The Women in Law Awards has developed a robust awards methodology that recognises growth, business development, diversity, leadership, innovation, business excellence and contribution to Australia’s law industry using key benchmarks and performance indicators.
Any individual or group wishing to enter the Women in Law Awards 2020 is asked to complete a detailed submission answering key criteria items. To review all category details and to commence your submission, click here.
If you like to nominate a leading lawyer for a Women in Law Award, click here. Nominating is easy and will take less than a minute; nominations across multiple categories can be done on the one form.
All submissions must be received through our secure awards platform by 5:30pm on 16 October 2020.
Our awards platform is safe, secure and compliant. It’s ISO/IEC 27001 certified, compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), PCI DSS and more.
Finalists are announced; individuals and groups will be contacted directly as well as published on Lawyers Weekly and Women in Law Awards website. Finalists will be announced on the week of 3 November 2020.
Submissions will be delivered to a panel of respected industry professionals and business leaders who will assess each submission. Judges will score each submission across a range of criteria, which can be found under each category description once you have registered to lodge a submission, which can be done here. A number of judges will individually assess each submission for each category, offering a blended score and assessment.
Chief Executive Partner
Adrian Tembel is an economics and honours law graduate of the University of Adelaide. He began practising corporate and technology law in 1993 at his law firm Thomson Geer. He became a Partner of that firm in 1997 and its Chief Executive Partner in 2009. He is also a part-time Commissioner of the South Australian Productivity Commission and a Director of the Hackett Foundation.
Head of Legal, Pacific
Ali joined LexisNexis in 2017 as Head of Legal for the Pacific Region. Ali and her team work with LexisNexis’ Australian and New Zealand businesses providing advice across issues from intellectual property and digital media through to privacy and competition laws.
Ali has held senior legal roles across a variety of industries internationally, including higher education, renewable energy and leisure. Ali’s focus is on working closely with the business to address both the opportunities and the challenges presented by rapid advances in technology, changing customer needs and the evolving nature of legal practice across the region and the world.
Australian Women Lawyers
Amy Challans is a Past President and former Director of Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) and a current Director of Squash SA. She is also a Director of the SANFL Football Club North Adelaide. Appointed to the role of AWL President in 2013, Amy was the first South Australian to hold this position. In 2015 Amy was named as one of Australia’s top 50 women by Australian Consolidated Press in its 10th anniversary edition of Who’s Who’s of Australian Women for her services and national contribution to women in the legal profession in addition to being awarded the inaugural Gender in Equity Law Award by the Law Society of South Australia. Amy is a judge of both the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards and Women in Law Awards, is a former member of both the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee and the Law Society of South Australia Women Lawyers Committee and has been a long serving member of the Women Lawyers Association of SA. Amy has worked for a number of key Agencies in Australia and the United Kingdom and has a Bachelor Arts from The Flinders University of South Australia, a Bachelor Laws from the University of Adelaide and was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia as a Barrister and solicitor in 2002.
The College of Law
Ann-Maree David is an Executive Director of The College of Law, the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australasia. She has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years, in public and corporate sector roles and in private practice as a solicitor.
Ann-Maree has held a career-long passion for developing and delivering education and training programs to enable all involved in the delivery of legal services to thrive both personally and professionally.
In addition to leading the College of Law’s Queensland campus, Ann-Maree is Immediate Past President of Australian Women Lawyers and a Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council. She also chairs the Queensland Law Society’s Equity & Diversity Committee.
Cuthberts Business Advisory
Tony Dormer is a senior adviser of a multi-discipline professional services firm that he established over 40 years ago and that merged in September 2017 to form Tricor Services (Australia) Pty Ltd www.tricorglobal.com The firm provides in-bound and out-bound business advisory, management consulting, tax and compliance, outsourced payroll and CFO services, bookkeeping, corporate secretarial services and financial investment services.
Tony’s personal specialist skills and extensive experience are around taxation services, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, corporate restructuring, as well as business planning and business development issues generally. His entrepreneurial style and ability to 'think outside the square', has enabled Tricor to provide clients with a level and style of service that is unique among business advisory and accountancy practices.
From 2007 to 2019 he was a Board Member and/or Councilor with the NSW Business Chamber. He was elected President in February 2014 and held the position of Deputy President as well as Chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee, Chair of the Business Environment and Economics Committee within the NSW Business Chamber. He now serves as a Past President.
