NZ’s most eminent legal minds to grace Law Awards judging panel

by Sophie Schroder10 Oct 2014
If the impressive list of names on the NZ Law Award’s judging panel is anything to go by, the night is certainly shaping up to be one of the most important events for the country’s legal elite.

NZ Lawyer can now reveal who will be included in judging the diverse array of awards that provide companies and individuals the opportunity to celebrate and recognise excellence among their peers.

This year we have selected our judges from a range of eminent legal institutions: Among them are top academics, heavy-hitting general counsel, law firm leaders and respected representatives from New Zealand legal associations.

Some of the big names can’t yet be revealed and will remain confidential until after the awards night, but rest-assured the calibre of talent is impressive.

What we can tell you is that the NZ Law Award judging panel this year will include:
  • Ian Hasell, President, CLANZ
  • Peter Watts, Professor Faculty of Law, University of Auckland
  • Professor Mark Henaghan, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Otago
  • Roger Partridge, Chairman, Bell Gully
  • Andrew Poole, Managing Partner, Chapman Tripp
  • Mark Reese, Managing Partner, Chapman Tripp
  • Gary McDiarmid, CEO, Russell McVeagh
  • Sherridan Cook, Partner, Buddle Findlay
  • Mathew Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Simpson Grierson
  • Mark Weenink, Managing Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
  • Melissa Anastasiou, General Counsel , Spark New Zealand
  • John Blair, General Counsel, Air New Zealand
  • Mariette van Ryn, General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Services and General Counsel NZ
  • Richard Shine, General Counsel, AIG
  • Caroline Quay, General Counsel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare 
  • Matt Vaughan, General Counsel, Xero
  • Marnus Beylefeld, Associate Principal, Crowe Horwath
  • Kerry Nickels, Company Secretary and General Counsel, The Warehouse Group Limited
  • Chris Reid , General Counsel, BNZ 
One of those illustrious judges, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts managing partner Mark Weenink, told NZ Lawyer that the Law Awards have become an industry leading event and recognise the best talent across the country.

“It’s important for all firms, in-house teams and lawyers to have the opportunity to be able to benchmark themselves against their peers,” he says.

“To have been asked to be on the judging panel for the in-house award categories this year is a great honour for me. There is so much talent in our profession and I’m sure it’s going to be very difficult to set them apart. I wish all the finalists the best of luck.”

Finalist categories this year span premium awards like young private practice lawyer of the year, and specialist awards including litigation and dispute resolution.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the event, we have also introduced new awards for in-house counsel and deals. 

You can view the whole list of award categories here. The recently announced finalists also appear in NZ Lawyer’s latest magazine edition issue 6.3.

And don’t forget the most important thing: To mark your calendars for the big night. Winners will be announced at a black-tie event on Thursday 6th November at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland.