The ILANZ conference is well-known for its mix of inspirational speakers, great topics and its focus on in-house legal best practice. This year’s speaker line-up, in order of appearance is:
Katie Bhreatnach – General Counsel and GM Customer and Regulatory Partnerships
Katie is an executive, director and commercial lawyer who has worked in the public and private sectors while practicing in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. She has undergraduate degrees in law and arts from the University of Otago and a masters degree from Trinity College in Dublin.
Katie is currently the General Counsel and General Manager Customer and Regulatory Partnerships of Airways. Before joining Airways, Katie was global food company Danone's General Counsel for Australia and New Zealand.
She is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and currently holds governance roles at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, New Zealand’s second-largest tertiary education provider and St Marys College in Ponsonby.
Linda Clark - Partner, Dentons Kensington Swan
Linda is a Partner in our Public law, Regulatory and Dispute Resolution team. She is also a member of the NZ Police Independent Assurance and Risk Committee, a Board member of NZ on Air and a member of the Wellington College Board of Trustees.
A skilful advocate, negotiator, advisor and litigator Linda helps clients resolve a diverse range of legal, political, regulatory and reputational disputes. She has particular expertise in public law, investigations and inquiries, media law and defamation. She regularly advises high profile individuals and organisations, bringing a mix of legal skills, political acumen, strategic insight and pragmatism to help clients navigate their way out of trouble. Linda and her team tailor their services to best respond to the needs of the client; be it litigation, mediation, negotiation or persuasion. Included in their suite of responses, Linda also leads a team providing tailored crisis management support and advice, with a particular
Mike Brooker – General Counsel, Foodstuffs
After nearly 20 years in private practice, including nine years as a partner at international law firm DLA Piper, Mike was offered the opportunity to set up an in-house legal team at key client, Foodstuffs. He has been in that role for over 11 years and has shaped the legal function from its inception and been a member of the Executive Team for most of that period.
Foodstuffs is one of New Zealand’s largest organisations, it operates a franchised supermarket, grocery store and liquor store retail network and a wholesale network. Foodstuffs trades under some of New Zealand’s oldest and most recognised brands. The business is a co-operative owned by its members and head office provides a full range of services including purchasing, logistics, store development, operator selection and training, marketing, IT and financial services to its members.
Mike works across the entire business providing a very wide range of services and utilising a small in-house team and a range of external providers. He is extremely passionate about the business and enjoys the huge variety and fast pace. He describes every day at Foodstuffs as being different and never knowing quite what one will encounter on any given day.
Dr Maria Pozza - Senior Legal Counsel, New Zealand Post
Dr Maria Pozza is a Senior Legal Counsel at New Zealand Post and assists the international teams, digital divisions, and governance teams, on legal and compliance matters. Dr Maria has been internationally recognised through various accolades and awards for her skill in international space law, aerospace law, IT/Data and technology law. Her book on Risk Management in Outer Space Activities is due for publication in 2021. As a continued advocate for cultural change in the legal profession, Dr Maria has presented on the topic at a number of conferences and events.
Katie Rusbatch, GM, Professional Standards, New Zealand Law Society
Katie joined the New Zealand Law Society as the General Manager Professional Standards (Regulatory) at the start of this year. Katie was previously Head of Competition at the Commerce Commission and also held the roles of Competition Manager and Senior Legal Counsel at the Commission. Before joining the Commission in 2011, Katie was Assistant Director of Litigation at the Office of Fair Trading in the United Kingdom and Assistant Senior Director at the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore. She also worked as a lawyer at the Government Legal Department in the United Kingdom and in private practice in New Zealand.
Quentin Lowcay - Head of Legal & Commercial, Datacom
Quentin Lowcay is the Head of Legal & Commercial at Datacom. He leads a team of 9 senior legal practitioners, both in Australia and New Zealand. Datacom is Australasia's largest homegrown tech company with around 5,000 employees and almost $2b in revenues. Datacom proudly bring together technology and expertise to deliver sustainable solutions for some of New Zealand and Australia’s largest and most successful corporations and government entities.
