We were ecstatic at the record number of nominations we received for the 2023 ILANZ Awards. The quality of submissions reflects the immense talent and dedication within our in-house community. Our judges want to emphasise each nominee should be proud of their achievements, regardless of the final outcome, and we look forward to receiving your entries for the 2024 ILANZ Awards.
Congratulations to the 2023 ILANZ Awards finalists and winners.
Individual award finalists:
MC Public Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year
- Adrien Hunter, Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation
Helen Wild, Auckland Council
Marama Broughton, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
Marie Callander, Tasman District Council
Rachel Boyte, Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Winner: Marie Callander, Tasman District Council
Marie Callander’s experience and attitude has been felt across the Council in a very short period of time. Since joining in 2022, she has provided advice on critical projects that have made a difference to her community, such as the Waimea Community Dam, and has moved the Council to a best practice approach when it comes to contracts and commercial leases.
Marie has shown innovation in how she approaches her work and encourages the Council to do the same. On top of assisting ongoing legal matters, Marie took it upon herself to offer up training sessions in group meetings. Through this training, the wider team is now more aware of the risks and are managing customer interactions.
As stated in her nomination “Marie has truly embraced the Council’s goal of ensuring that everything we do serves our community, environment and future generations.”
Highly Commended: Marama Broughton, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
Marama was instrumental in supporting the introduction of the Matariki Observation Day – not just in terms of the legal support she provided, but ensuring consideration of flax-root organisations promoting Matariki to reflect a more relational approach to the Crown-Māori relationship. Marama also championed internal legal team improvements to help shift the team away from being reactive to incorporate the aspirations of Te Arawhiti.
Greenwood Roche Private Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year
Kirsten Clayton, Contact Energy
Penny Bower, Waste Management NZ
- Penny Hoogerwerf, Tait Communications
Winner: Penny Bower, Waste Management NZ
Penny Bower is praised for her holistic view, engaging nature, and ability to handle difficult conversations with respect.
She demonstrates the legal function's ability to drive positive change across the business. Since May 2022, Penny has grown her team by adding two lawyers - so she can continue her involvement in strategic business and legal decisions.
Despite Waste Management being a large organisation with a small in-house legal team, they have achieved significant milestones in the past year. These accomplishments include the NZ$1.9B multi-jurisdiction sale of Waste Management from a Chinese government entity to a private equity purchaser, as well as handling iwi stakeholder relations for a new landfill north of Auckland.
Penny also shows passion for driving the business towards a more sustainable and carbon-neutral future by assisting on the Circular Services programme.
MAS New In-house Lawyer of the Year
Brianna Boxall, Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust
Brooke Magill, Auckland Council
Claire Barron, Oji Fibre Solutions
Winner: Brianna Boxall, Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust
Brianna has shown impressive achievements and involvement in various matters during her time at Te Ohu Kai Moana. She not only provides advice to Te Ohu, but directly to iwi and Māori as part of her unique legal role in the settlement space.
She also assists and advises on fundamental public law issues for Māori and negotiations with the Crown on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and public law issues including marine reserves, sanctuaries and fundamental Te Tiriti obligations of the Crown.
Brianna’s glowing references highlighted her technical expertise, personal passion, respectful nature, and community and iwi engagement. It is evident that Brianna has outstanding potential for future leadership.
Sole In-house Lawyer of the Year
- Amir Ansari, Tourism Holdings Limited
Jack Lynskey, Wealthpoint
Susan Hur, GMP Pharmaceuticals
Winner: Jack Lynskey, Wealthpoint
Jack is a high-energy lawyer steering a growing start-up in a regulated industry. He has been instrumental in the development of the company and is relied on heavily by his CEO, board of directors and colleagues.
Jack has played a pivotal and wide-ranging role as a leader and legal counsel. He frequently attends legal seminars and professional development forums and is also a current member of the Institute of Directors.
Jack is relied upon for a range of legal subjects including employment, privacy, health and safety and competition law. His contributions at board meetings, and influence across the business have been significant, demonstrating his high level of commitment and professionalism.
Team award finalists:
Tompkins Wake Small In-house Team of the Year
- Calder Stewart Group
- Nelson City Council
- Silver Fern Farms
Winner: Calder Stewart Group
The Calder Stewart team stood out among a crowded field of competitors. Despite being small and relatively new, Brooke and Rennae have accomplished a remarkable amount.
