Young talent time
It is barely conceivable that the six finalists in the Monash University Future Star Award could have achieved so much in their first three years of practice.
Abigail Haseltine (pictured below) is one of four Lawyers Weekly Women In Law Awards finalists from Gilbert + Tobin; she joined the firm as a paralegal in June 2011. Abigail has acted on a number of the most notable corporate transactions of the last three years, including the Sydney Desalination Plant Privatisation. John Schembri, the head of G+T’s banking & finance group, described her understanding of transactions as “first rate”. Abigail is also heavily involved in the firm’s pro bono program.
Sydney lawyer Amelia Ho (pictured top right) has already left her mark at Corrs Chambers Westgarth. An associate in the firm’s competition and regulatory group, Amelia recently earned the top performance rating at the firm. “In just a few short years, Amelia has achieved more than many people achieve in a lifetime,” said Corrs CEO John Denton.
Colin Biggers & Paisley is a two-office firm that often takes on the big fish and swims away with the prize.
Kyrren Konstantinidis joined CBP in February 2011 and has already become the principal point of contact for some of the firm’s key clients. In addition to excelling in her area of practice of dispute resolution and construction, Kyrren also readily addresses structural change that is needed in the profession. “One of my ambitions is to address the challenges faced by women working in construction law, particularly to change the perception the area is synonymous with being ‘macho’ or ‘alpha male’,” she wrote in her submission.
Gadens Lawyers’ Lisa Nash is another young female practitioner in the traditionally male domain of building and construction. Lisa recently spent time on secondment with Built, with her time at the company paving the way for Built to refer more work to Gadens. “The construction industry presents many challenges for the few female participants who are in it,” said Built general counsel Roger Whiteman. “Lisa stands out, not only as a female in the industry, but as an exceptional building and construction lawyer.”
The lone in-house finalist, Kimberly Statham (pictured below right), is also the only Melbournian to feature in this exceptionally competitive category. Although her official title is as a corporate counsel with Virgin Mobile Australia (a subsidiary of Singtel Optus), she prefers to be referred to via the moniker “legal ninja”. Kimberly certainly has many weapons in her arsenal as an in-house lawyer, with her brief covering advertising, sales, compliance, contacts and disputes work.
Minter Ellison’s Vanessa Warburton rounds out the list of top-shelf finalists. Vanessa is in the firm’s crack M&A group, and was the youngest team member on the Minters team advising on the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla. “Vanessa’s hard work, diligence and dedication was a major contributing factor to the successful outcome of this transaction,” said Lachlan McDonald, general manager, corporate services, with Sydney Ports.