AGS wins Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award
On Thursday 20 November 2014, AGS's National Manager Pro Bono Services Geetha Nair, and our legal team of more than 80 lawyers who undertook pro bono work in 2013–14, won the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2014 Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) In-house Lawyer Awards in Adelaide. The Awards recognise excellence in the provision of legal services and the contribution made by in-house lawyers, whether in government or corporate legal departments.
Since 2008, we have increased our pro bono contribution annually. In 2013–14, it was over 7,500 hours of pro bono legal work, valued at more than $2.6 million. This is an increase of 2,300 hours and 44% since our first full year in 2009–10.
In 2013–14, we continued established relationships with public interest clearing houses and community legal centres in each State and Territory and included new placements with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (NSW), the Women’s Legal Centre (ACT) and the Consumer Action Legal Centre (Victoria). Read more
Successful year for AGS
AGS's 2013–14 annual report has been tabled in Parliament. The report details a highly successful year in which we assisted clients with everything from high-profile High Court cases and royal commissions to routine contract or procurement matters.
Our work assisted with key Government priorities including Operation Sovereign Borders, the privatisation of Medibank, 2 royal commissions and the Farm Finance Concessional Loan Scheme.
We remained the leading supplier in the government external legal services market, despite increased competition, and delivered profits above our corporate plan targets. In addition, we made significant savings in our corporate areas and overhead expenses.
This year marks 30 years since AGS began operations under our current name. While much has changed for AGS during those years, one thing has remained the same – our dedicated service to government and to our clients.
Beautiful Indigenous artwork purchased for our Reconciliation Action Plan
We have recently published our AGS Reconciliation Action Plan including a stunning painting by Indigenous artist Emma Nungarrayi on the cover. Emma lived at Papunya for many years and is recognised as a member of the influential Papunya Artists Movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Emma is from Central Mt Wedge and holds the sacred and secret law from that country she calls Karrinyarra.
AGS is proud to have purchased this painting from Aboriginal-owned and directed Tangentyere Artists which is a not-for-profit organisation, returning 100% of proceeds to the artists it represents. Strongly committed to improving social justice and maintaining cultural heritage, the centre operates on foundation principles based on equity, ethics and the protection of artists’ rights.
Emma’s painting is now hanging in AGS Canberra.
Chair AGS RAP Steering Committee and Indigenous Champion
Andras Markus wins Excellence in Government Legal Service Award
At the NSW Law Society's Government Solicitors' Conference on 10 September 2014, AGS's Special Counsel Litigation Andras Markus of AGS Sydney was awarded the Excellence in Government Legal Service Award.
Andras was recognised for his outstanding contribution to government legal service, the public interest and the Australian community by handling the most significant Commonwealth administrative law matters, providing expert guidance to the highest level of Commonwealth officials in matters in the public arena, mentoring and supervising other lawyers and acting as an exemplary government lawyer and model litigant role model during this last year and for over the previous 30 years of his time at AGS. Read more
AGS working on Western Sydney Airport
The Australian Government has appointed Ernst & Young to provide Business Adviser services for the Western Sydney Airport Project. On 7 August 2014, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said Ernst & Young will join already appointed legal advisers Clayton Utz and the Australian Government Solicitor working on the project.
'The project is about developing the infrastructure for the 21st century and creating new economic opportunities for the region,' Mr Truss said.