Firm appoints first female CEO

by Samantha Woodhill03 Feb 2016
Anthony Harper has announced the appointment of Lisa Jacobs as the firm’s new CEO.
Jacobs joined Anthony Harper nearly four years ago as chief operating officer, having worked at Ernst and Young and as general counsel at NZ Funds Management.

“I see my role is to create an environment where as individuals we have the opportunity to grow, that we work together well as a team and enjoy what we are doing,” Jacobs told NZ Lawyer of her appointment.

“My new role as CEO enables me to take a greater strategic role. 

“[I’m] looking forward to future opportunities and making sure we are placed to take them.”

The firm believes it’s the fastest growing New Zealand law firm with revenues increasing by more than 80 per cent since 2013, and the addition of around 12 new partners. According to Jacobs, they’re not finished yet.

“We plan to keep growing, but possibly not at the same pace,” she said. 

“We will continue to build on the specialist legal areas in which we operate – adding breadth in the number of areas we cover and depth in the level of expertise and service we can provide to clients.”

As a working mum, Jacobs said she is committed to fostering the career development of women and plans to be a good role model for younger lawyers.

“We need to look at when we lose women along the career path and what we can do to support them,” she said.

“It's not just about providing roles with flexible timing around family commitments, but looking at the talents the woman have and how we can structure roles to enable them to grow and develop their talents even if they are outside of the 'working full time' career path.

“There needs to be a culture of constant change for a firm to remain relevant.  A focus of my role as CEO will be on achieving greater diversity within Anthony Harper.”