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
Globalise from the inside out

Globalise from the inside out

Multinationals are seeking law firms that not only have an international presence but that also can collaborate closely across multiple offices, a former Australian Law Awards winner says.

Norton Rose Fulbright IP partner Jackie O’Brien (pictured below) won the Partner Award in 2014.

“Even now, basically a year later, I still get people saying either 'congratulations' or ‘didn't you win that award last year?’ – which is very nice,” Ms O’Brien said. “It goes to the pulling power of the awards.”

Submissions for this year’s Australian Law Awards are still open.

One of the prominent trends seen in IP law over the past year has been the jump in demand for legal service providers with the ability to deliver coordinated advice across multiple jurisdictions, she said.

“The way that clients are asking their legal service providers to work with them is changing quite a lot,” Ms O'Brien said, noting that clients now expect firms to be “truly global instead of a collection of teams that happen to be global".

This means presenting your international practice group as a united front, instead of a group of loosely connected entities.

“We try to present ourselves as the IP team from NRF not the IP team from NRF in Sydney,” she said.

Practice groups within global firms must aim to work together as teams to deliver a consistent quality of advice. This requires collective problem solving and effective management of client expectations.

“I've got a couple of matters, for example, that require me to work with my colleagues in Canada, Hong Kong and London,” she said.

“It is a question of just getting very, very good at communication. You pick up the phone, you email, you make certain that you are doing the thinking and the planning … before the issues arise.

“That’s not only good lawyering; that's really cost-effective for a client as well.”

Ms O’Brien said IP tends to be, by its very nature, an international practice area.

“That’s because organisations that are serious about identifying, investing in and protecting their IP usually have those rights or equivalent in multiple jurisdictions,” she said.

Australia has a special place in international IP because it attracts test cases.

“Some clients see Australia as a very good place to run their cases first to see what is the likely result going to be,” said Ms O’Brien.

This is because Australia has a stable, common law system like the US, Canada and the UK, but with a smaller market.

“[Because] Australia is the type of jurisdiction it is, IP lawyers here have quite frequently handled matters over the years that are in some way international,” said Ms O’Brien.

“The challenge now is to not only have international matter but to operate internationally – and to me they are quite different things.”

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

Globalise from the inside out
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...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...