Ann Brennan

Chief Legal Advisor
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ann Brennan

Chief Legal Advisor
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ms Brennan is Chief Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, a position she has held since May 2013. At MBIE she leads a talented and committed team of 70-odd lawyers and technical specialists supporting a fascinating and varied business focused on growing the New Zealand economy to provide a better standard of living for all New Zealanders. She is a member of the Government Legal Network Advisory Board and the NZLS Women’s Advisory Panel.

Ann has had a career of two parts. First as a lawyer with two commercial law firms with a litigation focus and then in-house. A planned one year stint at Westpac as Senior Counsel turned into six years. In 2007 she was appointed General Counsel of Public Trust where she was a member of the Executive Leadership Team, a director of a number of subsidiaries and responsible for the legal, risk, compliance, regulatory affairs and customer quality functions.

Married to a lawyer, Ann is mother to twins in their final year of studying law. She encourages full participation in the legal workforce and has been a regular presenter at events promoting diversity. 

Anna Buchly

Chair
Bell Gully

Anna Buchly

Partner & Chair
Bell Gully

Anna is Bell Gully's Chair. She is a specialist corporate lawyer with over 20 years’ experience who advises on a full range of corporate matters, with a focus on capital markets, public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity and joint ventures. Anna works on New Zealand's biggest deals for blue chip clients including Vodafone and Crown Infrastructure Partners, and world leading private equity clients investing in New Zealand. Anna is ranked for her work in a number of international legal directories including The Legal 500 2018 and Chambers Asia Pacific 2018.

Anne Callinan

Chair
Simpson Grierson

Anne Callinan

Chair
Simpson Grierson

Anne Callinan is a widely respected senior litigator. She has been a partner at Simpson Grierson for 20 years and was appointed Chair in 2018. Anne has been a vocal proponent of meaningful equality and diversity initiatives at Simpson Grierson, helping to drive positive change throughout the firm

Karen Clayton

General Counsel & Company Secretary
Air New Zealand

Karen Clayton

General Counsel & Company Secretary
Air New Zealand

Karen Clayton is an English qualified solicitor and experienced Senior Executive.  Karen joined Air New Zealand in December 2016 as its General Counsel & Company Secretary following 18 months as Mercury NZ Limited’s General Counsel.  At Air New Zealand Karen leads a team of in-house lawyers and company secretarial, privacy and risk & compliance professionals providing advice and support across the national airline’s business.  Prior to coming to New Zealand in 2014, Karen was UK General Counsel & Company Secretary at National Grid plc, a UK FTSE 20 and NYSE listed international gas and electricity company, where she led a team of lawyers and risk, compliance, ethics and other assurance professionals and was an influential member of the company’s UK Executive Leadership team.  During her career Karen has worked as a commercial litigator in top tier law firms in both the UK and Australia and is a regular speaker at events of legal, leadership and diversity & inclusion topics.

 

Malcolm Crotty

Chair
Russell McVeagh

Malcolm Crotty

Chair
Russell McVeagh

Malcolm is Chair of the Russell McVeagh board and was previously Partnership Chair. Specialising in commercial litigation and dispute resolution including construction, insolvency and employment law, he acts on matters involving emergency and urgent relief orders and complex contractual and statutory interpretation issues.

Malcolm brings his experience and intelligence to represent clients in all Courts, appearing before the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court and is experienced in representing clients before mediations and commercial arbitrations.

Fionnghuala Cuncannon

Partner
Meredith Connell

Fionnghuala Cuncannon

Partner
Meredith Connell

Fionnghuala has broad commercial and civil litigation experience, advising public entities and private corporations on both contentious and non-contentious matters. She has particular expertise in urgent matters and obtaining interim orders to protect the interests of clients pending resolution of disputes.

In addition to assisting with contractual disputes and tort claims, Fionnghuala provides compliance advice and acts in proceedings under the Commerce Act, consumer protection legislation, and the Companies Act. She also advises government and private clients on public law matters, including acting in judicial review proceedings and advising on compliance with relevant legislation, such as the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Fionnghuala has lectured Contract Law at Victoria University of Wellington and worked, on secondment, at the UK Office of Fair Trading in the Competition Act enforcement team.

Steph Dyhberg

Partner
Dyhrberg Drayton

Steph Dyhrberg

Partner
Dyhrberg Drayton 

Steph Dyhrberg is a partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law, a specialist employment law practice in Wellington.

Steph has 26 years legal experience. Prior to joining forces with Johanna, Steph practised as a sole practitioner for 6 years. Steph previously worked for Russell McVeagh Wellington, as a Crown Counsel in the Employment and Education team of The Crown Law Office, and as an employment lawyer for human resources specialists Right Management Consultants (formerly Greene Hanson, and The Empower Group). Steph was a founding author of Brookers District Court Procedure.

