Both Waiata Bell and John Delaney have received the Environmental Law Prize for 2016 for receiving the best overall mark in the University of Waikato’s environmental law paper.
Bell and Delaney each received a cheque for $1,000 at a function held in Simpson Grierson’s Auckland office on Thursday (11 February).
“Simpson Grierson is committed to rewarding academic excellence. We are delighted to contribute to the development of talented people like Waiata and John and wish them all the best for their futures,” Padraig McNamara, partner in Simpson Grierson's environment group, said.
The firm first established the prize in 1992 in recognition of its long-standing relationship with the University of Waikato.
“Also, Simpson Grierson has New Zealand's largest environment, planning, and resource management group so a prize for environmental law is closely aligned with what we do,” McNamara told NZ Lawyer.
As well as rewarding those with high academic skill, Simpson Grierson has also hired select Environmental Law Award winners in the past.
“The winner of last year's environmental law prize, Rachael Witney has been clerking with us this summer,” McNamara said.
When asked whether the firm had plans to hire either Bell or Delaney, he said that while both had other commitments for the moment, he was keen to stay in touch and see how their careers developed later on.
Both award winners were ecstatic that their achievements were recognised.
“I'm grateful to Simpson Grierson for sponsoring the environmental law prize. The interview process to identify the recipients was robust and enjoyable and added a sense of value and significance to the prize. I’m delighted to win it,” Delaney said.
“Environmental law is becoming increasingly important in modern society with issues that require sustainable and creative approaches. I greatly appreciate the generosity and encouragement provided by Simpson Grierson in my endeavour to contribute to the area of environmental law,” said Bell.