New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Auckland barrister Andrea Manuel has been appointed an Acting District Court Judge with a Family Court warrant. Judge Manuel will be sworn in on 22 March in Auckland and will sit in Auckland. Ms Manuel’s core area of practice has covered complex trust, estate and relationship property cases. She also has extensive experience in civil litigation, family law and Hague Convention work. Ms Manuel has been at the independent bar since 2006, initially with O’Connell Chambers and then with Shortland Chambers since 2014. Ms Manuel is also an author of Fisher on Matrimonial and Relationship Property.

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong has been appointed Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), succeeding Una Jagose. Ms Fong has been GCSB Chief Legal Advisor since April 2013. She has also spent time as Acting General Counsel for the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. Before joining the GCSB, Ms Fong spent eight years at Crown Law.

First woman CEO of major law firm

Anthony Harper has appointed Lisa Jacobs as the firm's new CEO.

"We believe she is the first woman CEO of a major law firm in New Zealand history," Anthony Harper says.

Photo of Lisa Jacobs
Lisa Jacobs

Ms Jacobs has been with the firm in the role of Chief Operating Officer for the past four years. In that time Anthony Harper has transitioned from a regional firm based in Christchurch to a national practice. The firm won two awards at the 2015 New Zealand Law Awards and was ranked as one of the top 10 law firms in the country in the latest Asia Pacific Legal 500.

Anthony Harper says it is the fastest growing law firm in New Zealand. "Revenues have increased over 80% since 2013, 12 new partners have joined and we have had a 70% increase in the number of authors over the last three years alone."

Ms Jacob's career trajectory has taken her from a tax and securities lawyer, to having a close involvement in the development of a new tax regime, the Portfolio Investment Entity regime, within her role as General Counsel at NZ Funds Management, to the strategic management of Anthony Harper.

"I have always been interested in how firms operate – the drivers for success, how they juggle growth and challenges in the environment and as a result constantly change to meet the needs of their clients. A law firm is no different," Ms Jacobs says.

"As a working mum, with two school-aged children, the need to balance the demands of a full and happy family life with the demands of running a top law firm requires work. Thankfully I have the support of my husband, children and a firm which actively encourages a healthy work-life balance."

Two NZ lawyers in rugby world cup

Two Auckland lawyers Sam McLernon of Russell McVeagh and Jono Gould of Meredith Connell acquitted themselves well playing at the recent Lawyers’ Rugby World Cup in London.

Both old boys of Christ College, Sam and Jono turned out for Australia after the New Zealand Team withdrew from the tournament. New Zealand Lawyers Rugby Manager Paul Watkins obtained a dispensation from the tournament organisers then approached the Australians.

He was pleased to hear both players were welcomed into the Australian team environment and had a great time with their cousins from across the ditch.

Australia finished second in their pool after beating Italy 31-5 and France 26-0.

Unfortunately two very close matches followed. Despite the assistance from New Zealand, Australia lost to England 14-12 in the semi-final then to Scotland 15-14 in the play off for third and fourth.

Ireland won the Cup, beating England 19-3 in the final.

Mr Watkins says he is pleased Sam and Jono were able to participate in what was a fantastic event. However he said a few more Kiwis “up front” would have brought the cup back to the Queensland Law Society trophy cabinet, where the majority of the Australian team came from.

Law students brief Dunedin officials on climate change

Students Otago University’s Law Faculty recently concluded their summer school course on climate change and law with a presentation to Dunedin officials.

The presentations were made to Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Dunedin City Councillors Aaron Hawkins and David Benson-Pope, following the research conducted during the course.

Visiting from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, the course was taught by world-renowned specialist in climate change, Professor Alon Tal.

Professor Tal also invited guest lecturer, Dr Suzi Kerr to speak to the class. Dr Kerr, a senior fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington, was heavily involved in the design of New Zealand’s initial carbon emissions trading scheme.

There was a very practical approach to the course, with students visiting sites around Dunedin, and engaging with experts to gather information for their report on what Dunedin should be doing for climate change.

The final recommendations included changes to transport and, in particular, cycleways, as well as renewable energy, public education, changes to New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, landfill and flooding.

Last Resort

The annual Last Resort golf tournament for the legal profession will be held at the Masterton Golf Club on 11 March.

The format of the competition is stableford. There will also be an ambrose competition for the more casual golfer, numbers permitting.

People interested in registering for the tournament will need to contact Sandy Harrison, phone 06 370 6479 by 29 February. 

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