A quick chat with...
Lynda Frew, Legal Counsel and Team Manager at Scion & ILANZ Committee Member
How long have you been on the ILANZ Committee for? Since May 2020.
What do you hope to achieve as an ILANZ Committee member in the year ahead? In the next 12 months I hope to contribute to a successful ILANZ conference event. I’ve always enjoyed the annual ILANZ conference. We need the opportunity to connect with and learn from each other more than ever post-COVID, but COVID will really challenge how we can meet this need in a safe and effective way. I will be learning from the experiences of our In-house Council Worldwide (ICW) colleagues and working with the ICW Committee to facilitate ICW’s participation in our conference.
What do you do? I’m Legal Counsel and Team Manager at Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited). I have three children and work part-time. On my days off I’m often helping at school.
What do you like most about your job? I love working in a science organisation and contributing (in my own small way) towards creating impact for New Zealand through innovative and useful science and technology. Scion is involved in an incredibly wide range of science areas from growing and protecting our forests (eg rural fire and myrtle rust) to developing biomaterials (eg biofuels and bioplastics). Working with scientists who tend to be passionate and single-minded is challenging in the best possible way.
What is a career highlight so far? I really enjoy working with my current team. There are three of us and I think we are the perfect example of a high-functioning team; we trust each other, we work to achieve great professional outcomes and we enjoy a laugh.
What are some challenges or issues that you think in-house lawyers are facing today? As in-house lawyers become trusted advisors within a business we are involved in a wider array of business and legal issues. It can be hard to regularly carve out time to stay up-to-date on legal and practice developments and to find the time for more in-depth reading on an issue. As a part-time worker I find this particularly difficult and imagine it is also particularly challenging for sole counsel.
What are some fallacies that you have heard about in-house lawyers? At university we all thought in-house jobs were boring with no career progression.
What are your hobbies? I love reading (from the classics to crime to chick-lit and everything in between), gardening (with no knowledge but great enjoyment) and taking the dog for long sole walks.
Anything else you would like to add? While NZ is less effected by COVID than many other countries, our colleagues (within the profession and within our businesses) may be dealing with health worries, additional business demands, job insecurity, feelings of isolation from remote working, stresses posed by new ways of working, worry about overseas friends and family, frustration at not being able to travel overseas etc etc. I’m trying to be mindful of the unseen challenges others may be facing and staying kind.