find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
In-house counsel bear brunt of economic woes

In-house counsel bear brunt of economic woes

Work-life balance goes out the window for corporate counsel when the economy dips, according to the group general counsel and company secretary of Insurance Australia Group Ltd (IAG).Speaking…

Work-life balance goes out the window for corporate counsel when the economy dips, according to the group general counsel and company secretary of Insurance Australia Group Ltd (IAG).

Speaking today (4 August) at the LexisNexis National In-house Counsel 2011 conference in Sydney, Chris Bertuch said that continuing economic and regulatory uncertainty means in-house lawyers are expected to be available to deal with business issues at whatever time they arise - and that can play havoc with peoples' personal lives.

"In the current climate, this challenge is out of our control," he said. "How do we define our roles in ways that give us what we want from our careers?"

Bertuch said that the natural concern for an in-house lawyer is to do what is best for the business, which is an even greater issue in an uncertain regulatory, political and economic environment.

However, he said it is also important for legal counsel to "make conscious decisions" about how they want their career to impact on their lives.

"You don't have to strive to reach the pinnacle of your organisation ... Be true to yourself," he said. "Set clear priorities and communicate those priorities. Take responsibility for making them happen."

Bertuch added that while saying such things is easy, it is often far more difficult to put into practice, especially with the advent of technology which makes people accessible 24 hours a day. "Is technology a help or a hindrance?" he asked.

Bertuch added that while the global economy continues to flounder, in-house lawyers will be working hard to ensure their business weathers the storm - but for how long that storm will last, no-one knows.

"Nobody has any clear idea as to where we'll be in 12 months' time, either in the Australian economy or in other economies around the world," he said.

According to Bertuch, other challenges facing in-house lawyers include keeping the cost of external legal counsel down, protecting brand and image in the age of social media, anticipating changes in regulation and adapting to the demands of increasingly globalised businesses.

(LexisNexis is the publisher of Lawyers Weekly)

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

In-house counsel bear brunt of economic woes
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Handshake
Sep 20 2017
Silk picked to monitor national security laws
Dr James Renwick SC has been appointed as Independent National Security Legislation Monitor after se...
Two businessman, growth
Sep 19 2017
Aus catching up on international arbitration front
Australia is starting to see a spike in international arbitration with this set to continue over the...
Prison
Sep 19 2017
Manson family killer suffered ‘miscarriage of justice’: former lawyer
A retired Australian barrister has published a book on the Manson Family murders of 1969 and called ...
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 & ...