29. Nick Wells
As Chief Executive Partner at Chapman Tripp, possibly the most profitable law firm in New Zealand, Nick Wells has a powerful position in the legal universe, heightened by his links to the current government.
An expert in corporate structuring for businesses and Maori groups, he is Kaihautu of the firm’s Maori legal group helping iwi and Maori organisations needing assistance in handling Treaty settlements and joint ventures.
He also helps the Auckland Law School’s iwi governance courses and handles some major private equity and corporate acquisition work.
31. Phil Newland
Litigation funder Phil Newland enters the list following a year when his profile in his expanding LPF Group saw a high profile wrangle with Chief Justice Sian Elias, via a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner.
LPF Group’s expanding role in the Ndew Zealand market has seen major funding and success for the group, which has been viewed with trepidation by the insurance industry in particular.
32. Cathy Quinn
Cathy Quinn has continued her upward trajectory and leadership in the profession, in particular with women lawyers. Although she was replaced in December 2016 as Chair of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts she remains as a central power figure in the profession.
An experienced M&A partner, her leadership at MERW has seen the development of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme that merges pro bono and community partnerships with sustainability initiatives in a programme that sees young lawyers working in the community.
She was appointedin 2017 to the Treasury’s board as non-executive directors.
A doctor’s daughter from Hawkes Bay, Cathy Quinn has the reputation for being a tough and effective commercial lawyer. A former co-author of the leading text Morison’s on Company Law, her legal expertise combined with her leadership both within her firm and the wider business and commercial community, including in the NZ-China Council, have seen her serve nine years on the Securities Commission and receive an appointment to the government’s Capital Markets Development Taskforce and also being named as a leading lawyer by a number of overseas journals, including winning Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards in Australasia in 2013 and the Veuve Clickquot Businesswoman (New Zealand) 2010.
The growth in gender diversity initiatives, the growing number of women lawyers seeking top positions as female graduates numbers continue to exceed males has seen women such as Cathy Quinn play an increasingly significant role as both leaders and role models for male and female lawyers alike who seek to develop their roles in the profession.