1 June 2015,


THE Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) has launched the ACLA GC100, an independent, invitation-only forum for the most senior legal executives of Australia's largest companies to share knowledge, experience, and contribute an expert legal voice to national policy debate including reforms to company and business law.

The ACLA GC100 already has support from over 50 of the ASX100 companies, with the five foundation members from some of Australia's largest companies.  

The founding members include Carmel Mulhern (pictured), Group General Counsel, Telstra Corporation Limited (Chair of the ACLA GC100); Brian Salter, General Counsel and Company Secretary, AMP (Deputy Chair of the ACLA GC100); Paul Meadows, formerly Group General Counsel, Wesfarmers Limited; Bob Santamaria, Group General Counsel, ANZ; and Kerry Willcock, Executive General Manager Corporate, Legal and Regulatory, Tabcorp.

The forum will look at issues critical to Australian business success and will host work streams looking at topics such as company/business law and corporate governance, IT/IP and data/privacy, professional development and practice management.

"Policy debate should draw on a diverse range of views. As General Counsel of ASX100 companies, we are in the unique position of seeing and understanding the practical impact on Australian businesses of changes to laws, regulations and Government policies", said Carmel Mulhern, Chair of the ACLA GC100.

"Despite best intentions, legislative change can have unintended consequences and flow on costs to business. Being able to view legal reform through the lens of business practicality, we believe, will support an economically and socially sustainable business environment."

Along with the ability to contribute to policy debate in a unique way, the ACLA GC100 is a collaborative network that enables peers in ASX100 and equivalent organisations to share insights and ideas to support each other, and the in-house profession more broadly.

"The in-house legal profession is growing as businesses realise the value of commercially savvy legal advisers who are integrated into the fabric of the organisation. As a growing profession, there is much to be learned from each other. For example, in-house counsel often source inspiration from their peers on how to manage the function more effectively and demonstrate value internally", said Trish Hyde, CEO ACLA.

"The thought leadership of the ACLA GC100 will assist all ACLA's in-house counsel members from the new kid on the block to the heads of large legal teams.

The first meeting, in Sydney in February, was attended by 40 of the ASX100 GCs and set the foundations for the group.

An upcoming meeting will be held in Sydney on 7 August.






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