find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
When opportunity knocks

When opportunity knocks

With many in-house lawyers working 50-plus hour weeks, Peter Turner, CEO of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, asks what can be done in 2010 to turn things around. _x000D_

THE New Lawyer has kindly offered me the opportunity to submit a regular column on matters of interest to in-house lawyers.

In this inaugural note, I would like to pick up on the theme of ACLA’s 2009 National Conference, held in Melbourne just a few weeks ago: Opportunity Beckons: Performance in the Face of Change.

We are all under pressure to perform – to perform better, faster, cheaper – you name it.

Dr Sven Hansen, of The Resilience Institute, showed us at the conference what happens to your mind and your body when you’re constantly under pressure. It’s not a pretty sight! Nothing works properly, fresh ideas don’t come, life seems bleak. 

On the other hand, Li Cunxin, Mao’s Last Dancer, entertained us with the parable of the frog that lived at the bottom of a deep, dark well and had no idea of the sunshine and beauty that existed outside it. With hard work, commitment and courage however, the frog could eventually escape the well and find its place in the sun. So how do we find the right balance between these extremes?

The GFC has forced many of us to take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. Not just to consider how much money we spend but also to think about how we spend our time and what we are achieving with our efforts. 

With many in-house lawyers now working 50-plus hour weeks, putting in extra time at work doesn’t look like an attractive option. Ergo: we need to work smarter not longer. And that’s why opportunity beckons..

With the pressure on both in-house and within the law firms, now is an ideal time to reconsider the outsourcing – decision, our pricing arrangements with external advisers, how our departments are staffed and structured, whether we meet accepted benchmarks for in-house practice, how we can make optimal use of technology and what else we can do to lessen the load.

2010 may offer the best chance yet to ensure our actual results meet or exceed desired outcomes.

Peter Turner is the CEO of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) and a member of the Advisory Board of the corporate counsel forum of the IBA. He was formerly vice president, legal affairs, at Foster’s Group Limited. 

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

When opportunity knocks
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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 & ...