Steph is a Vice President of the Wellington Branch Council of the New Zealand Law Society and Convenor of the Wellington Women Lawyers' Association. She is a Trustee of Mary Potter Hospice and a Director of the Mary Potter Apartment Company. Steph is Acting Chief Judge on the judging panel for the Electra Business Awards (Kapiti-Horowhenua).

Steph is recognised as a highly effective senior employment advisor and advocate. She is a skilled conference and workshop presenter and has developed a specialist expertise in undertaking independent investigations and reviews.

At the beginning of 2018 Steph was appointed the inaugural New Zealand Rugby Independent Complaints Service Manager. In June 2018 Steph was appointed as a member of the Government’s Fair Pay Agreement Working Group by the Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.
Steph is a Patron of the Kauri Theater Company.

Gill Gatfield

Author, Artist & Human Rights Advocate

Gill Gatfield

Author, Artist & Human Rights Advocate

Author, artist and human rights advocate Gill Gatfield brings an amicus curiae perspective to the subject of gender equity. Her book Without Prejudice: Women in the Law, first published in 1996, remains a comprehensive and key resource that informs and advances the current debates and solutions relating to sexual harassment and discrimination of women in the law.

Gill has worked in legal practice in commercial and family law, as a senior advisor on human rights law at the Ministry of Women, and in law reform at the New Zealand Law Society. She founded and directed Equity Works Ltd, undertaking investigations into workplace harassment and discrimination, and advising private and public sector organisations on equality and diversity strategies, before returning to University to complete an arts degree in 2004.

Gill combines her human rights advocacy work with her international sculpture practice. She was Juror of the 18th International Open Competition, open to women artists worldwide, and is a member of Global Women, a multi-sector organisation advancing diversity and inclusion. As 2015 artist in residence at the National Women’s Museum Denmark, she created Glass Ceiling/Glasloft, marking 100 years of women’s suffrage in Denmark. She tracks the progression of women in the law and initiated the NZ law society 2016 commemoration of 120 years of women in the law, where she released a hardback limited edition of Without Prejudice in international suffrage colours, with the new subtitle – Same Issue/New Cover.

Professor Nicola Gavey

School of Psychology
Auckland University

Professor Nicola Gavey

School of Psychology
Auckland University

Nicola Gavey is a professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Her research has focussed on understanding the connection between sexual violence and everyday taken for granted norms around gender and sexuality. Currently, she is completing a second edition of her book Just sex? The cultural scaffolding of rape.

Anna Hood

Senior Lecturer
University of Auckland

Anna Hood

Senior Lecturer
University of Auckland

Dr Anna Hood is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland. She specialises in public international law and also has a strong interest in women in the legal profession. In 2016 she co-authored the Auckland Law School’s Gender Report. Anna has a BA/LLB (hons) from the University of Melbourne, an LLM from NYU and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Sarah Kelly

Solicitor
Kensington Swan

Sarah Kelly

Solicitor
Kensington Swan

Sarah is a solicitor in the Private Wealth team at Kensington Swan. She specialises in asset and estate planning, trusts, immigration by investment, relationship property agreements, estate administration, trust governance and compliance, as well as general corporate and commercial matters.

Sarah is involved in advising many domestic and international high net worth individuals in relation to asset and estate planning, family trusts and relationship property agreements.

She also has experience in advising clients in relation to wills, enduring powers of attorney, unit trusts, companies and limited partnerships.

 

Zoë Lawton

Legal Researcher, Founder
#Metoo blog

Zoë Lawton

Legal Researcher, Founder
#Metoo blog

Zoë Lawton is a legal researcher, writer and #MeToo advocate. Following media coverage concerning allegations of sexual assault against senior partners at Russell McVeagh she set up a #MeToo blog to provide legal professionals with an anonymous platform to share their experiences of sexual harassment. She then set up a #MeToo pledge to enable male legal professionals to publicly acknowledge their support for the following statement: sexual harassment is an issue in the New Zealand legal profession and we need to fix it. Zoë is currently developing other #MeToo initiatives to help ensure the issue of sexual harassment in the legal profession is properly addressed.

Helen Mackay

Director
Juno Legal

Helen Mackay

Director
Juno Legal

Helen has been an in-house lawyer and a champion of the in-house legal profession for more than 20 years. She is the former President and CEO of the In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand and Co-Chair of the foundation committee of In-House Counsel Worldwide.

