Awards finalists represent profession’s best

By Justin Whealing|02 October 2012

Finalists across eight contested categories have been selected from more than 100 submissions for the inaugural Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards.

Finalists across eight contested categories have been selected from more than 100 submissions for the inaugural Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards.

Clayton Utz and Corrs Chambers Westgarth lead the charge from the private practice firms, with nominees in three of the five categories open to law firms.

Young lawyer Evelyn Tadros is a Clayton Utz finalist in the Legal People Future Star Award, with the national firm also represented by Larissa Cook in the Pro Bono Award and Canberra-based partner Alexandra Wedutenko in the LitSupport Female Partner Award.


In the latter award, Wedutenko is joined as one of the six finalists by Corrs partner and chairman Teresa Handicott. Partners from Minter Ellison, King & Wood Mallesons and Norton Rose, as well as Stephanie Lynch from the Canberra-based firm Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, are also in the running for this Award.

Corrs also has Christine Covington selected as a finalist in the Jacinta Fish Legal Mentor Award, and it is also one of six firms vying for the coveted Negocio Resolutions Law Firm Diversity Award.

AdventBalance, Freehills, Gilbert + Tobin, Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon are the other finalists in this category.

A total of 19 law firms have nominees selected as finalists, with Gilbert + Tobin and King & Wood Mallesons the only other firms to have multiple finalists.

Barristers raise the Bar
Lawyers Weekly received a number of submissions nominating barristers across several categories.
Francis Burt Chambers in Perth has two finalists, with Gail Archer SC a finalist in the CCH Barrister Award and Clare Thompson one of six finalists in the Jacinta Fish Legal Mentor Award.


Some of the most respected and senior members of the profession were nominated for the Jacinta Fish Legal Mentor award, which recognises the efforts of female lawyers who devote much of their time to furthering the careers of their female peers.

In addition to Covington and Thompson, the other finalists include: Rashda Rana, a barrister with Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers and a former general counsel with Lend Lease Project Management & Construction; Dr Helen Durham, the head of international law and principles with the Australian Red Cross; Antoinette Kennedy, the former chief judge of the District Court of Western Australia, and Gina Cass-Gottleib, a partner at Gilbert + Tobin for almost 20 years. Cass-Gottleib was also the first female partner appointed at the national firm.

A total of 35 law firms, universities, companies, barristers’ chambers, judicial bodies, government bodies and not-for-profit organisations are represented among the 42 finalists.

Lawyers Weekly sincerely thanks the enormous effort all nominees made in making submissions for the inaugural Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards.

The Awards ceremony will be held at Zinc Bar, Federation Square in Melbourne on the evening of Friday 19 October.

Tickets are still available for this prestigious event, with information on how to purchase tickets and on all the Award categories here.

The Awards ceremony will also include the naming of the Allied Recruitment Solutions Lasting Legacy Award winner, which was an uncontested category.

The president of the Australian Women Lawyers, Kate Ashmor, will be the night’s MC and Caroline Counsel, the immediate past-president of the Law Institute of Victoria, will make the keynote address.

See below for the full list of finalists:

The Legal People Future Star Award
Sara Bray: Fox Tucker Lawyers
Rebecca Heath: Squire Sanders
Jiayue Li: DLA Piper
Stephanie Papadopoulos: Ashurst
Melissa Sinopli: MacDonnells Law
Evelyn Tadros: Clayton Utz


The LitSupport Female Partner Award
Virginia Briggs: Minter Ellison
Teresa Handicott: Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Sue Kench: King & Wood Mallesons
Stephanie Lynch: Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers
Sally Macindoe: Norton Rose
Alexandra Wedutenko: Clayton Utz


The ACLA In-House Award
Emma Covacevich, Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited and Natasha Patterson, Origin Energy Limited
Susannah Downing: Wesfarmers
Ashe-lee Jegathesan: Melbourne IT Limited
Karen Perret: Kraft Foods
Rebecca Stenhouse: Toll Holdings Limited

The Jacinta Fish Legal Mentor Award
Gina Cass-Gottlieb: Gilbert + Tobin
Christine Covington: Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Dr Helen Durham: Australian Red Cross
Antoinette Kennedy: District Court of Western Australia
Rashda Rana: Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers
Clare Thompson: Francis Burt Chambers


The Forensic Document Services Law Student Award
Emma Moulds: University of Adelaide
Tegan Rodgers: University of New England, Armidale
Rhea Thrift: University of Newcastle


The Negocio Resolutions Law Firm Diversity Award
Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Gilbert + Tobin                                                                                                                                                                         Herbert Smith Freehills
Maurice Blackburn
Slater & Gordon


The Pro Bono Award
Larissa Cook: Clayton Utz
Kate Gillingham: Baker & McKenzie
Felicity Heffernan: Western Australian Department of Planning
Alexia Marinos: Gadens Lawyers
Katy Mooney: Sparke Helmore
Stephanie Puris: King & Wood Mallesons


The CCH Barrister Award
Gail Archer SC: Francis Burt Chambers
Fiona McLeod SC: Owen Dixon Chambers West
Kristen Walker: Melbourne Chambers

Awards finalists represent profession’s best
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