Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton has been named as the inaugural winner of a research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ).
Warburton, who is the acting chief legal counsel at the Ministry of Justice, receives $10,000 which she will use for research into the delivery of legal services to the Crown.
The scholarship enables a New Zealand in-house lawyer or post-graduate law student to undertake research directly relevant to the practice of in-house law in New Zealand, and to publish that research.
Warburton’s winning research proposal focuses on the delivery of government in-house legal services, examining recent changes in the New Zealand context, together with an international comparison of in-house models.
The award will also allow her to attend Harvard Law School’s Leadership in Corporate Counsel programme and spend time in the Treasury Solicitor’s Office in London, where she will compare New Zealand’s government in-house counsel model with its British equivalent.
Solicitor-General Michael Heron QC says Warburton’s in-depth analysis of New Zealand’s model against comparable networks overseas will help the Government Legal Network to advance its aim of continuous improvement in the quality and value of legal services provided to the Crown.
“The Network is very much a collaborative exercise and relies upon ongoing leadership contributions from lawyers right across government,” he says. “Tania’s sustained experience as a government lawyer will be an asset, both in the research process and in the results she achieves. We look forward to the outcome with interest.”
CLANZ vice-president and scholarship panel judge Dr Katie Elkin says the lawyer’s proposed research is likely to be of great interest and value to the profession.
Warburton’s current role at the Ministry of Justice involves a mix of advisory and management responsibilities, and her experience in this position provided the impetus for her scholarship application.
Her career as a lawyer in the public service has also included roles with Crown Law, the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Justice.
CLANZ is a Section of the New Zealand Law Society and represents over 2,650 in-house lawyers in New Zealand.