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
Winners in the house

Winners in the house

Three dedicated young female lawyers working for three different industries stole the spotlight on Friday night (14 June) as they took home the In-house Award.

Danielle Arnfield (pictured left), a SA-based corporate lawyer at Premium Wine Brands – Pernot Ricard, Amy Nason (pictured right), a legal counsel for Telstra based in Queensland, and Khalida Popal, a WA-based lawyer for global resources company AngloGold Ashanti Australia, won the In-house Awards at the inaugural Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.

“I feel really privileged [to have won]. There was a great shortlist of people and it feels really good to be recognised for some of the work I’m doing with ACLA and the young lawyers committee and also that there’s an in-house category altogether, because sometimes that gets forgotten,” said Arnfield after she accepted her Award.


Finalists Dianna Gu from SP AusNet, Gregory Seeto from Discovery Metals Limited and Kimberly Statham from Virgin Mobile Australia/Singtel Optus, each received high marks from the category judge.

The three winners were, however, favoured for their outstanding achievements in their respective fields. Each also had strong ideas about the profession and its relationship with the in-house sector.

“The main barrier to pro bono that remains is motivation. I believe the best way to overcome this is by incorporating pro bono work in the CLE scheme,” said Popal, echoing the sentiments of other finalists that there should be an easier way for in-house lawyers to provide pro bono advice, without exorbitant insurance fees.

In terms of billing practices, Arnfield firmly stated in her application that in-house departments need to demand value-based billing.

“It amazes me that I would brief an ‘expert’ in an area to provide me timely advice that I would then be charged for research time on the very area they are claiming to be an expert on,” she said, adding that there are circumstances where research would be a reasonable charge but that this should not be the norm.

Commercially minded

Nason, a former senior associate at Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) and former in-house counsel at Boeing Defence Australia, was recognised for her leadership in Telstra’s 170-strong legal team.

Nason manages areas of customer experience improvements, Telstra’s dealer channel, complaints, and the National Broadband Network, and also mentors three of her fellow lawyers.

“There are many positives for lawyers about working for an in-house legal team, including being strategically involved in business decisions and developing commercial acumen,” she said.

Arnfield, who has only ever worked in-house, agreed. Along with delivering training on cartel conduct, trade promotions, legal privilege, anti-bribery and corruption and contract law within her organisation, she was vital in executing Jacob’s Creek’s Australian Open sponsorship, including the Andre Agassi endorsement agreement.

“I didn’t get to meet [Agassi] but I worked on his contract and have had his email address … when the Australian Open is on it’s full on; getting all the sponsorship done, all the above-line point-of-sale … but it’s really worthwhile when you watch the games and you see Jacobs Creek up on the screen - that’s fantastic,” she said.

Popal has demonstrated her legal prowess by delivering legal training for AngloGold’s managerial staff; flying to mine sites to interpret legal jargon in contracts.

Through her specialised mining knowledge, she was able to deal with much of the company’s previously outsourced legal work internally.

Coming from a family who migrated from a war-torn country, and as a member of the Afghan Association of Australia now, Popal also provides ongoing general support and guidance to recent immigrants.

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

Winners in the house
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 & ...