ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand


ILANZ Conference 2022 Overview 

ILANZ Conference 2022 Overview 

October 27, 2022 at 9:49 AM


The theme for the 2022 In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand (ILANZ) conference ‘Whakapuawai – Flourish’ became a reality before the 34th annual conference even started with a new registration record.  The conference was a sell-out! 440 in-house lawyers came together at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre to re-connect, reinvigorate, and replenish themselves. A flurry of snow during the conference added to the magic. 

The conference opened with a mihi whakatau from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu followed by a warm welcome from ILANZ President, Grant Pritchard, who set the scene with sentiments of vulnerability and bravery.  


Craig Hudson, former Managing Director of Xero, opened the conference with his view on the future focus for in-house lawyers and later teamed up with his wife, Bronwyn, on the connection between ‘mood and food’.  Dr Paul Wood’s presentation on mood and motivation was another standout.  He likened holding a glass of water out to stress - that it’s not the amount of stress we’re under but how long were exposed to it for.  He encouraged us to put the glass down, not to carry the world on our shoulders, and that self-care is a right and a necessity.    

The breakout sessions embedded the ‘Whakapuawai’ theme with a panel discussion of Andrew Cordner, Helen White, and Silv Roest, facilitated by Sophie Mentink on ‘A note to my younger self: how to fly rather than float,’ ‘Getting out of the Quicksand’ with Executive Coach, Madeleine Shaw, and a very practical and realistic session on ‘Delegating using Data not Drama’ with Siân Wingate.  Overall, the resounding message was to not let perfectionism get in the way.   

Sarah Retter, Nicola Swan, and Jo Appleyard were panelists for the emerging issue of modern slavery. The discussion considered the relevance of modern slavery for New Zealand, compared us to other countries, looked at MBIE's proposal on this issue and gave practical steps for companies to avoid this issue.  

Day one afternoon sessions included a ‘Better Together’ session with Hayden Wilson (Dentons Kensington Swan), Victoria White (Dentons Kensington Swann) and Karyn O’Loughlin (DB); a debate on whether private practise experience is needed for in-house lawyers with Benjamin Jacobs, Siân Wingate, Alice Balme and Gwendoline Keel, facilitated by Lynda Frew and a presentation by Amelia Sharman (XRB) on climate change disclosures – the statutory requirements and the role of in-house lawyers. 


Day two proved to be another thought-provoking day with Ethan Jerome-Leota’s opening presentation on the role tikanga plays in the way lawyers interpret or apply law, and the final session with Miriam Dean on how to break through the glass ceiling.

The day was packed with a great lineup of sessions from a wide range of our talented associates such as Helen Wild, Marise Winthrop, Melissa Soh-Newstead and Hiramai Rogers discussing raising the visibility of the legal function within the business; Vivienne Wilson, Mike Wakefield and Sophie Meares debated climate change, natural hazards and Council information; ‘How to get time back to focus on high value work’ was chewed over with Shaun Plant, Sarah Thorner Crossley and Fiona McLeod; and Louise Unger presented on governance, risk and compliance.  The ILANZ ‘Unsessions’ were free-flowing conversations on a wide range of topics. 

The 2022 ILANZ Conference wrapped up with a well-crafted and heartwarming Q&A session by MC Wilhelmina Shrimpton with Dame Sophie Pascoe, who shared her journey of disability, elite sport and overcoming adversity.  A phenomenal end to the conference sessions. 


In keeping with the conference theme, the awards dinner theme was ‘The Secret Garden.’  Some beautifully crafted costumes were seen among the audience – ‘The Trees’ were a standout!  The awards celebrated some of the outstanding work being done by our colleagues throughout the country.  The winners are:  

Individual Awards: 

MC Public Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year Award 
Lisa Brown, National Prosecutions Manger (Acting), Ministry for Primary Industries 
Greenwood Roche Private Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year Award 
Sarah Retter, Head of Legal, Fujitsu New Zealand  
MAS New In-House Lawyer of the Year Award 
Fraser McCallum, Privacy Officer, Legal Adviser and Graduate, Silver Fern Farms 

Team Awards: 

Tompkins Wake Small In-house Team of the Year Award  
University of Canterbury Legal Team, University of Canterbury 
Chapman Tripp Private Sector In-house Team of the Year Award 
Woolworths Legal Services Team, Woolworths 
PwC Public Sector In-house Team of the Year Award 
Law Drafting Group, Parliamentary Counsel Office 

Special Awards:

Simpson Grierson People and Culture Excellence Award  
Ngā Ratonga Ture | Legal Services, Auckland Council 
Artemis Executive Recruitment In-house Innovation Award 
Ngā Ratonga Ture | Legal Services, Auckland Council 
ComplyWith Community Contribution Award 
Sarah Thorner Crossley, Senior Lawyer at Zespri International 


Congratulations to all of our winners!   


Check out the conference highlights video: 



Save the Date! We are looking forward to our 2023 conference at Baypark, Tauranga – 27 & 28 July.   



The conference wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors: 

  • Dentons Kensington Swan
  • LawVu 
  • Deloitte
  • Thomson Reuters 
  • Lexology 
  • Anderson Lloyd 
  • Niche Recruitment 
  • Tomkins Wake 
  • James Wells 
  • LexisNexis 
  • Simpson Grierson 
  • Chapman Tripp 
  • Artemis 
  • Greenwood Roche 
  • AJ Park 
  • Experieco 
  • SaaSam 
  • MAS 
  • ComplyWith 
  • Enable 
  • PWC 
  • LawHawk 
  • MC