There may be ructions and discontent expressed daily about the lack of progress made by women in the profession, but so far as the LawFuel Power List is concerned, women are front and centre.
Apart from Dame Patsy Reddy heading the list for the second year, the 2017 list has no fewer than … women, compared to 15 last year.
The law firm leaders like Pip Greenwood (Russell McVeagh) and Cathy Quinn (MinterEllisonRuddWatts) have considerably expanded their influence in the profession while lawyers like Mai Chen continue to advance multiple issues, including gender and diversity issues.
But others are also nudging at the edge of the list, including LawFuel’s previous lawyer of the year and
Her unique super powers in being able to sustain a busy litigation practice, raise young children and provide mentoring help to others while assisting mothers in prison and children in low decile schools makes her a virtual Power List shoo-in already.
Spark General Counsel Melissa Anastasiou, previously with Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and Linklaters in London.
She held various legal roles between 2009 and 2013 before being appointed General Counsel, and she now leads the legal team for the entire Spark group.
Veteran lawyer and company director Prue Flacks. The former Russell McVeagh partner has firmly established herself as a key player in the New Zealand corporate scene, as well as a sound commercial head and mentor to others.
Ann Brennan is a former senior counsel at Westpac and the Public Trust who is now Chief Legal advisor at the Ministry of Business and Innovation and Employment (MBIE) the super Ministry’s love child of Stephen Joyce and all-powerful provider of major funding disbursements across a variety of key sectors.
Although MBIE retains its super-ministry moniker, Ann Brennan’s ranking has slipped one place from last year only due to the the more benign role the Ministry has had in the past 12 months, along with the elevation of other list entrants.
Air New Zealand General Counsel Karen Clayton who was previously GC at Mighty River Power and came to New Zealand after a decade long stint in the in-house team at National Grid UK, five of which were at the helm as general counsel and company secretary.
Kiwibank’s company secretary and General Counsel Fiona Brown has previously held senior positions with the ANZ Bank and is one of the most senior commercial lawyers in the country.