He was also the former Chairman of Kreston Australia and New Zealand and was previously one of eight Directors on the international board of Kreston International, a position he held for seven years. Kreston is one of the largest networks of independent accounting business advisory firms in the world.
He also serves as a non-executive director on Profit and Not for Profit Boards.
Tony is a Fellow with Chartered Accountants (FCA), Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) with the Taxation Institute of Australia.
Prior to developing his practice, he had extensive experience at General Manager level with several leading private organizations. This commercial experience is a major ingredient in his philosophy and the range of services offered by him.
He also co-authored a book on leadership titled “Born to Lead?” with Charisse Grey
Tony is available for selective Director appointments.
Group General Counsel
Belinda was appointed Group General Counsel in November 2017 and is responsible for the legal, company secretarial and internal fraud functions. In October 2019 Belinda was appointed to the Suncorp Executive Leadership Team, also assuming responsibility for the company secretarial function.
Since joining Suncorp in 2013 Belinda has held a number of roles including leading the Advisory, Litigation, Legal Operations and Group Financial Crimes teams. Belinda has provided strategic support across a number of matters including leading Suncorp’s response to the Financial Services Royal Commission, capital raisings, divestments, enhanced corporate governance and management of material litigation including introducing a bespoke model litigant framework.
Prior to joining Suncorp, Belinda was in private practice for nearly 20 years, in both Australia and South Africa, where she focused on commercial and financial services litigation
Speaker, Author, Futurist, Social Commentator
The Behaviour Report
Dan Gregory helps leaders and teams explore critical trends in search of opportunities, to identify the meaning behind the data and turn information into actionable strategies. In short, he helps you READ and LEAD human behaviour.
Rated in “the top 25 C-Suite Speakers to watch” by Meetings & Conventions USA, Dan Gregory is a captivating speaker whose business acumen is matched by a rapier wit and rare human insight gained during three years on the road working on the US and UK stand-up comedy circuits – skills put to great use in front of millions of viewers as a regular on ABC TV’s “Gruen Planet” and Channel 7’s “Masters of Spin”.
He is also the co-author of: SHIFT - The trends shaping how we shift products, people and perceptions, SELFISH SCARED & STUPID - A guide to harnessing human nature & FOREVER SKILLS - The 12 skills to future proof yourself, your team and your kids.
He has created leadership strategies for global technology firms, designed performance strategies for sales teams and C-Suite executives and driven engagement strategies for organisations as diverse as Coca-Cola, Unilever, the Royal Australian Navy and the UN/UN Women in Asia.
Ultimately, Dan is in the business of helping smart people become people smart!
Group General Counsel
David Cullen is the Group General Counsel of AMP Limited. David has been with AMP since 2004, and has held positions including Group Company Secretary & General Counsel, Governance.
David has almost 25 years’ experience in the legal profession, with extensive experience in the areas of M&A, corporate law and corporate governance. Before joining AMP, David worked for law firms Blake Dawson Waldron and Gilbert + Tobin and spent two years with the ASX.
David is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Croesus Holdings Group
The Croesus Holdings Group comprises six companies, which provide services in Project Management; Corporate Legal Compliance; Management Training & Education; Environmental GRC; ADR (mediation, arbitration & adjudication); and Litigation Funding.
Previously, Garry was Managing Director of an international Investment Bank with offices in Sydney, Vancouver, New York, London, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore. Those activities involved him in international capital raising; public listings; distressed company “turn-arounds”; workplace & employment relations; drafting & management of contracts; project management; governance & risk assessment; corporate strategic planning; supply chain logistics & human rights; corporate legal compliance; environmental sustainability; and optimising management outcomes.
Chief Executive Officer
Legal Aid ACT
Prior to this appointment Dr Boersig worked as an Assistant Secretary in the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, responsible for a number of areas including Indigenous law and justice and human rights. Before joining the Attorney-General’s Department John practiced law in NSW, as a lawyer for the Aboriginal Legal Service and in private practice. He established the University of Newcastle Legal Centre and was Director of the Professional program in 1994. He was a part-time Presiding member of the Guardianship Tribunal for many years.
John has a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sydney, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Canberra. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Jacob Waye–Harris is an experienced contracts lawyer who, after starting his career in a large Adelaide law firm, spent many years leading commercial and legal teams in major Australian and international companies. Having been recognised through various industry awards, Jacob has now returned to private practice where he helps his clients negotiate commercial contracts and transactions.
