Senior partner Sue McCormack retired from Christchurch firm Mortlock McCormack Law at the end of March. Sue was elected Chancellor of the University of Canterbury on 1 January.
“Sue has had a long and distinguished career as a lawyer for nearly 35 years and will be missed by us all,” says firm partner Sarah Manning. “However, the opportunity to head the University of Canterbury is a fantastic honour, and Sue will excel in that role just as she has with the firm for so many years.”
Previously Pro Chancellor at the University of Canterbury, Sue is also a director of Kiwirail. She has also been a director of the Lyttelton Port Company, the NZ Symphony Orchestra and the Public Trust. Sue was heavily involved in the university’s $1.2 billion post-earthquake construction programme, and she is looking forward to leading the university into its next stage, with the assistance of the new Vice Chancellor, Professor Cheryl de la Rey. For the first time in history, the university will be led by two women.
“Sue has always been a trailblazer – 25 years ago she set up the first female law firm in Christchurch along with Fiona Wakefield and has had a very large and successful practice with many loyal clients,” Sarah Manning says. “Sue merged her firm with Simon Mortlock’s firm 13 years ago, and many of the staff at Mortlock McCormack Law have worked with Sue for over 20 years and I know how much she cares about all the people she works alongside with at Mortlock McCormack Law.
“Sue’s practice has focused largely on commercial, company, property and construction law and she worked closely with many of her clients as they rebuilt their property portfolios after the earthquakes. One example of this is The Terrace – Sue worked with Antony Gough, both as a lawyer and as a strategic advisor, as Antony and his family built The Terrace, navigating through the various challenges raised by such a large rebuild project. The Terrace is a huge success, and an important part of rebuilding our city - and is testament to the skill and foresight of all involved.”
Sarah Manning says Sue McCormack is more than a lawyer: “To her clients, and to those of us fortunate enough to work with her, she is a trusted advisor, mentor and friend, and we wish Sue all the very best for the next exciting chapter in her career.”