Jeremy Ford, a lawyer at Juno Legal is the winner of the 2019 award. He is currently engaged in-house at the Overseas Investment Office and was nominated in his previous role as General Council, Earthquake Commission.
The judges said the award recognises the significant impact that he made through his work at EQC – an organisation that needed to deal with complex legal issues, as well as facing both public scrutiny and organisational change.
The team described his leadership style as one to admire and aspire and particularly acknowledged the unwavering respect that Jeremy commanded from both the wider business community and external stakeholders.
Private Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year
Charlotte Walker, Senior Solicitor, Regulatory, New Zealand Law Society.
The judges said Charlotte Walker had undertaken quality work for the Law Society’s regulatory team and for her work over the last year in a key advisory role for the working group led by Dame Silvia Cartwright which produced a landmark independent review into the Law Society’s regulatory functions.
She also played a key part in the Law Society’s response to the working group report and her work is identified as playing an important role in changing the culture of the legal profession for the better.
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Young In-house Lawyer of the Year
The judges said they could not separate two of the nominees and the joint winners of the MAS Young In-house Lawyer of the Year who were Madison Dobie, Legal Advisor, Engineering New Zealand, and Alexandra Kissling, Legal Counsel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.
The judges said Madison Dobie had demonstrated excellence not just in her core work but also through her recent work project managing the engineering aspects of a key governmental initiative to resolve residential insurance claims in Christchurch.
She is acknowledged as being instrumental in bringing Engineering NZ’s complaints process to life with a strong drive to help parties to a complaint reach an outcome that is the best and most fair result.
Alexandra Kissling was nominated for her exceptional relationship building skills and for her achievements in crucial areas of business, which included her contribution to the work of the legal team in resolving a global patent dispute with a US competitor, playing a lead role in developing new global guidelines on advertising and promotional activities, and her involvement in a significant review of a multi-centre, pan-European clinical trial under changing national and EU legislation.
In-house Innovation Award
The Education Infrastructure Services Legal Team, Ministry of Education, was winner of the award. The award was accepted by team leader and Director, Property Law, Rebecca Robertshawe. The 12-person EIT team includes three full-time lawyers.
Rebecca Robertshawe, EIS Legal team.
The judges said the EIS legal team is recognised for the valuable contribution they have made to their organisation through an innovative contract automation project and the complete redesign in their approach to the delivery of legal services. Their approach has significantly streamlined organisational processes and standardised their construction contracts.
They are recognised by external supporters for the sophisticated approach taken to the rollout of this project, their innovative thinking, collaborative way of working, and ability to win over internal clients with their well-considered solutions and well-articulated benefits.
In-house Team of the Year
The Legal Team, Engineering New Zealand won the 2019 Chapman Tripp In-house Team of the Year.
The judges said that beginning from their entire overhaul of the professional standards expected of professional engineers completed in 2016, the entire Engineering NZ legal team has stepped forward with a programme that that has enabled and brought about a transformation of the processes and practices now adopted across the whole professional engineering sector.