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14th Victorian Legal Awards Winners (2018)

Access to Justice Award

AED Legal Centre

AED Legal Centre was established in 2008 by the Association of Employees with Disability Inc. for the purpose of championing the employment rights of people with disability. Easily accessible by public and private transport, this state-wide Centre provides specialist legal services to Victorians who experience difficulties or discrimination in education or employment on account of their disability. Through a combination of information, education, individual advocacy, legal representation and systemic projects, the Centre seeks to overcome the disadvantages experienced by its clients, giving them access to the justice system.

Emma Dunlevie, Russell Kennedy Lawyers

Emma manages RK's Pro Bono practice alongside her commercial practice. She has built innovative partnerships with the CLC sector, and has been a key contributor to coordination efforts in the refugee sector at a time of critical legal need. She has managed the ASRC/RK legal clinic for asylum seekers, strategic refugee and citizenship litigation, and chairs the Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minor Consortium. Emma’s leadership has resulted in many hundreds of vulnerable people receiving legal assistance. Emma holds an LLB(Hons)/BA(Politics)(Hons), Master of Development Studies (Uppsala) and Master of Public Policy and Management (Melb).

Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

Kristina Antoniades, KHQ Lawyers

Kristina is a Special Counsel with KHQ Lawyers, an Accredited Family Law Specialist, an accredited mediator and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. She’s empathetic to her clients’ needs and works collaboratively with other professionals to achieve the best possible outcome for them. Her expertise includes complex parenting and property matters, Binding Financial Agreements, Child Support Agreements, and LGBTI family law matters. She has presented seminars on various topics, such as family violence and surrogacy. Kristina co-facilitates the Prospective Lesbian Parents Association and hosts the JOY Law segment on JOY 94.9. Her dedication and expertise are highly valued by her clients.

Community Lawyer or Organisation of the Year Award

Karen (Kaz) Gurney, Goulburn Valley CLC

Kaz first worked as a lawyer in the Criminal Law stream with Fitzroy Legal Service before becoming the Senior FLS Lawyer at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. Then followed a short stint as Acting Principal before moving to Shepparton to commence the GVCLC service where she embedded therapeutic practice as a whole-of-organisation philosophy. She has grown the team from just two to seven staff including a lawyer and Indigenous paralegal working for the Aboriginal community in a health-justice partnership at the Rumbalara ACCHO. Kaz now lives in Kialla with her dog and aeroplane.

Deal of the Year Award

Madgwicks Lawyers - Emeco, Orionstone and Andy's Earthmovers merge in $686 million deal

Madgwicks acted for Andy’s Earthmovers and its shareholders in the AUD$686 million merger and debt restructure of Emeco Holdings Limited, Orionstone Holdings and Andy's.

Madgwicks’ team, led by Restructuring and Litigation Partner John Caridakis and Corporate Partners Peter Hammond and Ed Browne, dealt with a diverse number of complex corporate issues including restructuring documentation, equity exchanges, arrangements with financiers (including stand still and facility reorganisation), schemes of arrangement, PPSA, fleet fair market valuations, and amended and restated documents to reflect the revised transaction arrangements.

The deal is considered unique within the market as it required the cooperation of the creditors and shareholders of all three companies. The merger involved eight firms in five countries and included a cross-border component involving a restructure of New York law governed bonds issued by Emeco Holdings Limited. The end result saw a combination of equity and new debt in the merged business.

Government Lawyer of the Year Award

Phoebe Nicholas, Fair Work Ombudsman

Phoebe is a Principal Lawyer at the Fair Work Ombudsman. She conducts civil penalty litigation under the Fair Work Act 2009 and advises on the FWO’s wider strategic enforcement activities. Phoebe manages a team of specialist lawyers to support their clients, and has lead the legal team involved in some of the FWO’s most significant regulatory outcomes, including the 7-Eleven Inquiry, associated franchisee litigations and the Proactive Compliance Deeds with 7-Eleven and Woolworths, as well as significant harvest trail and false records litigation. Prior to joining the FWO in 2010, Phoebe commenced her career as a prosecutor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

In-House Counsel of the Year Award

Katerina Paras, illion

Katerina is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer with a background of working in-house and with leading private practice firms. Katerina is a real commercial generalist with a versatile skill set that includes commercial contracts, intellectual property, IT, telecommunications and privacy, employment, construction, property and litigation. During her career to date, Katerina has worked across many industries including logistics, technology, government, rail, data privacy and financial services.

