In-House Counsel Conference 2014
Whistleblowing and Legal Ethics
Featuring special guest speaker Jeff Morris, Commonwealth Bank of Australia whistleblower
Jeff Morris led a group of whistleblowers who brought to light the unscrupulous conduct of colleagues at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. His actions ultimately resulted in a Senate inquiry. In this session, Jeff will share his first-hand experiences, highlighting the practical difficulties and personal ramifications of his decision to ‘blow the whistle’. Peter Caillard, former in-house counsel and barrister, will then discuss the ethical considerations of a lawyer acting as whistleblower.
Competition and Consumer Law Update
The ACCC has recently been very vocal about their intention to adopt a more litigious approach in dealing with suspected breaches of the Australian Consumer Law. In this climate, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure that they stay up to date with developments in this area. This session will explore key trends, case law and policy considerations related to the Australian Consumer Law.
Presented by: Marcus Crachi, Supervising Counsel, Telstra Consumer - Channel Management & Sales Legal,
Telstra Corporation Limited
Redundancy Round Up – Recent cases and their consequences
This session will provide a review of recent Federal Court and Fair Work Commission decisions involving redundancies, highlighting trends and key risk areas for in-house counsel involved in these processes.
Presented by: Renato Marasco, Manager - Employee Relations, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria Limited
Is it Still a Privilege? LPP and international communications
It is increasingly common for organisations to conduct business across international borders, from multinational corporations with offices around the globe, to small businesses dealing with overseas suppliers and customers. This can present real challenges for in-house counsel when providing legal advice or dealing with inter-jurisdictional communications. When will overseas communications attract legal professional privilege in Australia and what is the scope of that privilege? Are documents that attract legal professional privilege in Australia similarly immune from disclosure in other countries? This session will explore the Australian courts’ stance on these issues and provide an overview of the position in selected key international jurisdictions.
Presented by: Kathryn Howard, Partner, Holding Redlich
Fixed Fees and Direct Briefing – Passing fads or permanent trends?
With ever increasing pressure to cut costs and justify external legal spend, it is prudent for in-house counsel to explore whether the latest outsourcing trends can deliver the certainty and value for money they promise. Are ‘direct briefing’ and ‘fixed fee arrangements’ just the latest buzzwords in legal practice or do they provide real and lasting benefits?
Presented by: John Chisholm, Director, John Chisholm Consulting
Cesar Piotti, Legal Counsel, Global Litigation, The Shell Company of Australia Limited
Corporate Governance – Best practice and principles
The latest edition of the ASX’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (CGPR) introduced a number of changes, including new requirements concerning environmental and social sustainability risks. Although compliance is only mandatory for listed companies, it has long been considered best practice for other organisations to observe the CGPR in order to achieve good governance outcomes. This session will examine the CGPR and explore how they have been applied in different organisations since their introduction in July 2014.
Presented by: John Snowdon, Corporate Counsel, Monash Health
Protecting your Company’s Assets – Effective drafting of IP clauses
Intellectual property clauses are included in - and essential to – almost all contracts, from simple supply agreements through to complex joint venture agreements. Going far beyond simply protecting an organisation’s brand name or marketing, they often need to address complex questions about ownership and use of information, expertise or other intellectual property that incorporates or makes use of not only the contracting parties’ respective intellectual property, but that of third parties.
Confidential Information and Communications with Public Bodies –
Risks, requests and strategies
When dealing with regulators, government departments and other public bodies, in-house counsel need to be mindful of a raft of issues – from compliance and privilege, to managing competing internal and external deadlines. It is no wonder that little consideration is given to the fact that material ostensibly provided to these organisations on a confidential basis could later be the subject of a freedom of information (‘FOI’) application, with the potential to expose information that was never intended to be in the public domain. This session will provide a brief overview of how an FOI request can be made and explore the key grounds on which disclosure can be refused. It will also provide guidance on drafting documentation in light of potential FOI requests and explore alternative methods of communication.
Presented by: Rachel Walsh, Barrister, Victorian Bar
Elizabeth Kennedy, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
This program will be chaired by Bruce Moore, General Counsel, Australian Red Cross
and Saveria Dimasi, Executive Director Project Services and former General Counsel, The University of Melbourne