find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Zero degree of latitude

Zero degree of latitude

A former chief executive at a top New Zealand legal firm has been caught out making false claims about having a law degree.

The New Zealand Herald reports that a November press release claimed that Michael Vukcevic left Auckland intellectual property law specialist Baldwins for “personal reasons”.

However, an investigation into Vukcevic – an experienced business leader who has worked closely with government ministers and agencies negotiating free-trade agreements in the Middle East – revealed he did not have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) as stated on the CV he submitted to Baldwins two years earlier.

This does not seem to faze Michelle Boag, former New Zealand National Party president and one of Vukcevic’s associates on NZ’s Middle East Business Council.

“This is a bit of a storm in a tea cup,” she claimed. “As I understand it, he should have had the word ‘incomplete’ next to LLB. Having said that, I don't know why it wasn’t there.”

That last point is a very good one, Michelle, Folklaw thinks. In fact, almost unanswerable.

She continued that heading a law firm without a law degree was not uncommon.

“Most chief executives of law firms these days are administrators, not lawyers, and you’ll find that very common.”

Vukcevic had never claimed to have a law degree when dealing with the council, she said.

According to a CV submitted to a recruitment company, Vukcevic’s LLB and a Bachelor of Arts was obtained at Victoria University of Wellington from 1989 to 1992.

An internal investigation by Baldwins – launched after concerns around Vukcevic’s qualifications were raised – revealed he had not completed the legal qualification.

The law firm Baldwins, which Vukcevic left in October, has 10 partners and 30 lawyers or patent attorneys. It has won or been shortlisted for several industry awards in recent years.

Interestingly, Vukcevic was previously on the board of Transparency International New Zealand, an anti-corruption agency dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in government and civil society.

Yep, there’s nothing like transparency – to a degree, Folklaw agrees.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Zero degree of latitude
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...