The Connector’s Collection
“Opening the In-House Door” Masterclass Series

“How to Get in Front of General Counsel”

exclusively sponsored by:

The Connector’s Collection
Opening the In-House Door
Masterclass Series

“How to Get in Front
of General Counsel”

with Claire Bibby
and Fiona Craig

There are over 11,500 lawyers practising in corporate and government in-house roles in Australia, and those numbers are on the rise. 

They represent a considerable chunk of the $20 billion spent each year in the Australian legal services market, at a time when the in-house segment itself is going through a massive transformation period.

And that’s before factoring in the millions of dollars in fees currently being generated by the Financial Services Royal Commission.

A recent report by ACC Australia indicated that the in-house legal market is more than ready to dip their toes outside of the top end of town and are doing so with an ever-increasing frequency.

General Counsel are more prepared than ever to redirect their spend, especially at a time when corporate legal operations management and emerging legal tech are on the radar of anyone who is anyone in-house.

The question is: how do law firms successfully tap into this golden river of clients, when competition amongst firms is fierce, and a coveted panel position seems out of reach?  

This event is specifically designed for:




Special Counsel


Senior Associates


Business Development Professionals

SmartWomen Connect is excited to exclusively partner with one of Asia Pacific’s best known in-house legal influencers and innovators, Claire Bibby, for a limited series of Masterclasses exclusively designed for law firms who want to crack the lucrative in-house client market and build, then retain, a top-tier repeat client base.

In the first of a series of Masterclasses on “Opening the In-House Door,” SmartWomen Connect Founder and Executive Coach and Trainer to the legal profession, Fiona Craig, joins Claire Bibby to answer the question “How to Get in Front of General Counsel.”

And in conversations with other prominent General Counsel, they will share the when, why and how General Counsel build, expand or reduce their panels, and when they venture outside and give a new non-panel firm a go (yes, it does happen!).

You’ll learn:


The secrets of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to engaging with in-house lawyers and successfully landing a brief


How to break into panel structures when you’re told the panel is locked in “so come back next year”


Why you are losing in-house clients without even knowing it


What other firms are doing that makes them stand out from the crowd


How in-house lawyers are revolutionising their approach to legal services, and no longer tolerating old-fashioned law firm methods


What is important to in-house lawyers and what gets under their skin

Sydney Panel


Group General Counsel at Coca-Cola Amatil


Head of Legal Australasia at Willis Towers Watson Australia


Assistant General Counsel at Carnival Australia

Melbourne Panel


Company Secretary & General Counsel at HESTA


General Counsel at Telstra Enterprise


General Counsel and Company Secretary at Energy Australia

Brisbane Panel


Formerly GC of G8 and WICET


General Counsel at Stanwell Corporation


Head of Legal – Coal at Pacific National

Meet “The Connectors”

Fiona and Claire stalked each other for a while on LinkedIn before getting together for a coffee and developing a working relationship and friendship.

They both thrive on connecting people and are known as “door-openers”.

Each of them has an established track record in breaking new ground and inspiring professionals, and both were featured in SmartCompany’s 2018 International Women’s Day Showcase.

They are inspirational, passionate speakers with a compelling, fast-paced style.

Their audiences include teams, executives, lawyers, women’s groups, students and professionals, with whom they
share their knowledge, experience, stories and practical tips.

And, as great friends, the energy they bring to the room is unique!


Fiona is a full of life Scottish-Aussie and former top-tier Corporate lawyer who thrives on connecting people in business and inspiring lawyers and other professionals to build a smarter career.

Featured in the SMH, Women’s Fitness, Smart Company, Marie Claire, Women’s Agenda and The Huffington Post, Fiona is a professional speaker, trainer and coach with expertise in helping lawyers and other professionals build strong communication, influencing, business development and networking skills to enhance their career success.

She is passionate about helping professionals understand the importance of positioning to career success, and is known for her work in helping people build their personal brand and level of influence in their industry, as well as enhancing the strength and effectiveness of their networks.

Her clients have included many professional service firms such as Herbert Smith Freehills, Clayton Utz, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, Maurice Blackburn, PwC, Grant Thornton, Colin Biggers & Paisley, Maddocks, K&L Gates, DLA Piper, William Roberts, Hopgood Ganim and McCullough Robertson.

Having moved to Australia knowing no-one, she has built a thriving and valuable network from scratch in 3 states. She is the Founder of SmartWomen Connect, which is fast becoming the go-to networking and professional development group for career women in Australia.


Claire Bibby is a well-known innovator and thought leader in the legal sector, having over 25 years’ experience gained through senior legal executive appointments with some of the world’s largest companies and at top-tier local and international law firms.

Before moving into the General Counsel space, she spent a decade advocating for her clients as a litigator in Australian courts, and so has seen both sides of the profession. She knows what works and what doesn’t and has a proven record in breaking new ground and strategic leadership.

Claire has been recognised as one of Australia’s best lawyers and female executives, including having been awarded the Excellence Award for Women in Law, General Counsel of the Year, Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and Mentor of the Year.

She is also a non-executive director of Marist180, MyProperty Circles, and the University of Technology Sydney Law Advisory Board.

In addition, Claire is an executive member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, an Entrepreneur Ambassador for Opportunity International, and a committee member of Soroptimist International, the NSW Law Society Futures Committee and the Resolution Institute.

Claire is also an active philanthropist and public speaker on issues of innovation, diversity and inclusion, psychological wellness, developing high performing teams and women’s leadership. She’s a mentor for Layne Beachley’s “Aim for the Stars” Foundation and was recently featured in SmartCompany’s 2018 International Women’s Day Showcase.

Wednesday 12 September 12-2pm,
The College of Law
St James Centre, Level 16, 111 Elizabeth St

Thursday 13 September 12-2pm,
Room 10.01, Level 10
The College of Law, 459 Little Collins St

Wednesday 19 September 12-2pm,
The College Of Law
Level 9, 140 Ann Street

This is an event you can’t afford to miss!

Space is limited and tickets to the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Master Classes will sell out fast…

Each event runs from 12pm – 2pm.

Register now for just $325!

* * Register for 3 or more attendees and use the code GROUP
to get a 15% discount * *

* * SmartWomen Connect Members click HERE
for your additional discount * *

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