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Top in-house lawyers recognised


Top in-house lawyers recognised

Five of New Zealand’s in-house lawyers have been judged winners in the annual awards from CLANZ, the New Zealand Law Society section for in-house lawyers.

The 27th CLANZ Conference Gala Dinner and Awards were held on Friday 16 May at the Dunedin Town Hall.

The awards recognise leadership and excellence in the provision of legal services as well as the invaluable contribution that in-house lawyers make to their organisations, the legal profession and wider community.

CLANZ president Grant Adam says the awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise individuals who are true leaders in their field.

“The quality of the nominations across all of the categories was outstanding, demonstrating the high calibre of in-house lawyers practising in New Zealand. This year, for the first time, judges have chosen joint winners in one category,” Mr Adam says.

The 2014 category winners:

CLANZ-Chapman Tripp Public Sector In-house of the Year (joint winners)

Cristina Billett, Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation and Liam Mason, Financial Markets Authority.

The judging panel says “Both Cristina and Liam displayed exceptional qualities that distinguished them in this category. Both were deserving of the recognition and it was impossible to make a single award.”

CLANZ-Greenwood Roche Chisnall Private Sector in-house Lawyer of the Year

Matt Vaughan, XERO.

The judging panel says that during a time of rapid growth “Matt had taken on a newly created role by making it his own and establishing a new legal function at Xero. He is the ‘go to’ person for any legal matters.”

CLANZ-MAS Young In-House Lawyer of the Year

Amanda Barclay, Department of Corrections.

The judging panel says Amanda shows “incredible leadership and maturity in such a challenging area of the law and is a highly valued member of the Corrections legal team.”

Nick Hansen of Cricket World Cup 2015 Ltd was highly commended by judges in this category.

CLANZ-Wigley and Company Community Contribution Award

Andrew Webster, Variety – the Children’s Charity.

The Judging panel says “Andrew has made an invaluable contribution over a number of years in many facets of Variety’s work and is highly regarded by the charity.”

The winners in each category receive $5000 towards their own training and development or community concern.

Additional information for journalists:

Cristina Billett, Legal Counsel for Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation (Auckland)
Cristina is a longstanding and senior member of the in-house legal team and has also become a critical member of its deal teams. Cristina has developed strong business relationships with key stakeholders including co-investors and external suppliers. She has also made a significant contribution to practice improvements within the legal teams as well as to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s commercial outcomes on a range of investments and transactions.

Liam Mason, Head of Legal and Board Secretary, Financial Markets Authority (Wellington)
Liam has held his role at the FMA since its establishment in 2001. Liam lead’s the FMA’s legal team which provides legal support to its chief executive, senior leadership team and staff on strategic and technical legal matters to FMA’s role as the financial markets conduct regulator. Liam provides strong leadership, guidance and supervision to the larger network of lawyers who operate in other areas of the FMA. Liam has dedicated the majority of legal career to service in the public sector and specifically to financial markets regulation.

Matt Vaughan, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Xero (Wellington)
Matt reports to the Chief Financial Officer and also holds the role of Company Secretary, reporting directly to the board of directors. Matt is a key part of Xero’s global leadership team, and his leadership and strategic responsibilities within the business are expanding as Xero continues to evolve. Matt has built a new legal function within Xero to become the “go to” person for all legal matters and is a highly valued member of the leadership team.

Amanda Barclay, Solicitor, Department of Corrections (Wellington)
Amanda has made a marked contribution to the Corrections legal team. Her colleagues and clients appreciate her expanding professionalism and undemonstrative productivity. Amanda is the department’s youngest lawyer and has responded enthusiastically to the new challenges which penal law presents for her, and provides counsel which is considered, responsible and appropriate. Her leadership potential is recognised by the increasing frequency of her participation in incident meetings where senior management team members seek advice from her.

Andrew Webster, General Counsel, Todd Property Group and a Director of Variety – the Children’s Charity (Auckland)
Andrew has been actively involved with Variety as a board member since November 2008. He is a totally committed and integral part of the Variety family, supporting the charity both strategically and operationally. Now as Variety director (voluntary) Andrew gives his personal time and expertise to the charity, as well as contributing financially.
He attends board meetings eight times a year without fail and attends many Variety events. While discharging broader governance and fundraising responsibilities, Andrew provides invaluable and sound guidance in any legal issues that may arise.

Nick Hansen, Legal Counsel, Cricket World Cup 2015 Ltd (Wellington)
Nick is the sole legal advisor of Cricket World Cup 2015 Ltd (NZ office) providing leadership on legal and procurement aspects of CWC 2015’s project. Nick supports managers at the New Zealand office and reports to the head of legal and procurement based in CWC 2015’s Melbourne head office as part of a team of three lawyers within the organisation. Nick has jumped on every opportunity that has been thrown his way to develop his knowledge and capability in both a legal and commercial sense. Nick’s significant leadership potential and maturity that he has shown will quickly take him to more senior and strategic roles.

ENDS

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