Quentin was formerly a partner at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in Wellington, General Counsel at Synlait Milk in Rakaia, and has worked extensively in Australia, Middle East, UK and Asia (South East Asia, India and China).
He is also controlled by two cats, one of which – Barnaby – usually beats him to the home office chair on “work from home” days.
Sophie Braggins – Chief Executive Officer, Govett Quilliam
CEO of Govett Quilliam based in Taranaki, Sophie is focused on inspiring a future-focused culture and innovative strategies that see the firm sustainable and successful into the future.
Sophie comes from a strategic business and people background, and holds several senior governance roles with Business Central, Toi Foundation and Taranaki Women’s Refuge. Sophie has two kiddies and enjoys an active and adventurous lifestyle.
Allison Whitney - General Counsel, NZME
Allison joined NZME in 2013. As General Counsel she heads up the legal team and manages the provision of legal advice and company secretarial services across NZME.
Prior to commencing her role at NZME, Allison held roles both in-house and in private practice, including five years as Legal Counsel at Westpac, six years as Group Legal Advisor to a London-based international media group and three years in private practice at Kensington Swan. Allison brings over 20 years of legal experience to her role spanning areas from corporate and commercial to intellectual property, consumer and media law.
Kirsten Patterson - Chief Executive, Institute of Directors
Kirsten Patterson (known as KP) is the Institute of Directors Chief Executive. She is a qualified lawyer and a Distinguished Fellow of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, member of the Deputy Chair of the Global Network of Directors Institutes (GNDI) and was previously Chair of the Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust. She is currently Chair of the Brian Picot Ethical Leadership Advisory Board. With extensive governance and leadership experience, she is actively involved in community initiatives.
A strong advocate of diversity, KP was one of the founding members of Global Women’s ‘Champions for Change’, a group of senior executives and directors who commit to diversity in the workplace. She is also a founding member of WiSPA, an organisation promoting women in sport, and mentors a number of business leaders.
Herman Visagie - Chief of Staff, TSB New Zealand
Herman has spent his career holding a variety of roles including public sector policy, industry advocacy, and inhouse legal, governance, and compliance roles. He currently works as Chief of Staff for TSB Bank. In his role he sits on the Executive leadership team, acting as board secretary and running the Office of the CEO.
In addition to his day-job he holds a number of other roles including Vice President and Chair of the Finance Audit and Risk Committee for the NZ Law Society, Board member for ActionStation Aotearoa, and as a member of the Asia:New Zealand Foundation Leaders Network. He is also a registered marriage celebrant.
Herman is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, having championed several initiatives at TSB. He is a visible bicultural kiwi and a proud member of the rainbow community.
James has extensive experience in both the UK and New Zealand specialising in employment law, workplace health & safety, and supporting organisations on the full range of people related issues. This includes dealing with reorganisations, employee relations issues, discrimination and whistle blowing matters, as well as employment issues arising in connection with corporate transactions and insolvency situations.
James is an active thought leader on employment issues, leading seminars and contributing articles on key legal developments and the future of the labour relationship. He regularly supports clients on policy and ethical issues in the context of legal compliance and personnel management, along with the wider considerations that require a cross-practice approach on environmental, governance and social matters.
James’ expertise has been consistently recognised in the legal directories. He is identified as a “Next Generation Partner” and a “Recommended Lawyer” in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Directory. He advises a range of clients in various industries with domestic and international footprints, having a particular interest in the technology, media and retail sectors.
Amy specialises in complex data management and analytics focused primarily in discovery and litigation technology. She has recently returned to New Zealand after two plus decades in the United States where she supported large-scale litigation technology operations for the Department of Justice and other government and private businesses facing large and complex data challenges.
Ra Clark - Associate Director, Deloitte New Zealand
Ra Shandra Clark is an Attorney licensed in to practice law in the United States, she joined the Auckland Forensic Team in 2019. She has over 14 years’ experience analysing and managing large complex discovery and litigation support projects. Ra has managed multi-million-dollar discovery projects for various United States Government Agencies. She currently manages both Corporate and Public Sector discovery projects in New Zealand.
