Five minutes with Nicole MacFarlane

by NZ Lawyer12 Oct 2015

Nicole MacFarlane has been recently appointed as Special Counsel at DLA Piper New Zealand.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
When I was at school in Taupo it was either teaching or nursing for girls. I was determined to do something else and being a lawyer seemed quite adventurous (I was told not many girls did that which wasn't actually true). It took me a while but I got there.

How long have you worked at DLA Piper New Zealand and what bought you to this position?
I've been at DLA Piper New Zealand for three years now. I was looking to go back into private practice from being in-house and had worked with my current colleagues for a number of years so it seemed a good fit.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
I used to be litigator and did a few competition law cases involving access to stock saleyards - it's amazing how knowledgeable you can become about something you know nothing about.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
This one is harder than I thought. I'd love to get together the three women who at one time headed the three branches of government in New Zealand - Helen Clark, Sian Elias and Silvia Cartwright - just to hear their stories about such a historic time for women in this country.

Where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work in Auckland?
I really like Depot. It's always busy and has a great atmosphere, plus it's handy to our office.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it." Easier said than done, but good advice.  

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Skiing in winter and paddle boarding in summer (that's the plan anyway).

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A teacher, funnily enough. I love children, especially when they're very young and learning such a lot.

What do you think will be the single biggest issue facing the legal space in NZ in 2015?
The increasing pace of regulatory change, especially when legislation is rushed and poorly thought through.

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Freak out probably. Politics is not for me, either the parliamentary sort or in the work place.

What do you love about your job?
The people, mostly, and the challenge of working in new areas of law.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I'd like to live in a smaller town but still be able to do the same quality of work.