Innovation Award– Sponsored by PEXA

Settify

Settify is a legal technology firm, specialising in sophisticated artificially intelligent systems that help lawyers to attract and on-board new clients. Launched in February 2017, Settify’s Family Law system has been adopted by over 75 firms nationwide, bringing in new matters with total asset pools worth $3bn. The ground-breaking system has now been adapted for Wills and Estates, and is available for firms wishing to innovate, attract new clients and dramatically improve efficiency.

Boutique Law Firm of the Year Award

Sharrock Pitman Legal

As lawyers in Melbourne for more than 50 years, Sharrock Pitman Legal are a boutique, commercial law practice, serving the legal needs of business people and those in the ‘not for profit’ sector, as well as the wider community. The team enjoy a vibrant workplace culture, providing clients with memorable service and innovative, practical, proactive and strategic solutions. Ancillary services include a quarterly business club, public presentations on legal and business related topics, a mediation service, and free help for start-up enterprises, together with active support of community organisations.

Medium Law Firm of the Year Award – Sponsored by LodgeX

MST Lawyers

MST Lawyers is a dynamic, mid-tier law firm of over 70 lawyers and support staff. The firm was founded in the 1950s and has evolved into a progressive, commercial and private client legal practice based in Mount Waverley. Clients include individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses, small to medium sized enterprises, national and international corporations. Publicly listed corporations, national retail and franchise groups, many of whom are household names throughout Australia and internationally also feature prominently. MST Lawyers specialise in Corporate Advisory, Franchising, Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Family, Conveyancing, Property and Leasing, Employment, Wills and Estates Law.

Large Law Firm of the Year Award

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Maurice Blackburn is Australia’s leading social justice law firm. We use social justice to drive innovation in the way we work. A Workplace Gender Equality Employer of Choice in 2018, we’re ‘All in’: embracing our diverse and inclusive culture, and we have similar expectations of our clients and those with whom we work. We have a proud history of fighting for the rights of everyday Australians via personal injury compensation, class actions, superannuation and insurance claims, Wills and estates law, employment law and social justice matters that benefit the community.

Law Student of the Year Award

Erin Ritchie, Deakin University

Erin Ritchie is a Bachelor Laws/ Arts student at Deakin University. A high-achieving student, she has held a diverse range of roles including President of Deakin Law Students’ Society, Deakin Law School Advisory Board member and Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) conference convenor. In 2017, Erin competed in three major negotiation competitions – including runner-up in the grand final of the ALSA Negotiation competition. With a portfolio of practical legal experience, Erin has undertaken study programs in the US, UK and a member of Deakin’s 2018 Vis Moot team, receiving an honourable mention for best speaker in Hong Kong.

Legal Reporting Award

Chris Merritt, The Australian

Chris Merritt is legal affairs editor for The Australian, and is responsible for the paper’s Friday legal affairs section. Until he joined The Australian in 2005 and launched its legal affairs section he had been legal affairs editor for The Australian Financial Review after launching that paper’s legal affairs section in 1997. He holds an honours degree in law from UTS and was admitted to the Bar of the NSW Supreme Court in 1994 but has never practised.

Mentor of the Year Award

Liberty Sanger, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Leadership and mentoring go hand-in-hand for Liberty Sanger. She is a Principal and Board director of Maurice Blackburn, and National Head of the Personal Injury Division. Liberty is a qualified LIV Personal Injury Accredited Specialist, Chair of Maurice Blackburn’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, and also Chair of the Victorian Government’s Equal Workplaces Advisory Council. Liberty has mentored many people in the law and further afield throughout her career. She is passionate about helping people realise their potential and leading change to remove structural barriers preventing or frustrating their advancement.

Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

Tom Burgoyne, Slater and Gordon

Tom has handled some of his region’s most significant cases. In doing so, he has highlighted the need for legislative change where he has seen inequity, deficiency or anomaly in the law. Tom’s article “Cyclists Beware” was published in the January/February edition of the Law Institute Journal. An innovator, Tom sourced and relied upon computer-generated 3D surgical animations from overseas, in what is considered a first for a Victorian Supreme Court personal injury Jury trial. Tom has been recognised by the LIV TAC Committee for his work in authoring and co-authoring various papers on automated vehicles. Tom previously headed up Slater and Gordon’s motor vehicle accidents practice in Geelong and will be heading up the Geelong Team of Fortitude Legal.

Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

Timothy Robinson, Robinson Gill Lawyers

Tim is a founding member of the firm and has been a principal for over 35 years. He has held Specialist Accreditation in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Family Law for over 25 years and has a special interest in civil actions against police. He is a former member of the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria, a former President of the Eastern Suburbs Law Association and a former Trustee of the Law Aid Trust. In addition he spent 25 years on the VFL Tribunal.

Rising Star of the Year Award – Sponsored by Lex Medicus

Demetrio Zema, Law Squared

Demetrio is the founder and director of Law Squared, a commercial law and litigation firm focussed on working with entrepreneurs and high growth businesses. Since its launch in March 2016, Law Squared has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with a team of 18 across those cities. Demetrio is an accomplished entrepreneur and lawyer having worked with many corporates, SMEs, entrepreneurs and ASX listed companies. Named “Australia’s most innovative law firm”, Law Squared takes an entrepreneurial approach to the provision of legal services.

Paul Baker Award

Chelsea Clark, Victoria Legal Aid

Chelsea Clark is currently acting in the role of Program Manager of the Migration Program within the Civil Justice Program at Victoria Legal Aid. She has been working as a senior lawyer in the Migration Program since 2009. Her legal practice is focused on providing refugee law advice, casework, and advocacy services to asylum seekers, with a particular focus on judicial review in the Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court of Australia. Chelsea has been instrumental in developing and co-ordinating VLA’s response to the introduction of the Fast Track Review Process, and was the instructing lawyer in the Full Federal Court matter of Minister for Immigration v AMA16, and the High Court matter of Plaintiff M174/16.

Rogers Legal Writing Award (2018)

Winner: Katie Minogue, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, “Into the future: The Ultimate Joy Ride”, February 2017  LIJ

When it comes to driverless cars and the law, few people know more on the topic than Katie Minogue. She has written articles for legal and industry publications, spoken at conferences across the country and appeared before the House of Representatives on the topic. The Senior Associate and leader of Maurice Blackburn’s Traralgon office oversees 17 legal and support staff providing legal services to injured clients across the Gippsland region. Katie is a former member of the LIV Transport Accident Committee, an LIV personal injury Accredited Specialist and a recommended lawyer in Doyles Guide.

Highly Commended: 

  • Caroline Jones, Arnold Bloch Leibler, “Bits and Blocks”, September LIJ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who were the 2017 winners?

    Access to Justice Award

    Legacy Caseload Working Group

    The legacy caseload refers to a group of about 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat but whose claims for protection haven’t been processed. Changes to legislation make it more difficult for people to have their claims heard and to receive legal assistance. There are about 11,000 asylum seekers living in Victoria. The Legacy Caseload Working Group was initiated by the LIV in 2015 to explore options for responding to the unmet legal need arising from the “fast track” process and to ensure a coordinated response in providing legal assistance.

    Group members:

    • Kate Browne
    • David Burke
    • Melinda Jackson
    • Alexandra Jannetto
    • Charlie Powles
    • Tina Turner

    Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

    Mark Albert Maier, McNab McNab & Starke Lawyers

    Mark is a director of McNab McNab & Starke and heads up its practices in deceased estate litigation and complex wills. He has a long history in risk management training for will making, estate administration and litigation. He has been published in the Law Institute Journal and has presented for the Institute and other organisations on estate and risk management issues. Between 2005 and 2016, he was a member of the committee preparing the examination criteria for LIV specialist accreditation in wills and estates, the last eight years spent as chair.

    Community Lawyer or Organisation of the Year Award

    Linda Gyorki, Inner Melbourne Community Legal

    Linda manages Inner Melbourne Community Legal’s Health-Justice Partnerships with the Royal Women’s, Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals which see free legal services provided to patients. Vulnerable members of the community are more likely to have legal problems and less likely to know where to turn for legal advice. People are almost twice as likely to turn to a trusted health and welfare professional for legal advice than to a lawyer. By embedding free legal services in major metropolitan hospitals, Linda and her organisation aim to improve access to justice for those most vulnerable in the community.

    Deal of the Year Award

    Port of Melbourne lease transaction, MinterEllison

    The Victorian Government's sale of a lease of Port of Melbourne, Australia's largest container port, is one of the largest and most complex infrastructure deals of its kind. With a record price tag of $9.7 billion, it represents one of Australia's largest ever infrastructure deals and is one of the largest transactions in the Asia Pacific in 2016. MinterEllison acted as the Victorian Government's legal adviser on this marquee transaction, working closely with the Department of Treasury and Finance over more than two years to bring the asset to the market.