Fair Work Commission
Joseph Catanzariti AM is a Vice President of the Fair Work Commission, the national workplace relations tribunal.
Prior to his appointment to the Fair Work Commission, Joseph was a senior Partner of Clayton Utz and Practice Leader of the Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety Practice Group. Joseph was a trusted adviser to many of Australia’s leading companies and government departments. Joseph was also a highly experienced Commercial Litigator.
Joseph is a Visiting Professorial Fellow of the School of Law and the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Work and Organisational Studies, School of Business at Sydney University.
Joseph is the Chair of the College of Law.
Joseph is also co-author of Workplace Bullying published by LexisNexis.
He has previously held the positions of President of the Law Council of Australia, President of the NSW Law Society, Chair of the Workplace Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales (2000 - 2013), and Secretary of the Industrial Relations Society of Australia (1997-2011).
Joseph was awarded Life Time Recognition, Industrial Relations Society of Australia / Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association 2011, and the Industrial Relations Society of New South Wales in 2015.
Joseph is a fellow of the Academy of Law.
On 26 January 2016 Joseph was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
Laser Clinics Australia
Kirsty is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of Laser Clinics Australia, a franchisor and Australia’s largest provider of cosmetic treatments and laser hair removal. With over 140 clinics in Australia, Kirsty has also been involved in the brand’s international expansion in New Zealand, through Laser Clinics New Zealand, and more recently to the United Kingdom. Kirsty has over 19 years’ experience in practice and has held senior legal roles across a variety of industries such as supermarkets, health, telecommunication and retail, with the focus on franchising across different models.
Chief Executive Officer
Kody Thompson is best known as an award-winning entrepreneur, international speaker, and the founder of the hugely successful web development company Sites At Scale. Kody started his first business with $250 of business cards to pay the bills while working full-time as a volunteer Youth Pastor. Within just six years Kody turned his $250 investment into over $2M of profit. Building over 1,000 websites, servicing over 600 clients every month and generating in excess of 500,000 leads for his clients. On a personal note, Kody is a devoted husband and father of two girls. He is passionate about giving back and has launched a not-for-profit project in the Philippines Love @ Scale supporting 250 students.
Wellness and Performance Coach for Lawyers
Lara Wentworth is a former Partner at Madison Marcus Law Firm and until recently led the firm's Family Law Division & Wills & Estate Planning Division. She has over 17 years' experience practicing law. In 2016 Lara completed a Masters in Law Majoring in Family Law.
Over more recent times Lara has embarked on and established a coaching and training practice where she mentors, coaches and trains members of the legal profession from students to senior partners. She is a certified Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is an effective transformational tool that she uses in the coaching and training process including group coaching and workshops. Lara is also currently completing international coaching certification with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) due to be completed 2020.
During her practice as a Family Lawyer, Lara understands first-hand the pressures of the legal world and the pitfalls that a lawyer can face. Lara’s coaching and training is aimed at helping people in the legal profession to enhance their leadership skills and improve their mental health so they can be high performing and happy humans. This is done through coaching and training packages and programs that increase awareness, clear limitations, build resources, release talent and potential and create choice for a healthier and happier life in the law.
Lara's focus is on creating a supportive environment for people to learn more about themselves and gain leadership skills, whilst making long lasting and valuable shifts in habits, thoughts and behaviours. Lara is passionate about empowering professionals to take charge of their wellbeing by being in charge of their minds and therefore their results.
The Registered Clubs Association of NSW
Michael is the in-house legal counsel for Clubs NSW, a not-for-profit association that represents the interests of community, social and sporting clubs across the State.
Michael’s legal career spans working at law firms in the UK, Europe and Australia. He has also previously held roles as a senior inhouse counsel in the FMCG sector and as a legal team manager in a global legal technology provider.
Michael is an MBA graduate, where he completed original research focusing on the evolution of legal services and its impact on legal team culture and performance. He is also a certified Agile practitioner and a previous member of the NSW Law Society’s Legal Technology Committee.
Chief Executive Officer
Law Council of Australia
Michael Tidball was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of New South Wales in 2006. In recent years, he has also concurrently served as Secretary General of LAWASIA.
Michael Tidball has worked in both government and business sectors, working in strategic management and senior advisory roles. He has also served as Special Advisor to the Public
Accounts Committee of the New South Wales Parliament.