Maggie Zheng – Data Science Manager, Deloitte New Zealand
Maggie is an experienced data scientist and specialises in leveraging machine learning and AI applications to help organisations better manage their risk and optimise their opportunities. Maggie has supported and worked with clients both locally and globally by leveraging techniques and tools such as machine driven anomaly detection, predictive clustering, process mining and helping clients manage the ethics and bias around their data and models.
Tim Boyne - CSO, LawVu
Tim Boyne is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at LawVu - the first truly connected software platform for in-house legal teams. With nearly 10 years experience in both the tech and legal industries, Tim understands deeply the challenges the legal industry faces and holds a vision for how technology can empower in-house legal teams around the world. Working with some of the world's most innovative in-house legal teams, legal services providers and technology companies, Tim is a thought leader in transformation of the legal industry.
Sam Kidd - CEO, LawVu
Sam is the CEO and Co-founder at LawVu. Sam is a serial entrepreneur and board director. Before co-founding in-house legal software company, LawVu, Sam was a founding member of a global tech online project management company. Sam is passionate about transforming in-house legal operations and empowering legal counsel across many countries and industries with beautiful and intuitive software that will see LawVu become another successful globally NZ tech company.
Shaun Plant - CLO, LawVu
Shaun is the Chief Legal Officer at LawVu. He also provides project management and legal technology services to legal teams across the world. Shaun has woven innovation and project management into all stages of his legal career both in private and in-house legal practice. Starting his career in contracts engineering, Shaun moved into the legal profession, with his focus on project and change management. His legal background spans public, private enterprises in environmental and project law, where he has delivered large capital construction projects. He teaches Legal Project Management with the College of Law (New Zealand) and enjoys transforming complex frameworks into simple and intuitive technical systems.
Stephen Scheeler - Former Facebook CEO Australia & New Zealand, The Digital CEO
The world has gone digital, but Australian business risk falling behind. As advisor, mentor and speaker, Stephen Scheeler partners with Australia's business leaders to help them master digital strategy, culture & leadership, and build innovative, global, billion-dollar businesses.
As a speaker, Stephen has a unique ability to excite audiences on the power of technology, the future of business and the new paradigm of 21st-century leadership. He is an inspiring personality on the highest-profile stages – including TEDx, the Australian Governance Summit and AMP Amplify – and is a member of the Prime Minister’s Knowledge Nation 100, top innovation leaders in Australia.
Stephen is the founder of global advisory The Digital CEO, Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company, and Executive-in-Residence at Asia-Pacific’s leading business school, the Australian Graduate School of Management – he partners with the senior leaders of some of the world’s leading companies to help them build world-beating strategies, capabilities, culture and leadership, including Qantas, nab, Westpac, Macquarie Bank, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, IAG, Suncorp, Telstra, Wesfarmers, AMP, CUB, Brambles, Google, DellEMC, Lenovo, Seven West Media, MCN, QBE, Hollard, BAT, JB Hi-Fi, Bunnings, Flight Centre, Mirvac and the Australian Government.
Facebook: Stephen is the former Facebook CEO for Australia and New Zealand, where he guided Facebook’s unprecedented rise from quirky Silicon Valley start up to media and technology titan.
Working with Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook’s Silicon Valley leaders, his tenure at Facebook saw the Australia and New Zealand business – including Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and Oculus – grow to become one of the most successful Facebook markets in the world.
Employment: Stephen is a seasoned business leader, with a career spanning over 25 years across consumer products, retail, ecommerce, automotive, financial services, media and technology. He has served in senior executive roles at global leaders Westfield and Inchcape, and at Australian consumer products giant, Lion.
Tania Te Whenua – Principal, Te Whenua Law & Consulting
Tania Te Whenua (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea) BA LLB AGNZ is principal of Te Whenua Law and Consulting, assisting organisations and the Crown to realise a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and enhance responsiveness to Māori.