Helen now leads flexible in-house legal services provider Juno Legal which embeds in-house lawyers into businesses on an on-demand basis and gives in-house lawyers great opportunities to work flexibly. Her consulting work focuses on strategy and high performance in in-house legal teams and she advises widely across New Zealand and Australia. The retention and re-entry of women into the legal profession is a particular driver for her and the Juno hybrid law firm model has enabled three talented senior women to return to the profession on a flexible basis.

Gordon MacLeod

CEO
Ryman Healthcare

Gordon Macleod

CEO
Ryman Healthcare

Gordon was previously a Corporate Finance Partner with PwC and Finance Director of a London listed hi-tech engineering company. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Chartered Accountant. He is a board member of the NZ Aged Care Association and the Retirement Villages Association.

Dr Kim McGregor QSO

Chief Victims Advisor
New Zealand Government

Anne McLeod

Partner
Anderson Lloyd

Anne McLeod

Partner
Anderson Lloyd

Anne has been a partner at Anderson Lloyd since 2002, and has been located in both our Christchurch and Dunedin offices.

Anne is a corporate commercial lawyer who enjoys working in a collaborative fashion with her clients to obtain the desired outcome. She specialises in acting for clients in relation to large acquisitions and divestments. Past examples include the sale of part of March Construction Limited to Soletanche Freyssinet SA, the sale of Fraser Macandrew Ryan to Crombie Lockwood, and acting for South Canterbury Finance on the sale of the Hyatt Hotel.

Anne has built up significant experience in acting for owners of hotels. This includes advising on the acquisition or divestment of hotels and negotiating hotel management agreements, lease arrangements and franchise structures. Anne provides advice on financial products under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. She advises listed companies on a range of matters, including compliance, and capital raising.

Anne regularly advises banks and non-bank lenders on their lending arrangements.

She also acts for a number of receivers and liquidators on all insolvency matters from appointment to sale of assets.

Anne presented the New Zealand Law Society’s Introduction to Company Law course for many years and has presented on securities law issues for land developments at three NZLS property law conferences.

Anne is a Director of SBS Bank, the Chairperson of Southsure Assurance Limited, a Fellow of the Te Rangi Hiroa College, and a member of the Institute of Directors, the Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association of New Zealand (RITANZ), and the Banking and Financial Services Law Association.

Aria Molteni-Luporini

Senior Solicitor
Russell McVeagh

Aria Molteni-Luporini

Senior Solicitor
Russell McVeagh

Aria is a Senior Solicitor in the Corporate Advisory Team at Russell McVeagh. She works on significant and complex transactions, specialising in New Zealand securities law (including IPOs and other capital raisings), mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate advisory and corporate governance work. Aria advises a range of clients, including several NZX-listed clients, investment banks and overseas companies. 

Aria began working at Russell McVeagh as a summer clerk in 2012 and, following completion of an LLB(Hons)/BA degree at the University of Canterbury, joined Russell McVeagh as a graduate in 2014. Aria most recently advised on ANZ’s proposed IPO of UDC Finance, CBA’s sale of Sovereign, and the Oceania Healthcare IPO (2018 INFINZ NZ Equity Market Transaction of the Year).  

Dr Maria A. Pozza

Associate
Govett Quilliam

Dr Maria A Pozza

Associate
Govett Quilliam

Dr Maria A Pozza is an Associate in our Corporate Team and offers an extensive range of legal services including: energy, oil and gas, intellectual property, M&A, regulatory compliance, technology, telecoms, public law, government advisory, IT, and corporate advisory.

Dr Maria is an internationally recognised expert in space law, and the official legal adviser on space law to the Royal Astronomical Society in New Zealand. Dr Maria’s expertise extends to the law of Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) and cybersecurity including cryptocurrencies and block chain - of which she is the course coordinator of INTP 201 and also lectures INTP 113 in international relations, at the University of Victoria, Wellington.

Dr Maria is well known and regarded for her strategic legal advice and ability to offer outside of the box solutions for her clients. Recognised as a skilled lawyer, Dr Maria was announced as a Finalist for the 2017 Young Private Practitioner Award at the New Zealand Law Awards. AI Global Magazine has referred to her as the New Zealand Woman in Law to Watch.

Dr Maria has been the recipient of a number of awards and accolades including: the Inter-Pacific Bar Association Scholarship; the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust Award; the New Zealand Political Studies Association Projects Grant, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Historical Research Grant; a visiting Lauterpact Fellowship at the Lauterpact Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, UK; and, an Appreciation Award by the University of Otago’s Disability, Information and Support Unit, in recognition of her on-going work and support with tertiary level students.

Dr Maria has published work in various journals, books and other high level review material across disciplines.

