Recognising a vast array of talent across the whole legal profession, this year’s finalists include corporate counsel at some of the world’s largest companies, as well as law students about to embark on their careers.
King & Wood Mallesons have the largest number of finalists, with their six nominees vying with rivals from top-tier, mid-tier and boutique firms across categories that include the Burgess Paluch Pro Bono Award and the JLegal Dealmaker of the Year Award.
Fresh from negotiating a merger with Herbert Smith, Freehills managing partner and CEO Gavin Bell spearheads his firm’s five nominees, with Clayton Utz also having five finalists.
However, the big firms have not had it all their way. A number of small and one-office firms have also had lawyers make the list of finalists.
Donald Chen from Kah Lawyers in the western Sydney city of Parramatta is a finalist in the Trudie Rogers Medical Lawyers Young Gun Award, where he will be up against nominees from international firms such as DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie and Squire Sanders.
A total of 19 private practice law firms will be represented when the judges’ decisions are handed down at the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne on Friday 27 July.
The best from in-house
The two categories that recognise in-house lawyers include finalists from prominent corporations and large government departments.
Lawyers from Foxtel, Santos Limited, the Centro Properties Group and Growthpoint will be vying for the Legal People Corporate Counsel Award. The inaugural ACLA Public Service Award shines a spotlight on the important work of government lawyers. The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), the Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Government Department of Human Services are all represented amongst the finalists.
The Bentley, Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award and the LitSupport Advocate Award stand alone as uncontested categories.
Both these awards recognise titans of the profession that have made the practise of law better for all members. The winners of these two prestigious awards will be revealed on the night.
It is a great honour and privilege to have Michael Kirby, the former High Court justice and one of Australia’s most-loved and influential figures, as a guest on the night. Michael will be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award that is named in his honour.
Early-bird tickets are still available for the Awards and can be purchased here.
Without further ado, below is the full list of finalists for what is the blue ribbon night on the Australian legal calendar.
Finalists for the Lawyers Weekly 2012 Australian Law Awards, proudly sponsored by List A Barristers:
The Empire Careers Senior Associate Award
Stefanie Allen, Freehills
Hayden Delaney, HopgoodGanim
Kristy Dixon, Addisons
Rebecca Finkelstein, King & Wood Mallesons
Claire Rogers, King & Wood Mallesons
Elizabeth Skelly, Sparke Helmore
The Burgess Paluch Pro Bono Award
Maryjane Crabtree, Allens
David Fixler, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Luke Geary, Salvos Legal
Catherine Langman, Australian Government Solicitor
Nicolas Patrick, DLA Piper
Stephanie Puris, King & Wood Mallesons
The Allied Recruitment Solutions Talent Manager Award
Andrew Plaskett, Clayton Utz
Anne Reeves, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Kate Weaver, DLA Piper
The Randstad Managing Partner Award
Gavin Bell, Freehills
John Carrington, Ashurst
Sharon Cook, Henry Davis York
John Denton, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Chris Freeland, Baker & McKenzie
David Kearney, Wotton + Kearney
The ACLA Public Service Award
Suzanne Hillier, The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)
Janean Richards, The Attorney-General’s Department
Sue Bird, Australian Government Department of Human Services
The JLegal Dealmaker of the Year Award
Stuart Byrne, Clayton Utz
Yuen-Yee Cho, King & Wood Mallesons
Tony Damian, Freehills
David Eliakim, King & Wood Mallesons
Michael Kunstler, Baker & McKenzie
Rebecca Maslen-Stannage, Freehills
The Trudie Rogers Medical Lawyers Young Gun Award
Sara Bray, Fox Tucker Lawyers
Donald Chen, Kah Lawyers
Megan Flynn, Baker & McKenzie
Rebecca Heath, Squire Sanders
Ajay Khandhar, Middletons
Jiayue Li, DLA Piper
The College of Law, Law Student Award
Maximilian Bryant, The University of New South Wales
Sean Lau, The University of New South Wales
Emma Moulds, The University of Adelaide
Ryan Turner, The Australian National University
The LexisNexis Practice Manager Award
Glen Bartlett, Clayton Utz
John Carroll, Clayton Utz
Erin Feros, Allens
Michelle Mahoney, King & Wood Mallesons
Andrew Price, Wotton + Kearney
Mark Rigotti, Freehills
The Legal People Corporate Counsel Award
Aaron Hockly, Growthpoint
Lynette Ireland, Foxtel
Dimitri Kiriacoulacos, Centro Properties Group
Demitra Ritossa, Santos Limited