New Zealand Law Society - LawTalk issue 949

LawTalk issue 949

LawTalk issue 949

The March issue of LawTalk is jam-packed with Aotearoa’s legal talent. We take a deep dive into the world of in-house lawyers, examining from different viewpoints the rise of in-house lawyers from 23% of New Zealand’s profession in 2016 to 28% in 2021. What do they do? What skills do they need? And what do they get paid? The answers come direct from those involved. We delve into crisis lessons from Covid-19, scrutinise in-house legal trends, and explore the world of general counsel inside leading Māori tribal organisations. LawTalk also takes a moment to farewell President Tiana Epati, and put out the welcome mat for Jacque Lethbridge, our incoming President.

Read on, and enjoy!

The Rise and Rise of In-house Counsel

In-house: more than a legal eagle

In-house: more than a legal eagle

What does a flight over the territory of in-house law and lawyers reveal? LawTalk takes a bird’s eye cruise above the unexpected geography of in-house law. Two of the profession’s best share their thoughts. Plus LawTalk gives you the rundown on stats and recruiting in-house lawyers in Aotearoa New Zealand.


The In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand is a meeting place of like-minded professionals. Keep up with changes in the law, thinking and stay ahead by joining this specialty group.

Bending the arc

Three fraught, tumultuous, life-changing years have characterised the Presidency of Tiana Epati. As she exits from this leadership role, she urges the legal profession to keep its foot on the accelerator of change.

Of camaraderie, collegiality and commonality of purpose

As Jacque Lethbridge steps up to lead the New Zealand Law Society from April 8, she identifies three key goals for her presidency. She looks to the glue of collegiality that binds the profession, and reminds all members of their mutual and societal obligations.

What you don’t know about... In-house legal mega trends

LawTalk takes two offshore legal experts and asks them: what in-house mega trends are they seeing? This article was written prior to the invasion of Ukraine. Its resonance and relevance remain on the mark.

Covid-19: textbook crisis lessons for in-house counsel

Covid-19 provided the ultimate challenge in crisis management to in-house legal counsel. McDonald’s New Zealand’s General Counsel, Malcolm Swan, shares how they managed the crisis that involved 170-plus local stores and 10,000 staff. Phil Knipe, long-term Chief Legal Advisor from the Ministry of Health also had to mobilise his team…

The big ones and the little ones

LawTalk speaks to two lead in-house counsel – Helen Wild with a team of 58 (Auckland Council) and Charlotte Moll (Warren and Mahoney) with a single legal team member – and asks them to describe their day’s work. Helen adds her tips for building solid in-house legal teams.

A view from the top: what the board really, really wants

Former senior partner in a large law firm, and now multiple board member Pip Greenwood, shares her experience of in-house counsel – from a board’s point of view.

To automate or not automate legal in-house? That is the question

Foodstuffs’, New Zealand’s hundred-year-old grocery Co-op, provides insights on their journey to automate in-house legal. And LawTalk asks LawVu, a New Zealand-developed software platform for automating in-house legal teams, how their product approaches the challenge.

Te Ao Māori – Perspectives from Iwi General Counsel

Gwendoline Keel (General Counsel - Punenga a Ture at Waikato-Tainui) and Natasha Strong (General Counsel at Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei) discuss the way they operate as in-house counsel, filtering through the intergenerational lens of tikanga.