Dedicated to the legal profession Dr Maria has been a Member of the Canterbury-Westland Law Society Branch Council as well as the Canterbury-Westland Law Society Trusts Committee. Committed to greater access to legal advice for the community. Dr Maria has been a volunteer lawyer for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Mary Scholtens, QC

Stout Street Chambers

Mary Scholtens, QC

Stout Street Chambers 

Mary Scholtens is an experienced Queen's Counsel who has acted predominantly in the public law area since commencing practice in 1982. After ten years at Crown Law Mary joined the independent bar in 1996. She was made a Queen's Counsel in 2002. Mary also acts in general commercial and civil disputes and is an accredited mediator. She is a member of the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and is a registered marriage and civil union celebrant.   Mary runs occasional professional development courses for small groups of women which foster the development of skills for thriving in the law and offer group support for common, difficult issues.

Stacey Shortall

Partner
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Stacey Shortall

Partner
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Stacey has over 20 years experience representing financial institutions, other corporate clients, public sector entities and directors & officers in significant litigation and regulatory matters. She enjoys working with a diverse team and actively looks to recruit lawyers who work with flexibility.

Stacey has been recognized as a Blake Leader, Women of Influence Award winner in the community & not-for-profit category, Kiwibank Local Hero recipient and was Law Fuel's 2015 NZ Lawyer of the Year for her work with women and children.

 In New Zealand, this work has included the development of a weekly homework club programme that partners businesses or organisations with low decile primary schools.  Known as “Homework HELP Clubs”, the programme seeks to have more kiwi kids open doors to brighter futures.  Stacey also developed a prison programme to help jailed mothers maintain meaningful connections with their children.  Called the “Mothers Project”, the programme now runs in the Auckland and Wellington women’s prisons.  “HelpTank”, which is a skilled volunteering website, is the latest project being launched under the WHO DID YOU HELP TODAY umbrella (which is a social movement that Stacey founded).

Stacey previously worked for top litigation firm Paul Weiss in New York for 11 years while working pro bono on numerous challenging projects to support vulnerable women and children, and taking a sabbatical to do the same for women and children who were victims of violence in Ghana.

Charles Spillane

CEO
Kensington Swan

Charles Spillane

CEO
Kensington Swan 

Charles began his law career after graduating from the University of Auckland in 1996 in arts and law. He spent nine years working for another law firm, where he had experience in general litigation, tax and in the corporate team. He then spent 13 years at Auckland Airport. His work there was recognised in 2011 when he was named In-House Lawyer of the Year by the In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand.

Charles is passionate about law and the legal profession, and he is particularly focused on leading the team at Kensington Swan to provide great service to its clients.

Charles has been on the governing bodies of the In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Listed Companies Association. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.

Charles is a long-time surfer who in recent years has taken up the slightly gentler sport of paddle-boarding.

Elizabeth Thomas

Law Clerk
Meredith Connell

Elizabeth Thomas

Law Clerk
Meredith Connell

My name is Elizabeth Thomas. I am currently in my final semester of a LLB (Hons)/BA at the University of Auckland.

Over the past 18 months I had worked as a Law Clerk at Anthony Harper, predominantly in the employment team. My interest in being on the Women in Law, Voice of the Future panel largely stems from the subject matter of my honours dissertation. Under the supervision of employment expert, Bill Hodge, I am writing my dissertation on sexual harassment in the legal workplace. Within this framework, I look to differing feminist theories that help to explain alternative views on the causes of sexual harassment, as well as the phenomenon of under-reporting. These discussions then act as a foundation to explore possible solutions to minimise the occurrence of sexual harassment, such as amending the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, and the introduction of quotas.

Stephen Town

CEO
Auckland Council

Stephen Town

CEO
Auckland Council

Stephen is currently Chief Executive of Auckland Council and took up his position in January 2014. He has previously been Regional Director for the NZ Transport Agency, in Auckland.

Before returning to Auckland in 2010 Stephen spent 8 years as Chief Executive of Tauranga City Council. He has held a variety of Chief Executive roles in the education and local government sectors over the past 20 years.

Karen Walker

Entrepreneur & Fashion Designer
Karen Walker

Karen Walker

Fashion Designer
Karen Walker

Karen Walker’s eccentrically elegant style has established a cult international following for her ready-to-wear, eyewear, jewellery, bags and fragrance. The brand is available at retail in 42 countries and 1020 stores including Barneys New York, Liberty London and Harvey Nichols. Karen’s influence has seen her consistently ranked for the past five years in The Business of Fashion’s powerhouse BoF 500, reflecting her position as a global industry figure shaping the future.

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