Within the Waitangi Tribunal Tania acts on a number of social justice claims including representing the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the New Zealand Public Service Association with respect to their claims against inequities facing wahine Māori in employment; the former NZ Māori Council Chair Maanu Paul with respect to climate change; and the Wahine Toa movement representing acute levels of discrimination suffered by women associated with gangs and their whānau.
Tania also consults directly to organisations seeking to implement the Treaty of Waitangi in practice. She is a Chartered Associate Member of Governance New Zealand and an Executive Committee Member, Governance New Zealand Women on Boards supporting the strategic implementation of Treaty frameworks within a number of organisations including Te Taumata, the Māori International Trade Forum administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Tania is also a member of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Rivers Advisory Committee, a Local Government Development Contributions Commissioner and an Executive Committee Member of Lawyers for Climate Change Action NZ.
Fleur Knowsley – Director and Acting General Counsel, Google Fibre
Fleur Knowsley is currently Director and Acting General Counsel for Google Fiber (a high speed broadband provider in the USA) and Webpass (a subsidiary focused on wireless delivery of broadband), both part of the Alphabet family, and is based out of San Francisco. Before heading to Google, she worked in New York for the premium television network HBO and at the prestigious law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore working on everything from major Mergers & Acquisitions through to insider trading investigations.
Fleur is involved in numerous diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the Legal Industry, including for the other Bet legal community within Alphabet; signing onto the Call to Action Letter signed by 240 GCs/CLOs promoting diversity; through the Diversity Lab and has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Apollo Leadership Institute based out of London. Originally hailing from New Zealand where Fleur graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with Law and Economics degrees, she has also established the Fleur Knowsley Law Scholarship to provide financial support to New Zealand’s brightest young law students experiencing disadvantage.
Emma Willis – Senior Corporate Counsel, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited
Following an early career in private practice at a large corporate law firm, Emma embarked on her first in-house role at Tesco Plc during her London OE. As Group Intellectual Property Counsel for one of the world’s leading retailers, Emma was responsible for the day to day management of the company’s extensive IP portfolio and overseeing strategic implementation of IP policy across the group.
Returning to New Zealand in 2013, Emma joined Fonterra Co-operative Group to support the dairy processor’s brands businesses in New Zealand and Australia. Her current role as Senior Corporate Counsel for Fonterra’s Group Functions and Farm Source division is broad in scope, but focuses on supporting the Co-op’s R&D and speciality ingredients business units, IP commercialisation and assisting the Farm Source team on milk supply matters.
Emma was instrumental in the formation of the Navigate network.
Outside the office, Emma loves to pursue her passion of photography and spend time with her three young boys. Emma has Bachelor of Laws and Arts degrees from the University of Otago and an LLM (Dist.) from the University of London.
Jennifer Page – General Counsel and Company Secretary, Air New Zealand
Jennifer Page has been with Air New Zealand for 2 years as the General Counsel & Company Secretary. She heads the Corporate Advisory Services team, which includes Legal, Enterprise Risk, Privacy, Insurance, Company Secretariat, as well as Regulatory Affairs.
In her role Jenn is responsible for legal and governance advice to the Board, the CEO and Executive and across the full breadth of the airline’s business.
Jenn is a steering committee member for the airline’s Womens’ Network and is passionate about sustainability. Jenn was instrumental in driving the agenda to get the airline signed up in 2019 to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It was one of the first companies in New Zealand to do so.
Prior to joining Air New Zealand, Jenn worked in investment banks in the United Kingdom and New Zealand for more than 20 years, as well as for ANZ and top tier law firms. Jenn also held a pan-European regulatory role whilst at Citigroup in London. She was a governor at a low decile school in London for several years.
Jenn holds BA and LLB degrees from the University of Otago. She is a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors.
Jason Nichols – General Counsel, AMENA, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited
Jason began his career in law as an in-house counsel in Wellington before moving into private practice at Russell McVeagh, where he worked in the corporate advisory group in Wellington and Auckland. In 2010, Jason moved to London where he returned to practice as an in-house lawyer at Geo Networks, a fibre-optic telecommunications and infrastructure company in the UK and Ireland.
