With a judging panel including academics, business executives, entrepreneurs and innovators, the Australian Law Awards is peer-reviewed recognition of your capabilities in law and passion for driving the industry forward.
Amy Challans is a former Director and Past President of Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) and was named as one of Australia’s top 50 women by Australian Consolidated Press in its 10th anniversary edition of Who’s Who’s of Australian Women for her services and national contribution to women in the legal profession. Amy is also the inaugural recipient of the Law Society of South Australia's Gender in Equity Law Award (Mary Kitson Award). Amy's contribution to the legal profession includes former membership of the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee and the Law Society of South Australia Women Lawyers Committee. In addition to long term membership of the Women Lawyers Association of SA. Amy has worked for a number of key Agencies in Australia and the United Kingdom and has a Bachelor Arts from The Flinders University of South Australia, a Bachelor Laws from the University of Adelaide and is admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Ann-Maree David is an Executive Director of The College of Law, the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australasia. She has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years, in public and corporate sector roles and in private practice as a solicitor.
Ann-Maree has held a career-long passion for developing and delivering education and training programs to enable all involved in the delivery of legal services to thrive both personally and professionally.
In addition to leading the College of Law’s Queensland campus, Ann-Maree is Immediate Past President of Australian Women Lawyers and a Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council. She also chairs the Queensland Law Society’s Equity & Diversity Committee.
Annie is Accenture's global legal lead for Strategic Partnerships. She specializes in technology and cyber security law, and has practiced in Australia, UK and globally. In 2021 she was awarded General Counsel of the Year (Australian Law Awards - Lawyers Weekly - 2021), Technology, Media and Telecommunications Lawyer of the Year (Corporate Counsel Awards - Lawyers Weekly -2021) and Australian In House Counsel of the Year (Australasian Law Awards 2021).
Bree Knoester is the founder of Brave Legal and one of Australia’s leading personal injury lawyers.
Bree has practiced for over 18 years as both a barrister and solicitor; and has represented clients in some of Victoria’s largest compensation settlements.
Bree prides herself on being an empathetic yet tenacious lawyer, possessing a deep understanding of the law and a fearless approach to representing her clients’ interests. Most importantly, Bree understands that being injured affects almost every part of your life and having the support of an understanding, compassionate and experienced legal team is essential to achieving the best possible outcome – for your case, and for you.
In recognition of her experience and exceptional client results, Bree has won numerous industry awards including ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Personal Injury Litigation (Best Lawyers® in Australia 2020); and ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Medical Negligence (Best Lawyers® in Australia 2023). Bree has also been extensively recognised by Doyle's Guide, including being named Preeminent practitioner – Asbestos & Dust Diseases Compensation (Doyle’s Guide 2020 & 2021); and Preeminent practitioner - Work Injury Compensation (2020 & 2021). She was a Partner of the Year Finalist for Litigation, as named by Lawyer's Weekly in 2019.
As one of Victoria’s most experienced personal injury lawyers, Bree is regularly approached by the media for commentary on high-profile cases and as a spokesperson for the most seriously injured.
If you’d like to arrange a time to speak with Bree, call us today on 03 9070 9816, email b[email protected] or send us a message via our contact page.
You can also connect with Bree on social media.
Caralee is the passionate driving force behind the Collective Family Law and Scalable Law. Caralee founded her family law firm in 2012 to bring positive change to the family law space for both clients and employees.
Leading a law firm and legal team made Caralee realise it can be lonely. After having success in her own firm by scaling a business that doesn't rely on her, she was inspired to found Scalable Law.
Scalable law supports entrepreneurial law firm owners to scale their firms without burnout. Over the last couple of years since starting Scalable Law, Caralee has helped more than 140 law firm owners to increase their profit and freedom so that they can achieve their dreams as law firm owners.
Claire is COO & General Counsel of Immediation, a non-executive director of Marist180, My Property Circles, and the University of Technology Sydney Law Advisory Board, an accredited mediator and a mentor.
In addition, Claire is an executive member of the Australian Association of Corporate Counsel, an Entrepreneur Ambassador for Opportunity International, and a committee member of Soroptimist International, the New South Wales Law Society Futures Committee and the Resolution Institute. Claire is also a Foundation Speaker with The Prominenti Society Speakers Agency.