Mr Tidball has a strong background in professional services and legal sector administration. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Law Society of New South Wales in 2001, and has led many of its initiatives to position it as one of the of the largest, most resilient and successful
voluntary direct membership regulating Law Societies internationally. Among the key reforms during his tenure has been the lead role played by the Society in the move to a national legal services market in Australia. A current key focus is leading the Society to respond in its service offering to the forces of innovation, disruption, technology change and artificial intelligence.
Michael Tidball serves as a Director of Lawcover Insurance Pty Ltd and LawCover Pty Ltd as well as of LAWASIA Holdings. He is also a member of the Council of the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History.
Mr Tidball has a strong and active interest in classical music and serves as Chair of the Board of The Song Company, Australia’s leading and internationally highly acclaimed classical vocal ensemble. He has recently completed post graduate studies at the Saïd Business School at The University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Partner / President
Bartier Perry / Commercial Law Association of Australia
For over 30 years Norman has worked in corporate, commercial and finance law, often managing highly complex cases. He is a specialist in the banking and finance sector, particularly in securities and duties law. Norman advises national and international clients along with government bodies such as local councils, major banks and publicly listed companies.
Clients appreciate Norman’s problem solving ability and his never-say-die attitude when it comes to helping them get the best results. They also appreciate his commercial focus, which stems in part from working for seven years as an in-house counsel at the State Bank of NSW, as well as in the indirect tax division of Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC).
Norman is also a regular speaker and presents seminars on a range of topics including Director’s Duties, Privacy and Ecommerce.
Faculty of Law UTS
Lesley Hitchens has been Dean of the Law Faculty, UTS since February 2013. She sits on the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board and the Legal Services Council Admissions Committee. In 2015 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She practised as a commercial lawyer for seven years, first with Allens and later with Herbert Smith in London. She has held academic positions in the UK and Australia. In 2018 she was awarded the Financial Times Australian Legal Innovator Award.
Executive Dean, Faculty of Law
Professor Nick James is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University. He is a former commercial lawyer and has been practising as an academic since 1996. He is passionate about legal education and the role of law schools in modern society. His areas of teaching expertise include law in context, legal theory, animal law, business law, and company law. He has won numerous awards for his teaching including a National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, and he is the author of three textbooks: Business Law, Critical Legal Thinking and The New Lawyer (with Rachael Field and Jackson Walkden-Brown). He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters and conference papers in the areas of legal education, critical legal theory, and disruption of the legal services sector.
Professor James is Executive Director of the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education, Executive Editor of the Legal Education Review, Immediate Past Chair of the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA), and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
Newcastle Law School
Professor Tania Sourdin is the Dean of the University of Newcastle Law School and was previously the Foundation Chair and Director of the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI) at Monash University in Australia.
Professor Sourdin has led national research projects and produced important recommendations for ADR and justice reform. In the past two decades, she has conducted qualitative and quantitative research projects into aspects of the dispute resolution and justice system systems in 12 Courts and Tribunals and six external dispute resolution schemes. Other research has focussed on justice innovation, technology, delay and systemic reforms. Her work outside Australia has included various international consultancies as an expert in relation to justice reform.
Professor Sourdin is the author of a significant number of books, articles and papers, and has published and presented widely on a range of topics including ADR, justice innovation, justice issues, mediation, conflict resolution, collaborative law, artificial intelligence, technology and organisational change. She has retained a practice focus and has worked for more than 30 years as a lawyer, 25 years in various senior part time tribunal positions and as a mediator and has since 2014 been the NBN industry dispute resolution advisor.
General Counsel & Company Secretary
Nine Entertainment Co.
Rachel is general counsel and company secretary at Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited, leading a team which manages the diverse array of legal issues which arise across a multi-platform media business. Prior to joining Nine Entertainment Co. in 2015, Rachel was a partner at Gilbert + Tobin for many years where she specialised in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and commercial transactions.
Rachel is also a director and company secretary of Giant Steps, a charity which runs schools for children and young adults with autism in Sydney and Melbourne.
Asia Pacific Lead
D2 Legal Technology
Rachel is an internationally-experienced financial services lawyer specialising in data, derivatives, asset management, life insurance and regulation. She has recently joined the data consulting firm, D2 Legal Technology, as their Asia Pacific Lead heading up the business in the region. Prior to this Rachel has worked as an in-house lawyer for Goldman Sachs, Westpac, Challenger Life and Allianz Retire+, and was General Counsel at fund manager Magellan Financial Group.
