Login to MyACC
ACC Members

Not a Member?

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.

Join ACC

Member in the Spotlight allows us to get up-close and personal with some of our ACC Australia members. Recently, we spoke with Mike Madden, General Counsel at Hyne Timber, Director and Treasurer, ACC Global Board.

Tell us about your current role.  
I am currently the GC at Hyne Timber and am responsible for the Legal, Commercial and Procurement functions at Hyne. It is an interesting and varied role which really allows the team to be close to the business units in all facets of Hyne's operations and support the business needs.

What do you believe is the most important skill an in-house lawyer needs?  
An open mind and active listening.   

What led you to pursue an in-house legal role?  
I was seconded to Telstra Corporation Limited in 2008 for a period of three months early on in my career and during that secondment I knew I wanted to pursue a career in-house and have been fortunate enough to have a career as an in-house lawyer since. 

What advice would you offer to in-house counsel in building relationships with their organisations? 
Understand the business really well, be collaborative and consultative when making decisions that have an impact on your clients and be open minded about risk and always have a change management plan to take your organisation on the journey with you. 

What is the one thing a law degree doesn’t teach you about being an in-house lawyer?
Leadership and influencing skills which are both vital for success and credibility for in-house lawyers and an in-house legal function. 

What are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed across the legal sector since you joined the profession?
There are so many but for me there are two changes. First is the the growing presence and advances in legal-tech, particularly technology that is focused on providing a variety of tools and support services for in-house legal functions. The second is the growth of in-house- legal functions across industry which really demonstrates that business are seeing the value and recognising the benefits that an in-house legal function can bring to the table. As in-house lawyers we should be proud of the profound and positive impact we are having in this area. 

Finish this sentence…. If I wasn’t a lawyer I’d be…
a professional rugby union coach. I had an opportunity to go to Europe and work as an assistance coach in a first division competition in France but it came up just after I had been appointed into my first General Counsel role...never too late!!! 

I like being a part of the ACC Australia community because ...
it is a fantastic member-led organisation focused on the needs of in-house lawyers member with great resources, advocacy on behalf of our profession and the ability to connect with peers at a local, national and global level through a multitude of events and activities. As a director of ACC its been a privilege to be able to serve our members and I encourage all of our members to get involved with their local chapters and participate in the many networking and education opportunities as part of your membership.