Clayton Utz lawyer Stefanie Faubel (pictured right with Leo Cussen's Elizabeth Loftus) has qualities that are shared by legal leaders: excellent commercial and legal judgement, laser-like analytical skills and a personal approach that engages clients.
These enviable traits helped her secure the hotly-contested Future Star Award at the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards night, held in Melbourne on Friday 17 October.
Stefanie’s potential to reach great professional heights is not lost on her supervising partner at Clutz, Marko Misko, who described her as “an outstanding lawyer”.
“I am extremely grateful for Stefanie’s tireless efforts and unswerving enthusiasm for her work and the important projects we are engaged on,” he said.
Stefanie, however, was quick to deflect the praise back to her team. In accepting the award, she thanked Marko and her colleagues in the Melbourne Construction and Major Projects group for supporting her professional development.
“I’m so lucky to have caring mentors who have guided me as a student and junior lawyer,” she said.
In just two years as a practising lawyer, Stefanie has already worked with some of Clutz’s major clients, including the Department of Defence, for which she drafted a bespoke suite of contracts.
Another client, NBN Co, commended Stefanie’s work in conceiving the model for the reorganisation of NBN’s operations and in drafting agreements required to support those changes.
“The importance of that work – and Stefanie’s contribution to that work – cannot be overstated,” said Edward Gomes, senior legal counsel at NBN Co.
Give and you shall receive
Stefanie’s strong work ethic is not confined to Clutz’s paying clients.
She is an active member of Justice Connect Homeless Law, which provides legal aid to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. She is also the Community Partner Coordinator for Project New Dawn, a grassroots project working with the Salvation Army to provide employment and housing assistance to the homeless.
Recognising this type of contribution to the wider community was an important element of the selection criteria in the Future Star category.
“This award really means so much to me; it’s something I will cherish throughout my career, particularly given the importance it places on making a meaningful contribution to society as a lawyer,” Stefanie said.
The other finalists in this category were: Jessica Blanchett and Kirsten Gourd from Norton Rose Fulbright; Samara Goode from CBP Lawyers; Celeste Koravos from DLA Piper; and Emily Raftos from Corrs Chambers Westgarth.