The annual NSW Golden Gavel competition, held during National Law Week, is open to law students and all lawyers up to the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice. Competitors are given 24 hours to prepare their five-minute speech.
The winning speaker, Gabrielle Morris from Allens, had the 800-strong crowd laughing during her speech on the topic ‘Legal Profession Uniform Laws: Who wore it best?’
Ms Morris will go on to represent NSW in the National Golden Gavel Competition in Hobart on 7 October this year.
The runner-up, Ryan Murphy from Somerville Legal, impressed the audience with his guitar playing and singing with his topic, ‘The cab rank rule: Ride sharing with your barrister’.
Lachlan Williams from Gadens took out the People’s Choice Award that was presented by Sparke Helmore Lawyers. His topic was ‘Lock out laws and responsible service’.
The three winners faced stiff competition from other competitors: Alexandra Walker from Mitry Lawyers, Zoe Rochford from the University of Technology Sydney, Nicholas Kraegen from Baker & McKenzie, Thomas Kaldor from LegalVision, Luke Scandrett from Lander & Rogers, Katherine Allsop from Yeldham Price O’Brien Lusk, and Erin Eckhoff from King & Wood Mallesons.
The speakers were judged by NSW Young Lawyers 2016 patron and Australian Human Rights Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs, and Sparke Helmore partner Mark Doepel.
Pictured (left to right): judge Mark Doepel, runner-up Ryan Murphy, winner Gabrielle Morris and judge Professor Gillian Triggs.