find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
GC share key leadership strategies

GC share key leadership strategies

Rachel Launders

Two general counsel have shed light on how they manage their in-house legal teams.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly recently, Nine Entertainment Co. general counsel Rachel Launders and Qudos Bank general counsel Cindy Hansen shared how they effectively manage their teams to get the best outcomes for their companies.

Ms Launders said she sees her role as more of a “supporter and enabler”, rather than someone who dictates instructions to her legal team.

“Most of the team are six-plus years post-admission, so they’re for the most part quite self-sufficient and have a high level of expertise in the work they do,” she said.

“They don’t need day-to-day close supervision, so I see my role with them as more of a supporter or coach – someone that will give them a second opinion or some guidance, or as someone to support them through the decisions they’re making.

“If it’s a challenging decision I’ll talk it through with them, rather than necessarily directly overseeing or second-guessing what they’re doing. I approach the team more as a supporter and enabler, rather than just giving directions.”

Ms Launders said as no two days are the same, it’s imperative for her to continually reassess her goals, her team’s goals and those of the company to ensure an effective leadership strategy is upheld.

“I think the GC and legal team generally need to be quite astute about understanding the business of the company,” she said.

“The advice that we give needs to take into account the short- and long-term needs of the business. That sometimes means saying no, but usually with some alternatives to get to a yes.

“It’s also about helping the business achieve their goals and very much focusing on the strategy of the organisation and what we can do that contributes to the strategy. How can we do things more effectively and help the business achieve its goals?”

Ms Hansen said her role extends right across her company’s board.

“As general counsel and company secretary my role is to act as a trusted adviser to the board and management of Qudos Bank, to help the business implement its strategy and to manage legal and governance risk. I also act as facilitator (and interpreter) between the bank and external law firms and regulators. It’s this focus on prudent commercial outcomes that differentiates the in-house role,” she said.

“I have heard the role of general counsel described as one of the keepers of the conscience of a company, and I agree that we have an important role in shaping and supporting the company’s culture.

“This includes leading by example, to bring a sense of perspective and rigour to discussion and to explore the motivation and consequences of proposed strategies to ensure that they are in keeping with our vision and values.”

As Ms Hansen’s legal team is smaller than Ms Launders’, she naturally has a different approach to its management.

“I have a very small legal team – there are only the two of us – however we are both members of many teams across the business, from executive management to project teams,” she said.

“My approach in all cases is to be accessible, practical, constructive and, above all, solution-driven.”


Pictured left to right: Rachel Launders and Cindy Hansen.

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

GC share key leadership strategies
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
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 & ...