DLA Piper New Zealand has appointed a new chief operating officer, Joanna Simon.
In her new role as overall executive manager, Simon works with the Board to lead the future direction of the firm which sees its role particularly crucial in helping international as well as local clients in a globalising market.
“It's an exciting time to be in this role and to be working in a sector which is facing a rapidly changing environment where an innovative approach will differentiate the survivors,” said the new COO.
Simon, who joined DLA in 2010 as national marketing manager, has an extensive background in professional services marketing and management in New Zealand and the UK. Starting her career in marketing for UK accounting firms, she joined PwC in New Zealand in a senior role.
In her previous role with the global law firm, she oversaw a major rebranding project to adopt the global brand. DLA Piper is the first global law firm operating in New Zealand.
“We are leading the New Zealand legal services market in recognising and responding to the changing needs of client organisations as they become increasingly global or influenced by global trends,” Simon said, citing the 2015 Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index in which DLA Piper was ranked the second most recognised legal brand globally.
“Beyond our New Zealand team, DLA Piper gives clients access to a team of global experts in their sector and legal support wherever their business operates,” she said.
Simon noted that the firm assists international clients doing business in New Zealand and Kiwi organisations doing business elsewhere internationally.
The firm is uniquely positioned in this regard having a presence in all major regions and key markets. Nonetheless, the firm also draws from its presence in New Zealand to help clients.
“As a local firm, we support clients in government, public organisations and business which are focused on New Zealand, providing in-depth local knowledge, networks and best advice for the New Zealand context,” Simon said.
As the executive manager, Simon also focuses on developing talent attuned to the increasingly global nature of their work.
“We attract the best talent who want to work for a firm with a clear competitive point of difference, that is client and people focused, and with access to international expertise and opportunities to develop their skills,” she said.
“For example, this year our new partners were inducted at a global partner induction conference, in Madrid, alongside 80 other new partners from around the world. Last year we sent a couple of junior solicitors to a DLA Piper training academy in Melbourne.”