Head of Legal - Australia

North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
07 Nov 2018
09 Nov 2018
Contract type
Full time


Serving 31 million customers in 66 countries, Societe Generale is one of Europe's largest financial services organisations. We employ 146,000 people in 67 countries worldwide. Based on a diversified universal banking model, Societe Generale combines financial solidity and a strategy of sustainable growth. Our objective: to be the leading relationship-focused bank, a reference in its markets, close to its clients and chosen for the quality and commitment of its teams.

Opened in 1981, and located in Sydney, Societe Generale in Australia provides products and services in the areas of financial advisory and global markets for financial institutions. Societe Generale Securities Australia is a full participant of the ASX24 and its businesses range from futures clearing to prime broking and clearing to equity and derivatives sales.

There are currently 35 members of staff in Sydney, representing 10 different nationalities, from different business lines and corporate functions. We are currently looking for a Head of Legal to join us. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team in a growth phase and get hands-on experience within a fast-paced, results focused, global organisation. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to play a critical role in the future development of the organization in Australia and will be a key member of the local management team. S/he will work closely with different teams locally, regionally and globally.


Main Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The Legal Division is a worldwide community of in-house lawyers, paralegals and legal support staff with a business-driven organisation. It plays the critical role of assisting all Group divisions and entities in managing their legal risks, providing legal advice and instruction and producing or commissioning normative and contractual legal documentation.

The successful candidate will report locally to the Chief Country Officer and regionally to the General Counsel - Asia Pacific. S/he will be responsible for leading the Australian legal function and managing the legal risk for Societe Generale in Australia. S/he will work in close cooperation with senior management in Australia and with the Compliance Department and will partner with the internal legal teams worldwide with respect to cross-border related transactions. His/her tasks will include the following activities:
  • Providing legal advice and support to the global finance, coverage and investment banking, and global markets business lines including legal advice for new products, projects and transactions;
  • Monitoring changes in applicable laws and regulations in Australia, analyzing their impacts and overseeing their implementation;
  • Managing and coordinating contentious issues and regulatory matters;
  • Arranging advisory support on employment law and sourcing matters and providing regular training to business lines and support functions;
  • Defining the relevant framework for the appropriate governance and steering of the legal function in Australia including the development and revision of legal policies and templates, the management of all internal and external reporting needs (regulatory reports, permanent supervision, etc.), and the definition and oversight of relations with the local panel of law firms.


Candidate Profile

Academic Background (degree and major)
Australian Legal Qualification (NSW Preferred) and Admission

Professional Experience/Technical Skills and Know how

Minimum 12 years' professional experience, preferably at a leading international financial institution and/or a top tier international or Australian law firm. Prior in-house legal experience in a leadership role is a major advantage.

Skills & Competencies

  • Sound knowledge of banking products and services and applicable Australian laws and regulations across the financing, derivatives and execution and clearing spheres; this should be backed up by transactional experience in these areas
  • Strong industry network will be an advantage
  • Experience of contentious matters (whether litigation or regulatory contentious issues)
  • Good interpersonal, written and communication skills
  • Proven ability to work independently and under pressure with a capacity to coordinate input from multiple onshore and offshore stakeholders
  • Capacity to provide direction and maintain momentum in a self-driven manner
  • Commercial acumen

Language Skills

Strong command of English is mandatory (written and spoken)

Functional Relationships

  • Internal: regional and global legal teams, local and regional management, compliance, staff from business divisions and support functions
  • External: external legal firms, regulatory authorities and peers in the banking and finance industry