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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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Edwina Stevenson

Member in the Spotlight allows us to get up-close and personal with some of our ACC Australia members. This week we are shining the spotlight on Edwina Stevenson, Legal Manager – Corporate & Compliance at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, winner of the ‘In-house Lawyer of the Year’ at the 2022 ACC Australia Corporate Lawyer Awards and member of the ACC South Australia Committee. 

Tell us about your current role.
It's the best job in the world. No day is the same. I advise Pernod Ricard Winemakers on product labelling (which for alcoholic products is quite complex), liquor licensing, exporting and importing issues, product innovation (what you can and can't bottle, and how you can market it), employment law, modern slavery, privacy and spam laws, company secretary matters, and responsible marketing issues. Some career highlights include drafting an endorsement contract with Chris Hemsworth, liaising with international experts on the marketing of our Double Barrel wine (a wine that is fermented in wine and whiskey barrels), negotiating the hire of a yacht for our Mumm Melbourne Cup marquee, and presenting to the executive on our risk map. 

What do you believe is the most important skill an in-house lawyer needs?  
The ability to build trust.   

What led you to pursue an in-house legal role?
I like seeing my advice and decisions being implemented, and I like being around people who aren't lawyers (as much as I really like lawyers!). 

What advice would you offer to in-house counsel in building relationships within their organisations?
Everyone in your organisation can teach you something, so have lots of conversations and be a good listener. 

What is the one thing a law degree doesn’t teach you about being an in-house lawyer?
How to offer commercially-sensible advice, expressed in 25 words or less. 

What are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed across the legal sector since you joined the profession?
Flexible, home-based working. When I started as a lawyer, remote working wasn't well supported by technology or management. Now it's the norm. 

Finish this sentence… If I wasn’t a lawyer I’d be…
A paediatric speech pathologist. That's quite specific, I know. Feeding and speech in children are critical skills that affect the rest of their lives. It would be pretty great to contribute to that. 

I like being a part of the ACC Australia community because…
It's a truly collegiate community, comprised of people who celebrate one another's successes and who are striving to do things better.  


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