Life as an in-house counsel at Resource Solutions
Nadia Fernandopulle, senior legal counsel, discusses her move from the manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka to a successful career in outsourcing in Singapore.
What are your experience and current role?
I joined Resource Solutions in September of 2018 as Senior Legal Counsel for Resource Solutions, aligned to the APAC business. Before moving to Singapore, I worked in Sri Lanka, my home country, in the private sector as a Legal Counsel for a large apparel manufacturer. It was quite an adjustment to move from talking about garments and their delivery to RPO/MSP and all the terminology that comes with our industry. However, three years later, given the variety of work, regional and global focus, and the fast-paced nature of our industry, I can’t see myself supporting any other business.
What does a typical day look like?
I am an early bird so I like to start my day quite early. This works well for me, as I get some quiet time to clear some emails and get some drafting done before most people are online. It also allows me to get in a workout before getting into the “office”.
My role entails negotiating agreements with our clients, as well as advising on contract and business models, and working in collaboration with sales, ops, and commercial on regional and global deals. I also have the opportunity to work closely with HR on employment matters, where legal assistance is needed. As a result, I have the unique opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals who have different experiences and outlooks, and not just those in the legal team.
As a business, we have an open-door policy, which works great, as I get to work very closely with all the teams, and we are always a phone call away thanks to Teams. Given my role supports the whole of APAC, being connected and having such a work environment is very useful and makes my life, and I hope my colleagues’ lives, convenient and easy. It also means we can resolve issues/concerns faster and provide solutions to clients without delays.
What are the main challenges in your role with RS?
I think my main challenge in this role is that I need to balance the legal risk with the commercial risk, as at the end of the day, we need to make sure that whilst operating within the confines of the law, we are not crippling the business. We also need to make sure that whilst protecting the business, we are not making it impossible to do business.
There is a fine line that we need to tread, and this can only be achieved with the open and honest culture we have in place, as it facilitates discussion and debate both within the legal team as well as with the rest of the teams.
How do you find the culture and communication at Resource Solutions?
Fast-paced, energetic, and colourful would be the words I would choose to describe the culture at Resource Solutions. We are a diverse bunch of individuals and what’s great about RS is that though we are diverse, be it from a cultural, age or outlook sense, we are also open to respecting and accepting these differences. That’s what makes Resource Solutions unique as this culture pushes you to be more open-minded, push your boundaries (whilst respecting them), and think more creatively.
I have built genuine relationships with my colleagues. Even in the virtual environment, we’ve been forced into, we are all open to casual chats and discussions about life outside work which to me has meant I’ve been able to not only connect with my colleagues in APAC but also globally.
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