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Whichever corner of the world an in-house lawyer is working in the worries are the same – keeping up with the regulators, managing risk and costs. A recent gathering of the heads of legal departments of more than 50 of Australia’s largest companies, organised by Martindale-Hubbell, the Australian Corporate Lawyers’ Association and the International Bar Association (IBA), gave in-house counsel Down Under the opportunity to air their concerns.

As in North America and Europe, Australian corporate executives and their boards are highly attuned to problems of non-compliance and various kinds of disputes that can quickly affect reputation. A damaged reputation can hurt share price, divert productivity, lower employee morale and poorly reflect on the company’s lead-ership. And these counsel know all too well that the head of legal is nearly always at the centre of it.

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