find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Q&A: Agata Jarbin

Q&A: Agata Jarbin

Agata Jarbin, the company secretary and general counsel at State Trustees, talks about how being a senior in-house lawyer enables her to be involved in strategy discussions.

How did you come to be the GC in your present role and what advice can you offer to aspiring in-house lawyers / general counsel?

Prior to taking up the role as general counsel and company secretary of State Trustees, I was a partner of King & Wood Mallesons. I was attracted to a general counsel role due to the breadth of issues with which in-house lawyers deal, their ability to partner with the business on issues that one would never encounter in private practice and their ability to see issues through to implementation.

In private practice, there is a tendency to specialise and be called upon as a specialist in a particular field. As general counsel, however, I am across all strategic matters in which the organisation is involved with, ranging from a dispute with a major supplier to expressing a view on policy relating to an area of the law to dealing with a regulator. In-house lawyers are called upon to solve problems or help identify risks and put in place solutions to mitigate those risks. They often are called upon at short notice to provide not just legal advice but practical guidance as well.

For people who wish to work in-house, I would highly recommend doing a secondment. If you are thinking of going in-house, you need to find an organisation where you will find the work interesting with a culture that suits you.

The role of the general counsel is diverse and multi-faceted. In light of the James Hardie case, where/how does your GC role fit in with the business?

One of the growing trends is for the legal team to partner very closely with the business. This enables the legal team to know developments which are coming up, identify risks and help with strategies to either alleviate or mitigate those risks and prevent issues arising down the track. The James Hardie case brings home the need to be well informed as to the issues facing the business.

In your opinion, what do you consider to be the main challenges you face in your particular industry sector in the year ahead?

The trustee industry will need to continue to innovate in the provision of services, to keep pace with changes in the financial landscape, societal trends, technology and the law. I anticipate that in Victoria we will see reform to succession, guardianship, and power of attorney laws. State Trustees will need to continue to position itself to meet the requirements of an increasingly sophisticated and “tech-savvy” population, with more complex needs and circumstances.

Copy and logo supplied by JLegal. For more information visit:

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Q&A: Agata Jarbin
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...