Jason joined the legal team at Fonterra Co-operative Group when he returned to New Zealand in 2015. His current position at Fonterra is General Counsel for Fonterra’s ‘AMENA’ business unit (Africa, Middle East, Europe, North Asia and the Americas). In this role Jason leads a global team with lawyers in New Zealand, Europe, the United States and South America. Over the years at Fonterra, Jason has also been responsible for legal support to areas such as global supply chain, the GDT trading platform and Fonterra’s incident management team.
Outside of work, Jason is a father of three young children, enjoys travelling and training in kung fu, and is a mentor for law students through the Victoria University ‘Alumni as Mentors’ programme.
Catherine Cartwright – Senior Legal Counsel, International Sales, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Catherine is Senior Legal Counsel at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, where she is responsible for legal affairs relating to international sales. It is a wide-ranging role, with all the legal issues that come with selling medical device products in over 120 markets.
Catherine started her career as a Judges’ Clerk at the Auckland High Court, before a brief period at Chapman Tripp and then many years overseas working for Clifford Chance as an asset finance lawyer, first in London and later Dubai. She took a career break to look after her three children while they were young and made the return to work with her first in-house role when she joined F&P nearly three years ago.
In her free time Catherine enjoys yoga, gardening and making her children go on long walks. She holds BA and LLB (Hons) degrees from the University of Auckland.
Sian Wingate - Terms Academy
Sian Wingate is a seasoned former in house lawyer with more than a decade spent delivering legal services alongside creating contract training programmes within small legal teams in the utilities and telecommunications sectors.
She is also our most recent ILANZpresident, handing over the baton to Grant Pritchard in May 2020. During her two year tenure, she instigated a series of changes to bring the committee closer to its members. These included curating the unsessions here at conference, piloting an in house mindset course alongside setting up the sole counsel catch ups.
No longer an in-house lawyer but still a passionate legal educator, Sian is now solely focused on her rapidly growing online contract skills training business www.tradieterms.com targeted to the trades sector.
Bram van Melle - Manager, Projects & Transactions, Auckland Council
Bram manages Auckland Council’s Projects & Transactions team in Ngā Ratonga Ture (Legal Services), covering corporate, commercial, property, finance, and infrastructure workstreams. Before joining Council in 2011, Bram worked in private practice for 10 years in national and boutique firms. He started his career as a commercial law academic at Victoria University of Wellington.
Bram works with a wide range of business units, advises elected members and the executive, and is privileged to be right in the middle of significant projects for Auckland, key corporate governance issues, and the great things Council does at community level. He has a special interest in how inhouse helps large organisations work, making opportunities for the team to thrive, and the effective alignment of external providers for shared success.
Maya Nova - Mindfulness Coach
Maya Nova is a speaker, trainer, coach and mindful leadership consultant with over a decade of experience working with people and organisations to help them improve their mental and emotional agility, resilience and wellbeing. By harnessing the power of self-awareness, we can get the most out of ourselves, our work and our people and thrive, even in times of great uncertainty. Maya is passionate about living our lives as if they mattered, mindfully, one day at a time. Some of her clients include TVNZ, ANZ, Fisher & Paykel, 2degrees, Tower and law firms such as Russel McVeagh, Bell Gully and Chapman Tripp. Visit her LinkedIn profile or her website for more info.
Jehan Casinader - Journalist, Author & Mental Health Advocate
Jehan Casinader is a journalist, author and mental health advocate.
He has reported for TVNZ’s flagship programmes, including Sunday, Seven Sharp, Close Up and Breakfast. He was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards in 2020, and “Reporter of the Year” at the New Zealand Television Awards in 2018.
In the aftermath of natural disasters, terror attacks, sporting triumphs and everything in between, Jehan has helped hundreds of Kiwis to share their vulnerable and deeply personal stories with the rest of the country.
He is the author of This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life (HarperCollins).