The winners of the 2019 ILANZ In-house Lawyer awards were announced at the ILANZ conference in Dunedin on 10 May 2019.
ILANZ is the New Zealand Law Society's section for in-house lawyers and the annual awards recognise excellence across New Zealand's in-house lawyer community.
ILANZ Public Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year
Jeremy Ford, who is a lawyer at Juno Legal was the winner of the 2019 award. Jeremy is currently engaged in-house at the Overseas Investment Office and was nominated in his previous role as General Counsel, Earthquake Commission.
The judges said the award recognises the significant impact that Jeremy made through his work at EQC - an organisation that has grappled with complex legal issues and faced considerable and constant organisational change under the spotlight of public scrutiny.
The team described his leadership style as one to admire and aspire and particularly acknowledged the unwavering respect that Jeremy commanded from both the wider business community and external stakeholders.
Greenwood Roche Private Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year
Charlotte Walker, Senior Solicitor, Regulatory, New Zealand Law Society.
The judges said Charlotte was nominated not just for the quality of her work in her day to day role as senior solicitor, for the Law Society's regulatory team, but for her work over the last year in a key advisory role for the working group led by Dame Silvia Cartwright which produced a landmark independent review into the Law Society’s regulatory functions. Working closely with the group’s external advisors, Luke Cunningham Clere, Charlotte was instrumental in providing the group with high quality advice and guidance.
Charlotte has also played a key part in the Law Society’s response to the working group report and her work is identified as playing an important role in changing the culture of the legal profession for the better.
MAS Young In-house Lawyer of the Year
The judges said they could not separate two of the nominees and the joint winners of the MAS Young In-house Lawyer of the Year were Madison Dobie, Legal Advisor, Engineering New Zealand, and Alexandra Kissling, Legal Counsel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.
The judges said Madison had demonstrated excellence not just in her core work but also through her recent work project managing the engineering aspects of a key governmental initiative to resolve residential insurance claims in Christchurch.
She is acknowledged as being instrumental in bringing Engineering NZ's complaints process to life with a strong drive to help parties to a complaint reach an outcome that is the best and most fair result.
Alexandra was nominated for her exceptional relationship building skills and for her achievements in crucial areas of business. This has included her contribution to the work of the legal team in resolving a global patent dispute with a US competitor, playing a lead role in developing new global guidelines on advertising and promotional activities, and her involvement in a significant review of a multi-centre, pan-European clinical trial under changing national and EU legislation.
Alexandra was not able to attend the awards ceremony as she is in Columbia as recipient of a Prime Minister's Scholarship enabling her to undertake a business internship there.
Artemis Executive Recruitment In-house Innovation Award
The Education Infrastructure Services Legal Team, Ministry of Education, was winner of the award. The award was accepted by team leader and Director, Property Law, Rebecca Robertshawe. The 12-person EIT team includes three full-time lawyers.
The judges said the EIS legal team is recognised for the valuable contribution they have made to their organisation through an innovative contract automation project and the complete redesign in their approach to the delivery of legal services. Their approach has significantly streamlined organisational processes and standardised their construction contracts.
They are recognised by external supporters for the sophisticated approach taken to the rollout of this project, their innovative thinking, collaborative way of working, and ability to win over internal clients with their well-considered solutions and well-articulated benefits.
Pictured: Rebecca Robertshawe, Director, EIS Legal team.
Chapman Tripp In-house Team of the Year
The Legal Team, Engineering New Zealand won the 2019 Chapman Tripp In-house Team of the Year.
The judges said that beginning from their entire overhaul of the professional standards expected of professional engineers completed in 2016, the entire Engineering NZ legal team has stepped forward with a programme that that has enabled and brought about a transformation of the processes and practices now adopted across the whole professional engineering sector.
They are praised for their appreciation of professional engineering together with their thoughtfulness and understanding of the challenges of properly delivering to widening public expectations.
In the words of their external advisors, the Engineering NZ legal team now goes far beyond providing day to day in house legal advice, working with government departments on projects of national significance.
Pictured: Legal Team, Engineering New Zealand with sponsor Hamish Bolland