They have successfully completed significant projects, handled routine tasks, and still found time to innovate, provide internal training, and improve work processes. Additionally, they have emerged as leaders within their organisation, holding multiple positions of responsibility and earning high regard from colleagues and collaborators.
Letters of recommendation from the group's main shareholder and the head of syndication at their bank lender, as well as a glowing submission from the group's Chief Executive, attest to their achievements.
Highly Commended: Rabobank
Despite being a small team, the Hamilton Rabobank legal team has proven to be highly effective. They have a diverse range of expertise and successfully manage the challenges of being a local team in a global business. Testimonials from colleagues highlight their impressive skills and contributions. Not only have they introduced innovative products like Carbon Loans, but they have also developed strong relationships with colleagues throughout the organisation.
Chapman Tripp Private Sector In-house Team of the Year
- AIA New Zealand
The Xero Legal Team has strong references and fantastic achievements. The team effectively support Xero’s strategic goals, demonstrating excellent teamwork and relationship management with both internal stakeholders and external advisors.
The team proactively helps external lawyers understand the business through presentations and regular catch-up calls. Bridget Snelling, Xero’s Country Manager for NZ, commends their collaboration with the wider business.
Examples of their accomplishments include launching a self-serve procurement tool, automating data and privacy risk assessment processes, establishing global direct marketing guardrails, implementing an indemnity framework, creating an embedded legal support model, streamlining financial services decision-making, and introducing the Time-Well-Spent program focused on prioritisation and time-management.
Public Sector In-house Team of the Year
- Auckland Council
- Crown Infrastructure Partners
- Dunedin City Council
- Legal, Ethics, & Privacy Branch of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment
Winner: Dunedin City Council
The Dunedin City Council's infectious team, known as "KC and the Sunshine Band," has transformed the provision of legal services within a remarkably brief period since its formation in 2017.
Despite being a relatively small team, their pivotal role in making a difference to the Dunedin City Council is evident. Their achievements are all the more impressive due to the team's size, particularly their impact on the Council's capital and infrastructure projects through the development of key commercial templates.
Additionally, their proactive training initiatives delivered throughout the organisation have garnered praise from clients and stakeholders, truly showcasing their ability to exceed expectations.
Highly Commended: Auckland Council
The Auckland Council legal team are highly valued and have proven themselves adept at tackling new challenges and responding to emergencies, such as the recent flooding incidents experienced in Auckland.
The council is also innovative in fostering a cohesive team environment, taking into consideration the needs of its members and striving to achieve key outcomes that align with the organisation's objectives. Examples of their innovative initiatives include the coaching programme for women returning from parental leave and the Green team's plastic-free programme.
Special award finalists:
Simpson Grierson People & Culture Excellence Award
- Contact Energy
- Engineering New Zealand
Tasman District Council
- Tuatahi First Fibre
Winner: Tuatahi First Fibre
The Tuatahi First Fibre legal team fosters a workplace culture that places primary focus on their people and culture.
The team's commitment to fostering good relationships with their business colleagues led to the successful rollout of projects and increased visibility across the company. The team provides exceptional personal and professional development opportunities and programmes, including paid mentoring, which have been instrumental in advancing the careers of team members.
The Tuatahi First Fibre legal team's collaborative and inclusive approach has led to a high-performing team, making impactful contributions to the organisation's success and showcasing the value of a positive workplace culture.
Artemis In-house Innovation Award
- Marama Broughton, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
- Nelson City Council
Known internally as the Justice League, Xero excel in multiple areas - demonstrating a strong emphasis on technology with self-service procurement, automated data privacy risk processes, playbooks, and efficient decision-making.
They prioritise internal customer service through a business partner model and embedded legal support - and provide a law firm briefing pack to communicate their business to external parties.
Xero’s NZ Country Manager summed the legal team up as a team “who demonstrate great commercial acumen, are closely integrated into the business and provide consistently high quality and innovative legal advice while remaining approachable and human”.
ComplyWith Community Contribution Award
- Karyn O’Loughlin
- Lanu Faletau Tuku'aho
- Shirlene Anand
- Takeshi Ito
Winner: Karyn O’Loughlin
Karyn's has made an extensive contribution to the community as Chair of the Gymnastic New Zealand's Sports Integrity Unit.
She has been involved in drafting and analysing reports and submissions, and demonstrates strong leadership, fostering empathy and whanaungatanga.
Karyn’s guidance has been described as an immeasurable benefit to the CEO, the organisation, and the gymnastic community as a whole.
Congratulations to our 2023 award winners!