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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