Five minutes with…Michelle Williams, Succeed Legal

by NZ Lawyer25 Aug 2014
Michelle Williams, an associate at Succeed Legal tells us about the strangest case she’s ever worked on, and her love of reggae music.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I have spent many years working in the legal profession, from secretary, WP operator (on a Wang) to legal executive at both small and large firms in NZ and watching too much Rumpole of the Bailey. I realised in my mid 30s that I needed prove to myself that I could study and become a lawyer. Best thing I did.

How long have you worked at Succeed Legal for and what brought you to that position?
Succeed Legal opened its doors on 1 July 2014, so not too long. Matt Hay (principal at Succeed Legal) and I worked together at DLA Phillips Fox and Matt presented me with the opportunity to work with him at Succeed Legal.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with? 
Having spent the last 20 years working in law firms, there have been a few. I recently advised on some New Zealand property issues that arose in a case involving a woman that was convicted of homicide in another jurisdiction. The Succession (Homicide) Act and the like is not something you come across every day.

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Bob Marley – have a love of reggae music, Vivienne Westwood and Al Brown – music, fashion and food.

You’re based in Wellington – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work? 
Cuckoo is an all-time favourite, the bar where they do actually know my name. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
Whatever you want to achieve, aim higher and the sense of accomplishment is even greater.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work? 
Am constantly being told by my sister to get a hobby, something I fail at miserably. Cooking, reading for pleasure, films, dining out and spending as much time with my nephew are high on the list. As is “Burger on a Plate Wellington”.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer… I would be a journalist.

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?  Resign. 

What do you love about your job? 
The people, the families, and the relationships I form with them and that feeling of satisfaction at the end of each transaction that what I have done has helped and somehow made their lives a little better.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Being in a position to employ more and more people, particularly someone to help format my documents!