Can you tell us about your role and what you love about it?
I have two parts to my role. The core part is that I lead the Legal, Risk and Compliance function for CoreLogic international, covering Australia, UK and NZ (I just happen to be based in Wellington). The other (non-legal) part of my role is working with our key clients and building a partner channel for our NZ business. I love the breadth and variety of my role, the opportunity to work in a dynamic industry and being empowered to lead the business and drive strategy.
What is your biggest challenge?
Like most GCs I’m having to do more with fewer resources – that’s pretty standard these days. The challenge around that is prioritisation and that’s a challenge that’s not limited to lawyers. High performance is all about focus, so to get better we have to learn to prioritise well.
Can you tell us about the journey your legal team has been on towards a self-service model and would you have done anything differently on reflection?
When I stepped into the role we were committed to keeping the size of the team small but turnaround times for work were not great and the workload was increasing as we acquired businesses. The only way I could see to keep the team small but increase output and throughput was to empower clients more through self-service. We put a lot of work into templates (centrally available) and training and it has really paid off. In addition, to support our processes (especially important with a team that is spread across multiple countries) we started using JIRA to assign work between lawyers. JIRA enables me to see at a glance who is assigned to a piece of work, when it’s due to the internal client, if it’s back with the client awaiting information and I can track turnaround time against SLAs we’ve committed to. Using these tools together we’ve lifted service levels, kept the team small despite significant growth in volume of work and improved our feedback on surveys of internal clients. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to accelerate the programme and get some funding for some automation (that’s next!).
You stepped into the Acting New Zealand Country Manager role for CoreLogic in addition to General Counsel. What did you learn about leadership and about yourself in that time?
I learned a huge amount. I learned so much about how other parts of the business contribute and what the challenges and pressures of their jobs are. It has undoubtedly made me a better lawyer. Although I thought before that I knew the business, once you really understand sales you can see how lawyers can help make the engagement process easier and enhance deals. About myself, I learned that I still like being a lawyer but I also like other work too – right now my role has a balance of some non-legal, some legal and that’s fantastic for me.
What is the one piece of technology (either current or yet to be created) that would make your day job easier?
Teleportation. Being based in NZ, managing teams in Australia and the UK, reporting into a global GC in the US – I travel a lot. If I could teleport, it would literally change my life!