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LIV awards recognise those who go beyond call of duty

LIV awards recognise those who go beyond call of duty

By LIV Media

Leadership Professional Reputation 


This year’s LIV Awards, held on Friday 20 May, have recognised some of Victoria’s most outstanding and committed lawyers and law firms.

LIV president Steven Sapountsis said the awards were an opportunity to recognise all those in the profession who go beyond the call of duty in the service they provide to their clients and to the community.

“Serving ‘well and honestly’ are the minimum requirements for a lawyer. But we know that, in practice, many of our friends, colleagues and even our opponents in the profession perform well beyond those minimum requirements,” he said.

Mr Sapountsis presented the President's Honorary Award to three representatives of the community legal centre movement – John Finlayson, Erskine Rodan AM and Dr Simon Smith.

The community legal centres that the three award winners helped pioneer had caused a “seismic shift” in the delivery and availability of legal services in Victoria and a profound improvement in access to justice for many Victorians, which continues to be felt today, Mr Sapountsis said.

The three men represented all those “brave lawyers and community workers who at the time challenged scepticism in the mainstream legal profession in their struggle to provide legal services for all”, he said.

“For the first time, the notion arose that even those disadvantaged by poverty or otherwise should be able to say: ‘I have a lawyer working for me’,” he said.

Former LIV president Mark Woods was honoured with a lifetime membership award for his contribution to the LIV and the legal profession and for his commitment to furthering access to justice for all.

“It is fair to say that Access to Justice has been Mark's abiding passion,” Mr Sapountsis said.

Over Mr Woods’ 19 year involvement with Council and as its president in 1995/96, as well as his work on numerous committees, he has been a committed, passionate and articulate contributor and advocate for the legal profession, and for all those who come up against it.

Mr Woods is chair of LIV's Access to Justice Committee and plays a pivotal role in the current #legalaidmatters campaign.

Children's law specialist Fleur Ward won the Paul Baker Award recognising the outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of administrative or human rights law. Ms Ward is the chair of the LIV Children and Youth Issues Committee and a member of the Family Law Executive and Children's Law Specialisation Advisory Committee.

Clayton Utz won the Law Firm of the Year Award – more than 20 partners, while Hive Legal won the PEXA Law Firm of the Year – less than 20 partners. The Regional Lawyer of the Year Award went to Danny Frigerio, an LIV accredited specialist in personal injury law based in Wangaratta.

Mike Cameron, PEXA Group Executive Operations congratulated the award winners and finalists. “It is an honour for PEXA to sponsor awards that acknowledge legal industry excellence.”

“PEXA also recognises the LIV's prominent role in driving the transition to e-conveyancing,” he said.

Full list of Award Winners

Access to Justice Award
Robert Kumar, Retired Magistrate
Alexandra Wilson, Lethbridges and Veronica Haccou, Nevin Lenne & Gross Lawyers

Accredited Specialist Achievement Award
Kathy Wilson, Aitken Partners

Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award
Sanmati Verma, Clothier Anderson Immigration Lawyers

Deal of the Year Award
Herbert Smith Freehills, BHP Billiton Demerger of South32

Government Lawyer of the Year Award
Jodie Burns, Coroners Court of Victoria

Mentor of the Year Award
Dominique Saunders, Saunders Legal

Community Lawyer/Organisation of the Year Award
Lucy Adams, Justice Connect
Emma Smallwood, Women’s Legal Service Victoria

Honorary Life Membership
Mark Woods

PEXA Law Firm of the Year Award (fewer than 20 partners)
Hive Legal

Law Firm of the Year Award (more than 20 partners)
Clayton Utz

Regional Lawyer of the Year Award
Danny Frigerio, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award
Maria Rigoli, Rigoli Lawyers

Paul Baker Prize for Administrative Law & Human Rights
Fleur Ward, Fleur Ward & Partners

Rogers Legal Writing Award
Chris Molnar

President’s Award
John Finlayson, Erskine Rodan AM, Dr Simon Smith

Certificates of Service
Rob Bradley
Michael Butler
Rosslyn Curnow Nolch
Patrick Doyle
Charles Englander
David Goldberg
Naomi Guyett
Elizabeth Harris
Henri Kauthen
Fiona Mullen
Anne Nielsen
Reynah Tang
Penelope Van den Berg
Jenny Young
Antoinette Austin
David Davis
Cate Dealehr
Celina Roth
Anna Brown
Erik Dober
Ralph Glezer
Tony Greenaway
Julian McDonald
Michael Scully
Fiona Spencer

For further information regarding this media release please contact the
LIV Media Department

T: 03 9607 9373

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