Claire has been recognised as one of Australia’s best lawyers and female executives, including having been awarded the “Excellence Award for Women in Law”, “General Counsel of the Year”, “Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia & New Zealand”, “Mentor of the Year” and most recently she was featured in SmartCompany's 2018 International Women's Day Showcase.
Part and parcel with her passion for the law and advancing the interests of women, Claire is an active philanthropist and public speaker on issues of innovation, diversity and inclusion, psychological wellness, developing high performing teams and women’s leadership. Claire is also a mentor for 7 x World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley AO's "Aim for the Stars" Foundation.
Courtney Bowie is the founder and principal of Her Lawyer, a virtual law firm for ambitious women in business. Courtney is a passionate advocate for change and has been recognised for her contributions to innovation, gender equality and mental health and wellbeing in the legal industry.
Damian is one of the founders of the innovative Australian firm, Marque Lawyers where he heads up the Dispute Resolution team.
Damian has almost 30 years’ experience as a commercial litigator with specialist expertise in the areas of international arbitration and cross border dispute resolution. He has run international arbitrations in London, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
He is recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the field of Dispute Resolution by Legal 500, Best Lawyers and the Chambers Global and Asia Pacific Guides. In 2018 he was named the Arbitration Lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers. He is a Visiting Professorial Fellow at UNSW.
The Croesus Holdings Group comprises six companies, which provide services in Project Management; Corporate Legal Compliance; Management Training & Education; Environmental GRC; ADR (mediation, arbitration & adjudication); and Litigation Funding.
Previously, Garry was Managing Director of an international Investment Bank with offices in Sydney, Vancouver, New York, London, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore. Those activities involved him in international capital raising; public listings; distressed company “turn-arounds”; workplace & employment relations; drafting & management of contracts; project management; governance & risk assessment; corporate strategic planning; supply chain logistics & human rights; corporate legal compliance; environmental sustainability; and optimising management outcomes.
Emma Heuston is a lawyer, author and entrepreneur. She is Founder and Legal Practice Director of The Remote Expert, an online platform that offers both legal information and legal services to women in online business. Emma has been a lawyer for 22 years in regional Australia, the City and the online space. Emma holds a passion for innovation in the law and making legal information and legal services accessible to more people plus using social media to reach clients. In addition to heading up The Remote Expert, Emma is a past winner of the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards Thought Leader of the Year Award in 2018 for her work in the remote work space, which created a great foundation as the pandemic swept through Australia.
Jenna Adamson is a partner with New Zealand law firm, Wynn Williams.
Based in the firm’s Tāhuna Queenstown office, she is a member of the firm’s national property team supporting clients in the private and public sector with retail, commercial and industrial property related matters, including leasing, developments and portfolio management.
She also advises retail, tourism and hospitality businesses on commercial matters, including e-Commerce, consumer and competition law.
Adamson practiced in Australia for over 10 years, including leading an award-winning real estate team within top tier Australian firm, MinterEllison, and as In-House Legal Counsel for L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand.
Judge of the Australian Corporate Counsel Awards 2021, Adamson is also a past Award finalist in numerous Australian industry awards, including Australian Corporate Lawyers Award In-House 2020 and LawyersWeekly Australia Top 30 under 30 Property 2017. She was also listed in the Property Council of Australia Top 100 Woman in Property 2017.
Lara is a professional performance, leadership and mental fitness coach and former law partner. She is passionate about helping lawyers and professionals to develop their leadership and build their resilience and wellbeing so they can become high performers and meet the challenges and pressure of work and life to achieve their potential.
Lara is the co-founder and director of global coaching firm Coaching Advocates which offers, individual and team coaching, training and consulting services in the legal sector.
Lara has been coaching professionals since 2017 on a one-to-one basis as well as in groups and teams. She is also a Senior Facilitator, speaker and trainer. Lara’s focus is on supporting ambitious lawyers and professionals to build their self awareness, challenge their perceived limitations and tap into their strengths and inner resources to help achieve their results. Ultimately Lara helps professionals to become in charge their minds and therefore their results.
Lara is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer in Neuro Linguistic Programming which is a powerful transformational tool that she incorporates into her coaching, training and facilitating to create effective and sustainable mindset development. She is also an internationally certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Linda Baxter is the Director, Continuing Professional Development and part of the senior management team at Leo Cussen Centre for Law. Having previously been in private practice followed by a regulatory investigative role, Linda also writes materials and trains legal practitioners in Ethics & Professional Conduct.
