Dinner haunts and child poverty: Five minutes with Lynne Van

by NZ Lawyer02 May 2016
Anthony Harper senior associate Lynne Van tells NZ Lawyer why she thinks John Key needs to focus on child poverty.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I have always been interested in the law - my parents were refugees and I have never forgotten what it was like to have someone advocate for them. 
If Suits was around earlier, I also would have said Harvey Specter/Suits.  If you haven't watched it, you should.
How long have you worked at Anthony Harper and what brought you to this position?
Just over one year. I was looking for a role which would provide a new challenge after seven years at another large firm.  Being a part of the fastest growing law firm in the country has been both exciting and challenging. 
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
Hard to pick.  I have had hearings in some unexpected places in my time, including at the RSA in Te Kaha, and a Marae in Waikanae. It's not every day you get do a hearing in socks.   
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Donald Trump (Is he for real?).
Richie McCaw (Doesn't everyone want to have dinner with Richie?).
It's a toss between Manu Feildel (he could help me cook) and Lea Salonga (I would LOVE to meet the original Kim after doing the Auckland Civic production of Miss Saigon).
You’re based in Auckland – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
I am the worst person to ask this question – too many favourites to choose from. Before I was a lawyer, I worked in the hospitality industry for the good part of 15 years, so I have a love affair with food/dining. My picks:
Dinner: The Grove, Merediths,   Baduzzi, Orphans Kitchen, Café Hanoi, Ponsonby Foodcourt, Burger Burger, BirdonaWire
Drinks: The Glass Goose/Xuxu
What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
"Sleep on it."

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I love cooking/eating (even if my waistline doesn't), my dog, running and singing. I also purchased a cello a couple of weeks ago on a whim. My husband has imposed a three month deadline for picking up lessons, failing which the cello goes.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A paediatric surgeon or a Restaurateur. 
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2016?
Competition from unexpected sources.
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Sit down with the brains behind 'Eat My Lunch' to work out how the government can assist with launching the campaign nationwide. 1 in 4 children living in poverty in New Zealand is a terrible statistic that should be addressed.
What do you love about your job?
Each day and case is different. There is also nothing better than litigating a novel point, and 'making' or shaping the law.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Nothing about the work; I love it. I did raise the possibility of having an office dog (mine obviously). That would make my job perfect.