A quick chat with...
Frieda Winstanley, Solicitor - Risk Legal and Assurance, New Plymouth District Council & ILANZ Committee Member
How long have you been on the ILANZ Committee for? I was humbled to be elected in May 2020.
What do you hope to achieve as a ILANZ Committee member in the year ahead? I hope to engage with the Taranaki in-house community as well as the wider profession and would love to see more interaction between in-house lawyers. I also hope to contribute to a successful ILANZ conference in May 2021 and 2022.
What do you do? I have been working as a solicitor at New Plymouth District Council since 2012.
What do you like most about your job? I love the variety as I work across all areas of the Council and enjoy supporting community wellbeing and being part of a team that makes New Plymouth a better place to live. I am grateful to work in a beautiful lifestyle capital with a diverse team who are passionate about making a difference.
What is a career highlight so far? Discovering the in-house community has definitely been a highlight and taking our Delegations Register to a digital platform was cutting edge as we were the first Council in Aotearoa to do so.
What are some challenges or issues that you think in-house lawyers are facing today? Legal can be seen as a roadblock and often asked to do more for less. We are constantly triaging work and can be overwhelmed with requests for advice and guidance from across the organisation involving a diverse range of scenarios and issues, all of which can have different degrees of legal and operating risk and decisions must be well-informed and often made within limited timeframes.
What are some fallacies that you have heard about in-house lawyers? That we are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and have opted for a cruisy option compared to private practice! This is far from the truth and I encourage early engagement and aim to be agile and adaptable when offering advice while ensuring appropriate risk boundaries.
What are your hobbies? I love practicing yoga and being in nature exploring the great outdoors with my husband and children. I also enjoy cooking, reading and beach walks with our dog.
Anything else you would like to add? A big thank you to everyone who voted for me! I hope to be able to contribute to ILANZ positively and help connect and support members during my time on the committee. The last year has been a challenging time for many affected by COVID. In order to manage stress and improve wellbeing, I have embraced self-care including more mindfulness, yoga and meditation and being grateful for the little things in life. I encourage all lawyers to prioritise self-care to look after your own wellbeing and manage stress.