements has been enhancing the legal team’s business partnering with the broader organisation. She has done away with traditional legal formality to match the legal team’s approach with the organisation’s culture, enhancing enablement, collaboration and leadership. This has been commended as a fantastic initiative, by all levels of the organisation.

 

GOVERNMENT LAWYER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

Sparke Helmore

This award recognises the government lawyer who has shown highest excellence beyond the expectations in the provision of legal services, leadership, overall contribution, and knowledge of their government department.

Bronwyn Worswick

BRONWYN WORSWICK
GENERAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS

Bronwyn Worswick is a highly qualified and experienced government lawyer, military law specialist and company director, with an excellent reputation for client-focused and strategic problem-solving. A trusted advisor with expertise in administrative law, statutory interpretation, military law and information law, Bronwyn has extensive experience in advising on high profile, sensitive and serious cases. Recognised for her leadership of small and large legal teams, particularly as the lead for the Army’s legal capability of 50 full time and 120 part-time legal officers for three years and the leadership of workforce structure, professional development and recruitment reform.

Bronwyn has demonstrated excellence at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to support veteran-centric reform through early engagement to reduce veterans’ appeals. She contributed to the conceptual design of the soon to be established National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide and re-shaping the veteran legislative reform agenda.

 

SMALL LEGAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

LawVu

This is awarded to the small legal team showing highest level of excellence, being recognised for effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development.

Boeing

BOEING

The Boeing Australia legal team is an exemplary asset to the company and its operations in Australia. The team has been invaluable to the business this year, particularly in making its way through the most significant crisis endured by the commercial aviation industry in its history. They are known as highly-trusted and highly-valued members of the company.

The team actively engages with senior leadership at each of the Boeing regional subsidiaries, providing the boards of the subsidiaries with strategic legal advice and company secretarial support. This year they made a material contribution directly to the bottom line by negotiating long-term contracts for key Boeing franchise programs with their primary customer, the Australian Government.

In addition to assisting team members, business units and functions in pursuing the strategic objectives of the Boeing enterprise, the team also contribute their legal expertise to industry; at the Royal Aeronautical Society and Australian Industry Group Defence Council – Commercial, by teaching aviation law at UNSW, and to community by providing pro bono legal services at Redfern Legal Centre and the Community Desk for NSW Justice of the Peace activities.  

 

LARGE LEGAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by:

checkbox

This is awarded to the large legal team showing highest level of excellence, being recognised for effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development.

Queensland Rail

QUEENSLAND RAIL

The Queensland Rail Legal, RTI and Privacy team is an agile, multidisciplinary group of professionals who work hard to be trusted and valued business partners within Queensland Rail. Most importantly, they try to achieve this goal while having fun and being a source of creativity and positivity within Queensland Rail. Every day they strive to live by the values, which they decided, as a team, are essential – courage, honesty, integrity, respect and trust.

The team focuses on outreach within the business, seeking to be trusted advisers who their business partners want to have involved in delivering business goals. They recently formalised their outreach program by creating a new intranet site, Linkle (Link to Legal, RTI and Privacy) to support the business to solve their legal problems and to provide the tools required to understand and manage legal risk. Linkle contains checklists, templates, how to videos, FAQ’s and other explanatory information.

 

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