Sharon Knowles admits that the dynamism of her law firm can be a challenge.
“The pace of change can be straining at first for people,” she says.
Anderson Lloyd was the recipient of three accolades at the 2018 New Zealand Law Awards – Mid-Size Law Firm of the Year, Employer of Choice, and Managing Partner of the Year.
But it’s that combination of keeping the foot on the pedal and bringing clients and staff along with their goals through a “strategic plan” that is “at the heart of all our decision-making,” she says. It’s what’s keeping Anderson Lloyd on top.
How did Knowles come to be a part of such excitement? She tells us that her interest in law was spurred by a youthful passion for the American television series The Paper Chase, which followed the exploits of college law students.
She describes her path to Anderson Lloyd as “fluid,” finally settling there after initially coming only to cover a maternity position. She fell in love with commercial and property law – and she continues to love it.
Still, there are challenges ahead. Knowles says that climate change is of particular concern in her domain of law.
“I think the effects of climate change will continue to impact on the property area. Clients, banks and other stakeholders are going to want to know more ahead of purchase about property – and I think that its insurability and exclusions are going to become a major issue,” she says.
As for advice she would give to a younger self, Knowles counsels younger lawyers to “enjoy the successes more than worry about the failures list.” She also tells younger lawyers to strive to have a real appreciation of the rapid development that occurs at the start of a career.
More philosophically, she quotes her grandmother as saying that everything is temporal, and destined to vanish, implying that we shouldn’t get too hung up on things.
“My grandmother always used to say, ‘everything passes.’ So I think that I would listen to that kind of advice – because it does,” she says.
But in the present, it seems that Knowles and Anderson Lloyd are destined for further success.