GC Spotlight: Emma McCormack, General Counsel, BAI Communications.
We speak with BAI communications' GC, Emma McCormack. We ask about her role as a GC for a telecommunications company and her priorities for the year. Let's get into it!
1. Hi Emma! Tell us a little about your role at work and what excites you outside of work.
I am General Counsel for BAI Communications in Australia. If you’ve watched ABC, SBS or Southern Cross TV channels in Australia, then you will have seen a broadcast transmission that we manage. Broadcasting TV and radio to 99% of the Australian population is no small task, so it comes with challenging and interesting legal work.
As a licensed telecommunications carrier, we are also looking at how we can grow and expand our telecommunications offering. With 5G driving smart technology applications and use cases, it’s an exciting time to be working in this space.
Outside of work I am getting excited about travelling internationally again! But likewise the last few years has been a great opportunity to get see new parts of Australia too.
2. What have been your biggest challenges during the pandemic?
I started with BAI in March 2021, and at the time I had the opportunity to go into the office a couple of days a week to spend time with my team and colleagues. But Sydney went into lockdown again a few months later, so I had to really put some extra effort into establishing those important connections in a remote environment. I think remote work has changed our work lives immeasurably, mostly in a good way, but it remains extremely important to build and maintain in-person connections.
3. What are your key priorities for the year?
As BAI grows from being predominantly a broadcast transmission business to also become a telecommunication services provider, the legal team also needs to evolve our skills and expertise to support this growth. We are focussing on learning and developing in this area through both hands-on experience and knowledge sharing. This doesn’t just mean learning about the legal landscape, but also building a rounded understanding of the technology and industry.
4. What do you think about the use of LegalTech to improve your legal department's value (e.g. data relating to contracts, risk, tracking workflows, performance metrics, costs), and how do you see this evolving in the next 5 years?
I think technology can improve the value of a legal team by freeing up lawyers’ time and reducing the scope for errors. I am confident that within five years we will have moved to a more sophisticated contract management framework, with automated approvals and contract lifecycle tracking and with lots more information and data about our contracts.
The good news for lawyers is that this allows us to focus on the most interesting part of what we do, such as solving bespoke problems and advising on complex risks – skills which can’t easily be automated or performed by computers. So automation and analytics technology is beneficial for both lawyers and our clients.
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