Lyn Boxall, former Regional General counsel, Visa International Asia Pacific and former Chief Legal Officer – Australia and New Zealand, GE Capital Corporation
Lyn did her law degree at The University of Melbourne and says that it was ‘longer ago than she cares to mention’. She topped it up with a Masters of Law (Intellectual Property Law) at Monash University in 2000 because, by the mid-1990s, it had become obvious that every business lawyer needs to know about intellectual property.
Lyn started out as a banking and finance lawyer with Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) in Melbourne, before moving inhouse with GE Capital. Hired because of her banking and finance background, she morphed into a corporate and commercial lawyer, not least because mergers and acquisitions were ‘business as usual’ at GE Capital. Lyn moved to Singapore at the end of 2000 and took up the regional legal role with Visa International. During her nine years at Visa, Lyn was responsible for all legal and regulatory matters across APAC and built and led a legal team in Singapore that served the business across the region. She moved to San Francisco for a few months in 2006/7 to lead one of the four legal work streams in the Visa demutualisation and restructuring ahead of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2008. Since then Lyn has done a range of things, including being called to both the Singapore bar and the New York bar. Now she concentrates on data protection, information security, payment systems – no surprise there! – and governance, risk and compliance.
Lyn is fond of saying that ‘The hard stuff is the easy stuff, the soft stuff is the hard stuff’ – in other words, in an inhouse role (versus private practice) the hard stuff, the law, is (relatively) easy, while the soft stuff (relationships with business colleagues, lawyers in a foreign head office, etc.) is the (really, really) hard stuff.
Younger lawyers very rarely need a mentor for the hard stuff, but sometimes a mentor (a.k.a., sometimes, a shoulder to cry on) comes in very handy for the soft stuff.