Marianne is the Principal Lawyer of Legalite. Marianne founded the firm in early 2017 in response to wanting to do things differently and to challenge the status quo.
In less than two years, she has proudly led Legalite in becoming a recognised market-leading law firm in the business and franchising space. In 2018, Marianne was awarded Sole Practitioner of the Year at the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, and in 2019, she was named Partner of the Year (SME) in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards. For two years in a row, Legalite was named Australia's Best Law Firm (Business Clients) in the NAB Professional Services Awards - an award judged entirely by clients.
As one of Australia's leading franchising experts, she is highly sought after as a leading authority on all issues affecting the sector, and advisor to some of the most prominent brands. Not only a well-known specialist, Marianne is also a recognised NewLaw pioneer and a true disruptor of the legal industry. She is at the forefront of change – flipping traditional ideologies on their head and initiating new best practices around transparent pricing, female leadership and wellbeing in law.
Michael is General Counsel and Head of Property at Sydney Fish Market.
As a member of the Executive Group, Michael is responsible for the Legal and Property functions at the Sydney Fish Market, including executive planning and strategy, commercial and pragmatic legal advice, strategic decision making, legal and commercial operations, and leading and managing SFM’s role in the development of the new Sydney Fish Market to be located at the head of Blackwattle Bay.
Prior to his current role, Michael held senior in-house legal positions with Lendlease Corporation, Cbus Super Fund, Commonwealth Bank and Goodman Group; where he has been responsible for leadership within high performing legal functions and providing high quality legal advice to operational businesses and Boards.
Professor Nick James is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University. He is a former commercial lawyer and has been practising as an academic since 1996. He is passionate about legal education and the role of law schools in modern society. His areas of teaching expertise include law in context, legal theory, animal law, business law, and company law. He has won numerous awards for his teaching including a National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, and he is the author of several leading textbooks. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters and conference papers in the areas of legal education, critical legal theory, disruption of the legal services sector and the impacts of climate change.
Professor James is Co-Director of the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE), Co-Chair of the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD), President of the Australasian Animal Law Teachers Association (AALTRA), Immediate Past Chair of the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA), and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
Rachel is an internationally-experienced financial services lawyer specialising in data, derivatives, asset management, life insurance and regulation. She has recently joined the data consulting firm, D2 Legal Technology, as their Asia Pacific Lead heading up the business in the region. Prior to this Rachel has worked as an in-house lawyer for Goldman Sachs, Westpac, Challenger Life and Allianz Retire+, and was General Counsel at fund manager Magellan Financial Group.
In 2018, Rachel founded the NSW “First Hundred Years” initiative celebrating the centenary of women in law. With an additional interest in music, Rachel has been a Board Director of Australia’s premier classical vocal ensemble, The Song Company, is currently on the Committee for Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Vanguard group, and is Governance Director for the International Women’s Forum Australia.
Shevonne is Legalite’s Head of People & Culture, working with us to uplevel Legalite’s people-strategies, propel us forward as an employer of choice and helping to drive growth and industry disruption.
We like to think of Shevonne as our own resident 'Hype Girl.' She can often be found revving up the team, supporting them to not just reach their goals, but smash them. When there's something to be celebrated, she's there with fireworks, and when something goes wrong, she's there with a supportive shoulder to help everyone through.
Shevonne joins us with 18 years’ experience in consulting, leadership development and executive management in the People & Culture space, and is a qualified organisational coach and mentor. She is also the owner and director of a global children’s fashion brand and a published author. Her book, The Unlikeables, delves into the neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of leader likeability.
For 30 years Stephen Colbran has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to engage, inspire and motivate undergraduate law students and teachers. He is well known across Australia for his passionate advocacy for online legal education, the scholarship of e- learning and teaching and as a specialist in Civil Procedure (litigation). He has spent his career overcoming challenges faced by online learners, transforming legal education for the 21st century and engaging with students in preparation for their contemporary legal careers.
Stephen has created the ReMarks e-grading system, conducted research and published findings, delivered conference papers, workshops, and training at most Australian Universities and transferred the system to educational institutions nationally and internationally. He has a passion for developing interactive visual methods of legal education, effective learning resources and providing better feedback and assessment as a driver for student learning.
His research interests include legal automation, online legal education, judicial performance evaluation, judicial branch efficiency, civil procedure, litigation, podcasting, postgraduate research and supervision networks, e-grading systems, MOOCs, iTunesU, branching animation, digital flashcards, e-learning.
