New Zealand Law Society - New Law Society President-Elect

New Law Society President-Elect

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Auckland lawyer Kathryn Beck is the New Zealand Law Society's President-Elect.

The Law Society's Auckland Vice-President, Ms Beck is a founding partner of SBM Legal, a boutique employment law firm based in Auckland but operating throughout New Zealand.

Photo of Kathryn Beck
Kathryn Beck

"I am a passionate, committed lawyer," Ms Beck says. "I love my job and I love my profession."

With a BCom (Labour Relations) and LLB from Auckland University, Ms Beck was previously a partner at Haigh Lyon, where she led the employment law team and was also head of litigation.

She was with Haigh Lyon for 11 years before she established SBM Legal (Swarbrick Beck Mackinnon) in 2005.

She has acted in many leading cases and is a key adviser and facilitator in a number of ongoing, high level union-employer relationships. In addition to employment law, her practice has developed to include health and education law.

Ms Beck is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution and acts as a mediator and facilitator, and has conducted independent investigations for several large companies, charitable institutions, Trust Boards and a government department.

She has also acted as chair and member of disciplinary committees in matters of student discipline for a large tertiary institution.

A former convenor of the Law Society's Employment Law Committee, Ms Beck has presented submissions for the Law Society to select committees on legislative change.

In addition, she has been involved in educational road shows for the Law Society, and as a regular invited speaker at ADLS, the Law Society and private conferences. Last year, she presented a paper at the International Bar Association Conference in Tokyo. Her presentation came during a session dealing with the global search for talent.

She has also liaised with various government departments on issues relating to both her specialist area and also areas relating to women in the law and access to justice.

She is a member of Board of the Auckland Community Law Centre (formerly the Grey Lynn Community Law Centre) and has been on the ADLS Council, as well as the New Zealand Law Society's Auckland branch Council.

Her governance experience also includes being a founding Trustee and later Chair of the Kotuku Trust, which has contracts with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development for the support and care of disabled young people.

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