Michael Cameron, Department of Corrections, Wellington, is the 2015 CLANZ-Chapman Tripp Public Sector In-house Lawyer of the Year.
Mr Cameron was one of four winners of the CLANZ annual awards for in-house lawyers announced at the 28th CLANZ Conference Gala Dinner and Awards on 22 May in Paihia.
Mr Cameron was admitted in June 1996 after graduating with law and science degrees from Otago University.
He is the lead legislative solicitor with the Department of Corrections and works closely with strategic and operational policy teams. He was closely involved in the development of the law to ensure smoke-free prisons and the introduction of a TV rental scheme in prisons.
The judging panel says Mr Cameron has an admirable ability to engender confidence in clients across the department and his genuineness and enthusiasm are highly valued by his colleagues.
Michael Brooker, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd, Auckland, is the CLANZ-Greenwood Roche Chisnall Private Sector in-house Lawyer of the Year.
Admitted in October 1991, Mr Booker is General Counsel and Company Secretary of Foodstuffs North Island Ltd, where he is responsible for managing a legal team.
He was closely involved in the merger of Foodstuffs’ two North Island businesses, which created one of New Zealand’s largest businesses. This included obtaining regulatory approvals and working through many practical implementation legal issues.
The judging panel says Mr Brooker has played an important role in installing a compliance culture and staying across a wide range of issues within a large and dynamic business.
Jessica Sebastian, Whitireia Community Law Centre, Porirua, is the CLANZ-MAS Young In-House Lawyer of the Year.
Admitted in June 2013, Ms Sebastian is a solicitor at the Whitireia Community Law Centre and has worked there since mid-2013.
As well as providing legal advice to a diverse range of clients, Ms Sebastian has developed and run 30 separate legal education seminars on 11 topics to over 600 attendees. She has also rewritten and edited a number of legal resources for the public.
The judging panel says her work has required her to give effective legal advice and represent clients from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in several different areas of law.
Iain Feist won the CLANZ-AUT Law School Community Contribution Award for his work with Makara Peak Supporters, Wellington.
The award is made to an in-house lawyer who has made an outstanding contribution to the community beyond their day job.
Mr Feist is a senior solicitor with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He has received the award for his involvement with the Makara Peak Supporters group which has established and now maintains a world class mountain bike park and conservation area.
Mr Feist has been involved in group governance, which has included securing Scenic Reserve status for the park, completing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wellington City Council, and developing short- and medium-term biodiversity/conservation and tracks plans.
For Mr Feist’s award, a donation of $2,000 will be made to Makara Peak Supporters.