Where Member Organisations Meet Statutory Regulation: Reimagining the Role of In-House Legal Counsel

Julia Connelly, Solicitor (In-house Counsel), Queensland Law Society, Australia

This article looks more closely at organisations such as Queensland Law Society (the Society); that is, corporations created under an Act of Parliament. These entities being creatures of statute, they are held to standards of statutory regulation extending beyond those expected of a private corporation. Organisations such as these are placed in a position made all the more unique where they are a representative body, acting not only in commercial, but also in a broad membership base’s interests. Inherent tension may tend to arise between the provision of services to, and regulation of, an organisation’s membership: it can be both a supporter as peak representative professional body, and a ‘stick wielder’. The organisation carries out these roles all against the backdrop of its being, at the same time, subject to the compliance requirements of a statutory body: these include proper governance, as well as accountability and transparency to the public. An example of this is its being held to the standard of a model litigant. Germane to this dual corporate role, therefore, is the mosaic of considerations and obligations that must attend in-house counsel (IHC)’s mind when s/he advises on matters concerning an organisation of this ilk.

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Australia Regulation Association October 2018 Vol.11, No. 45, Autumn 2018

Julia Connelly


Julia Connelly is an Australian lawyer, linguist and writer. She holds a BA (French, Spanish & Italian language), LLB (Hons) and LLM (Intellectual Property and Technology Law). Julia has worked in general commercial law (with a particular focus on litigation, intellectual property, competition and consumer law, privacy law and commercial contracting) since 2011. She is passionate about mentoring and championing mental well being within the legal profession. Outside of law, her interests include creative writing, the arts (ballet and opera in particular), fitness, horse riding and good food and wine. In an effort to challenge her arts and linguistics-centric brain, she has recently completed a beginner Physics course.

Queensland Law Society


Queensland Law Society (QLS) is the peak representative body for the legal profession in Queensland. More than 13,000 QLS members refer to the Society as a trusted source for leadership, guidance and support. As a clear and passionate voice for solicitors and the legal profession in Queensland, the Society empowers good lawyers, advocates for good law and serves the public good. Every year, as important legal profession issues arise, QLS acts as a versatile, responsive and collegiate representative body that engages with the government, the public and the legal community. Among the Society’s offerings, QLS provides members with ethical guidance; professional development; specialist accreditation; professional indemnity insurance; practising certificates; consultancy support (for new and developing practices); and trust account education and regulation. The Society is also firmly committed to providing clear advocacy for important matters that affect the legal profession and the general community.

Australia Regulation Association October 2018 Vol.11, No. 45, Autumn 2018

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