In 2012, under his leadership the CQU Law degree became the first open access accredited law degree available via iTunesU and Google Education Suite. Stephen is recognised as an outstanding teacher achieving widespread recognition for his textbooks, electronic teaching resources and educational software.
Stephen Colbran is also an expert in judicial performance evaluation and improving the efficiency of courts. He has worked on projects in Australia, Canada and Turkey and given numerous governments and courts advice on this issue. Stephen has considerable experience in business process mapping of superior courts and their interaction with the executive branch, court computer systems and judicial data, and achieving greater judicial efficiency.
Steven is a 19-year lawyer, having spent 10 years in-house at Hewlett-Packard working across the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, with several years as Vice President, South Pacific General Counsel and Group Secretary. Before that, he worked for Norton Rose and Baker McKenzie in London, Sydney and Cologne.
In 2017, Steven founded and is CEO of a consulting and solutions company, Gen2Law, specialising in helping legal departments, law firms and law companies innovate and transform to the next generation of legal and ops services through technology and process modernisation.
Steven speaks and writes frequently on the future of legal services, contributing to
publications by the AFR, Association of Corporate Counsel and “Remaking Law Firms” by George Beaton, published by the American Bar Association. He is a Committee Member for the Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) initiative of the Law Society of New South Wales and holds advisory board positions for the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) and several technology start-ups.
Sue Kench is the Global Chief Executive and Co-Chairman China of King & Wood Mallesons, Asia’s
leading international law firm.
Sue took on the Global Chief Executive role in 2017 after leading the firm in Australia for four years as
Chief Executive Partner, Australia. Sue was the first woman in Australia to lead a top tier law firm in
that role and is the first Australian female to lead a global law firm and a China firm.
Sue works closely with the Global Chairman and the firm’s International Management Committee to
lead the firm’s international growth strategy. Sue is based in Hong Kong and spends significant time
in China and Australia.
She became a Partner of legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 1996 and has held a number of board,
management and leadership positions in the firm over the past two decades.
Amongst her many professional achievements, Sue has received a number of accolades and
acknowledgements for her impact and influence on the legal profession in the Asia Pacific. These
• AFR Power List 2020 – Legal
• The Lawyers Weekly Lawyer of the 21st Century award recognising her significant
professional achievements between 2000 and 2020 (2020);
• Doctor of Letters honoris causa from Macquarie University in recognition of her extraordinary
contribution to the law (2019);
• The esteemed ‘Legal leader’ award, at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards, in
recognition of her significant role in driving King & Wood Mallesons growth and success
across APAC (2018);
• The Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence (2018);
• The Lawyers Weekly Executive of the Year award (2017).
Sue is on the Board of Directors of AUSTCHAM Beijing and is a member of The Wall Street Journal
CEO Council, Chief Executive Women and the Business Council of Australia.
Sue is married with three children.
Troy Swan is the Chief Legal Officer, Company Secretary and Board Member of the $1.4billion office products company Winc Australia & New Zealand. Winc was formed following the acquisition of Staples & OfficeMax by US based private equity firm Platinum Equity.
He has been publicly recognised as one of Australia's leading corporate lawyers and was named the 2017 Australian Lawyer of the Year (FMCG) and a General Counsel of the Year finalist in both 2016 and 2017. He became only the second Australian lawyer to win the prestigious International Value Champions Award in San Francisco and was recently named in Washington, the Association of Corporate Counsel Member of the Year, from over 43,000 lawyers worldwide for his commitment to the legal community and profession. This was the first time this honour was ever awarded to a lawyer outside America.
Known for his business judgment, he is highly active within the Sydney legal and business community. He is a regular speaker and media commentator on legal affairs, innovation and large scale legal service delivery models and leads an award winning legal team based in Sydney.
Dr Vincent Bicudo de Castro is a Senior Lecturer at Deakin Business School. Vincent started his academic career in his native Brazil, earning two bachelor degrees and a master by research before gaining his PhD in Accounting at Monash University. Whilst studying, he also held accounting positions with KPMG, PwC and Gávea Investimentos and lecturing appointments at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Monash and Deakin University. At Deakin University, Vincent was recognised with the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Partnerships and the Faculty Staff Award for Effectiveness, Excellence and Exemplar Practice in Research.