Government Power Lawyer
Last Year – 9
We labelled Cassie Nicholson, LawFuel Lawyer of the Year in 2020 as the Government’s ‘Covid Lawyer’, but her role within the government remains one of quiet power and influence.
Working in the unglamorous-sounding Parliamentary Counsel Office with a team of 35 government lawyers, she was at the coal face dealing with pandemic legislation involving around 110 pieces of legislation and other legal instruments.
As Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Cassie Nicholson had to marshall not only her legal and leadership skills, but also her ability to inspire a team facing a world-changing pandemic. Promoted to Chief Parliamentary Counsel in May 2021, the former Chapman Tripp solicitor with degrees from Victoria University and the London School of Economics, she assumed full responsibility for an office that develops ‘fit for purpose’ legislation.
Described by one senior lawyer as a lawyer well known in government circles for being one step ahead, she is an inspirational figure for lawyers, regardless of age or experience and has assumed a key role as a government legal adviser and legislative drafting expert. She slips marginally with the easing of the Covid crisis and the key player she assumed during the height of the pandemic.