Registration opens


Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Gill Gatfield – Author, Artist & Human Rights Advocate



In this inspiring and empowering keynote, Karen Walker CNZM, one of New Zealand’s foremost entrepreneurs, and most famous fashion export, will share rare insight into the elements of her personal and business success. Karen presides over an international business empire with over 1,020 stockists around the world.

  • How to be a resilient and agile leader
  • How to be a female leader in a male-dominated industry
  • What are the skills and characteristics you need to become a success in your industry?
  • What is the mindset require to rise to the top of your industry?

Karen Walker – Entrepreneur & Fashion Designer, Karen Walker


PANEL DISCUSSION: How can we stop women leaving the law?

Why is it that there is an exodus of women in the legal profession after a certain career point, and can New Zealand’s legal profession afford to lose their contribution?

  • Does the traditional partnership structure limit women’s ability to succeed?
  • How does unconscious bias impact the way women communicate, and does this impact their overall respect?
  • How can the frustration women feel be acknowledged and addressed?
  • Does imposter syndrome take over?
  • Can New Zealand’s legal profession afford this brain drain?


Fionnghuala Cuncannon – Partner, Meredith Connell

Steph Dyhrberg – Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton

Helen Mackay – Director, Juno Legal

Dr Maria A. Pozza – Associate, Govett Quilliam


Ann Brennan – Chief Legal Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment


PANEL DISCUSSION: Client opinions: is law firm diversity really at odds with client demands?

Can change be pushed from the outside in? In this lively panel, clients will discuss their dream legal team, and give their take on championing change for women in law:

  • Will clients put up with allegations of unethical behaviour from their external legal teams, and will this affect their future selection process?
  • Do clients have written ethical standards they adhere to when selecting suppliers?
  • Would clients consider implementing minimum diversity standards in order to champion women in the legal profession?
  • Would clients like to see an end to the 6 minute charge? What is the dream pricing structure, and would this impact their selection process?

Sponsored by Anderson Lloyd.


Karen Clayton – General Counsel & Company Secretary, Air New Zealand

Gordon MacLeod – CEO, Ryman Healthcare

Stephen Town – CEO, Auckland Council


Anne McLeod – Partner, Anderson Lloyd


Morning refreshments


PANEL DISCUSSION: Championing change: a discussion with law’s leaders

Acknowledging an issue exists is the first bold step towards change. Here, New Zealand’s eminent leaders in law will discuss progression, change and their vision for the future of women in law:

  • What is being proactively done to combat sexual harassment in firms, and to prevent it from happening in future?
  • How are law’s leaders making their firms more inclusive for women?
  • Should salaries be transparent?
  • What does the future hold for women in NZ’s legal giants?

Sponsored by Kensington Swan.


Anna Buchly – Chair, Bell Gully

Anne Callinan – Chair, Simpson Grierson

Malcolm Crotty – Chair, Russell McVeagh

Charles Spillane – CEO, Kensington Swan


Anna Hood – Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland


Networking lunch


PANEL DISCUSSION: Eradicating sexual harassment in the legal profession

In the wake of the #metoo movement, women all over the world have been empowered to speak up about their experiences with sexual harassment. How can sexual harassment be tackled in the legal profession?

  • Acknowledging sexual harassment and giving victims a voice
  • How to identify an abuse of power and react appropriately
  • Examine the subtleties of sexual harassment
  • Can you make a disciplinary complaint? What lines need to be crossed, and what will be the consequence?
  • How can firms create a zero tolerance culture towards inappropriate behaviour?


Professor Nicola Gavey– School of Psychology, Auckland University

Zoë Lawton – Legal Researcher, Founder, #Metoo blog

Dr Kim McGregor QSO– Chief Victims Advisor, New Zealand Government

Mary Scholtens, QC – Stout Street Chambers


Gill Gatfield – Author, Artist & Human Rights Advocate


Afternoon refreshments


PANEL DISCUSSION: Voice of the future: young lawyers have their say

In this thought provoking panel, the next generation of NZ’s brightest lawyers will present their perceptions of women in the legal profession, and lay out their vision for the future of women in law. Will the legal profession experience the ‘Hollywood’ effect?

  • How do young lawyers feel about the recent sexual harassment revelations in the legal profession?
  • Would young lawyers feel comfortable calling out sexual harassment? What channels would enable them to do this?
  • Are young lawyers considering other career paths?
  • How can law firms ensure they attract, and keep, the best graduate talent?


Sarah Kelly – Solicitor, Kensington Swan

Aria Molteni-Luporini – Senior Solicitor, Russell McVeagh

Elizabeth Thomas – Law Clerk, Meredith Connell


Gill Gatfield – Author, Artist & Human Rights Advocate


Looking forward: your role in changing the future

To sum up the day, challenge yourself to make personal changes. Can a ripple effect be achieved for women in law? If each person in the room made one change, would the overall effect be significant?

  • Leading by example: do senior lawyers, both male and female, have a responsibility to show appropriate behaviour towards junior lawyers?
  • Why do women not speak out, and will this realistically change?
  • What are you going to do tomorrow?

Stacey Shortall – Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts


Conference concludes