In 2018, Rachel founded the NSW “First Hundred Years” initiative celebrating the centenary of women in law. With an additional interest in music, Rachel has been a Board Director of Australia’s premier classical vocal ensemble, The Song Company, is currently on the Committee for Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Vanguard group, and is Governance Director for the International Women’s Forum Australia.
PAYCE Consolidated Limited
Rebecca has advised developers and landowners on industrial, commercial and residential development projects, is on the board of Mackillop Rural Community Services and now works as general counsel and company secretary at PAYCE Consolidated Pty Limited.
Steve Lancken has been a full time mediator since 1999. During that time, Steve has conducted over
2,000 mediations. Steve has worked in Queensland mediating Native Title issues and in Liberia,
Malaysia, Hong Kong, Nepal and Northern America. Steve has conducted mediations for Australia’s
largest and most successful organisations such as ASIC, ACCC, QANTAS, GPT, AGSM, Mission Australia,
the Salvation Army, Australian Treasury, Australian Government Solicitors and Department of
Defence. Steve also works with Australia’s largest banks and insurers.
Steve enjoys the opportunity to do the most interesting and challenging work and contribute to social justice, teach, educate and contribute to his profession.
Sue-Ella specialises in helping lawyers and law firms create more rewarding practices through purposeful business strategy and positive client engagement.
Sue-Ella established her award-winning consultancy Prodonovich Advisory in 2005.
Her In-House roles have included Director of Marketing, Arthur Anderson; Director of Marketing & Business Development, Baker McKenzie; and Partner, Crowe Horwath.
Sue-Ella is a member of the teaching faulty of The College of Law, The Law Society of NSW, The Law Institute of Victoria, and FMRC. In 2011 she was inducted into the APSMA Hall Of Fame for services to the Australasian Professional Services Industry and in 2019 she was made a Fellow of the College of Law Firm Management. Her qualifications include an MBA, Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) (Law & Marketing) – VC List, the AICD Course for Company Directors, and the Net Promoter® Client Loyalty Program™.
Global Chief Executive
King & Wood Mallesons
Sue Kench is the Global Chief Executive of King & Wood Mallesons, Asia’s leading international law
Sue took on this role in 2017 after leading the firm in Australia for four years as Chief Executive Partner, Australia. Sue works closely with the Global Chairman and the firm’s International Management Committee to lead the firm’s international growth strategy. Sue is based in Hong Kong and spends significant time in China and Australia.
She became a Partner of legacy firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 1996 and has held a number of
board, management and leadership positions in the firm over the past two decades.
Amongst her many professional achievements, Sue has received a number of accolades and
acknowledgements for her impact and influence on the legal profession in the Asia Pacific. These
Sue is a member of Chief Executive Women.
Sue was the first woman in Australia to lead a top tier law firm in that role and is the first Australian female to lead a global law firm.
Chief Executive Officer
Tanya Sale is the Founder, CEO and Managing Director of multi award-winning, national Aggregator group, outsource financial. Tanya is the only female CEO / Managing Director of a mortgage Aggregator in Australia. Having extensive banking and finance experience, Tanya pioneered the third-party mortgage sector, by creating diverse models to change the way lending was conducted in Australia.
In 2019 Tanya appeared on the expert's panel, for a new television show on Channel 9, called Secrets of the Money Masters. A series featuring some of Australia's biggest sporting celebrities who learn about financial strategy and security. Additionally, in 2019, Tanya won 'CEO of the Year' at the Women in Finance Awards and was named as one of MPA’s Global 100.
General Counsel & Company Secretary
Winc | Staples + OfficeMax
Troy Swan is the Chief Legal Officer, Company Secretary and Board Member of the $1.4billion office products company Winc Australia & New Zealand. Winc was formed following the acquisition of Staples & OfficeMax by US based private equity firm Platinum Equity.
He has been publicly recognised as one of Australia's leading corporate lawyers and was named the 2017 Australian Lawyer of the Year (FMCG) and a General Counsel of the Year finalist in both 2016 and 2017. He became only the second Australian lawyer to win the prestigious International Value Champions Award in San Francisco and was recently named in Washington, the Association of Corporate Counsel Member of the Year, from over 43,000 lawyers worldwide for his commitment to the legal community and profession. This was the first time this honour was ever awarded to a lawyer outside America.
Known for his business judgment, he is highly active within the Sydney legal and business community. He is a regular speaker and media commentator on legal affairs, innovation and large scale legal service delivery models and leads an award winning legal team based in Sydney.