    Government Lawyer of the Year Award

    Kara Miller, Sustainability Victoria

    Kara is the general counsel at Sustainability Victoria, a Victorian government agency. She is responsible for governance, contract management, procurement, grants, compliance and legal issues, as well as advising on and contributing to commercial and strategic issues. Kara started her career in commercial litigation, specialising in insolvency and intellectual property. She previously worked at Minter Ellison and ran the University of Queensland Student Legal Service. Kara also worked as an arts producer and presenter for 20 years, including at the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Kara has been a finalist for the Government Lawyer of the Year Award for the Association of Corporate Counsel (2015) and Lawyers Weekly (2017).

    In-House Counsel of the Year Award

    Agata Jarbin, State Trustees

    Agata heads the State Trustees in-house legal team. Her technical knowledge and commercially astute advice have contributed to the success of the organisation. She prides herself on delivering exceptional customer service through understanding and anticipating client needs. In her own time, Agata chairs the ERHMA Board and is passionate about advocating for disability services and creating a community that better services those with special needs. Agata was previously a partner of King & Wood Mallesons.

    Innovation Award

    Settify

    Settify provides client engagement web apps to support traditional legal practices. Settify allows clients and potential clients to get started on their matter in their own time, and in their own space. The technology is easily connected to a firm’s existing website and uses artificial intelligence to guide the client’s initial inquiries in a conversational manner, leading them into their first consultation. Settify has been adopted by more than 20 firms nationwide since going live in January, and has delivered those firms over $165 million worth of legal disputes.

    Boutique Law Firm of the Year Award (<5 Principals)

    Beck Legal

    Based in Bendigo, Beck Legal is committed to its goals of collaboration, innovation and expertise. Recognising that staff are the most important asset of their business, the firm's focus is on empowering their people to take ownership of their careers and to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the firm. Currently overseeing the final stages of construction of state-of-the-art offices at View Street, Bendigo aligns with the firm's commitment to provide new digital-age legal services to the Bendigo business community both now and into the future.

    Medium Law Firm of the Year Award (6–19 Principals)

    Colin Biggers & Paisley

    Colin Biggers & Paisley was founded over a century ago. Today it is a legal practice with 68 partners and 430 staff. They are highly regarded for their expertise in construction, insurance, property, government, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, employment and safety, planning and environment, restructuring and insolvency, and transport and logistics. They act for major corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, government departments and individuals. They have both the capacity and the expertise to deliver on complex national and multinational projects.

    Large Law Firm of the Year Award (>20 Principals) – Sponsored By Pexa

    MinterEllison

    MinterEllison is one of Asia Pacific's leading law firms. Their firm operates in Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Mongolia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom through a network of integrated and associated offices. MinterEllison's large and diverse client base includes blue-chip public and private companies, leading multinationals operating in Australia and overseas, global financial institutions, government organisations and state-owned entities. They have been involved in some of the Asia Pacific's most innovative and high-profile transactions.

    Law Student of the Year Award

    Colleen Chen Melbourne Law School Student

    Colleen is an advocate, researcher and student at Melbourne Law School. Co-founding Interns Australia in 2013, she has driven public awareness and advocated for law reform to protect interns, helping to put unpaid work on the national agenda. Colleen has presented on employment, youth and diversity issues in Australia and abroad, including presenting her research to the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. She is an advisory board member of several youth and labour relations organisations, and the 2015 recipient of the Commonwealth Government's National Youth Employment Award. 

    Legal Reporting Award

    Bianca Hall, The Age

    Bianca is the deputy editor of federal politics at Fairfax and a former legal affairs reporter.

    Mentor of the Year Award – Sponsored by South Yarra BMW

    Rebecca Dickson, Melbourne Airport

    Rebecca is the dedicated lawyer for the team that will deliver a new runway at Melbourne Airport. She is the president of the National Association of Women in Construction's Vic/Tas Chapter and a director on the Board of the Society of Construction Law Australia. In this capacity, Rebecca co-chairs the Young Constructors Committee and manages the delivery of the SoCLA mentoring program. Rebecca has mentored university students (working in and outside the construction industry) and lawyers developing their legal careers.

    Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

    Claire Barrance, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

    Claire was born and bred in Gippsland, and is now a personal injuries associate in Maurice Blackburn's Traralgon office, where she represents local people involved in road accidents. Claire is a dedicated member of her local legal and broader community who believes the geographical area where a client resides should not inhibit their access to quality legal representation.

    Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

    Canda Glanville, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

    Canda is a principal and regional office leader of Maurice Blackburn's Frankston office. She is a highly accomplished road accident and workplace injury lawyer, and an LIV accredited specialist. Canda is committed to demonstrating professional excellence and ensuring injured clients have quality legal representation and access to justice in their local community. She is also passionate about promoting the benefits of pursuing a legal career in suburban areas. Canda has a special interest in the health and wellbeing of lawyers and exploring innovative solutions for those who practise law away from the city.

    Top 10 Rising Stars – Sponsored by Lex Medicus

    Winner: Kot Monoah, Slater and Gordon

    Kot is a personal injury lawyer at Slater Gordon. He is also the chairman of the South Sudanese Community Association in Victoria. He arrived in Australia 13 years ago as a refugee. Since then, he has learned Aussie Rules Football and is now enjoying live games. He is an amateur soccer player in the Vic Soccer League and occasionally tries to be the “little Messi”, though his age is giving up on him. Kot does a lot of work with various not-for-profit organisations and with government departments.

    Runner up: Demetrio Zema, Law Squared

    Demetrio practises in commercial law and commercial litigation. An accomplished entrepreneur and lawyer having worked with many corporates, SMEs, entrepreneurs and ASX companies, Demetrio is focused on achieving outcomes and success for his clients. As founder and director of Law Squared, which launched in March 2016, Demetrio leads a team of 10 across three offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Demetrio is leading the #newlaw wave disrupting the traditional law firm model with Law Squared gaining recognition as Australia leading "new-gen" law firm.

    Paul Baker Award

    Carina Ford, Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers

    Carina is the managing partner of Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers, one of Victoria's largest migration law practices. Carina has a strong commitment to promoting access to justice and procedural fairness in this area, the education and development of lawyers who practise in this area, migration law reform, and pro bono work and initiatives. She sits on and has chaired several Law Institute of Victoria committees and has recently been appointed the Law Council of Australia deputy chair of the Migration Committee.

    President's Award

    BottledSnail Productions

    Honorary Life Membership

    Derry Davine

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Fabian Horton, "Law, technology and new ethics" June 2016 LIJ

    Fabian is a lecturer at The College of Law Victoria. He is the foundation chairperson of the LIV Technology and the Law Committee and in conjunction with his PhD research on how technology affects the law, he presents widely on issues such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and law apps. Fabian operates his own private virtual law firm, ConnectLaw and he has advised both government and non-government organisations on many aspects of technology and its impact on the law.

    Highly Commended: As below

    • Jonathan Kaplan, “Ready Set Go”, April 2016 LIJ  
    • Adele Katzew, “Transforming lives” November 2016 LIJ          
    • Roshaan Raina, “Revenge porn: is it time for a statutory privacy tort?” November 2016 LIJ
  • Who were the 2016 winners?

    President’s Award

    John Finlayson

    Fitzroy Legal Service Principal, John Finlayson Lawyers John’s practice encompasses several areas of law, including family law, wills and probate, conveyancing and leases, contract law, bankruptcy, VCAT disputes and employment law. A strong advocate for access to justice, John founded the Fitzroy Legal Service, North Frankston Legal Service (Peninsular CLC) and Victorian Youth Advocacy Network. He has previously been awarded the Rosemary Spence Memorial Award for Innovation in Youth Work.

    Erskine Rodan OAM

    Nunawading Legal Service Partner, Erskine Rodan & Associates Erskine is an LIV accredited specialist in immigration law and administrative law. During his 40 years of practice, he has excelled as a lawyer in his contribution to the legal profession, as a human rights activist and as a businessman. He was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia in 2009, the HREOC Law Award 2003 (Highly Commended), the Paul Baker Award in 2007 and he is an honorary life member of the LIV. Erskine is also a member of the Migration Law Committee.

    Dr Simon Smith

    Springvale/Monash Legal Service Adjunct Professor, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre Victoria University

    Dr Smith is a leading legal history scholar with a focus on legal history, insurance history and clinical legal education. His work has included overseeing the research and publication of an authorised history of the Supreme Court to mark the 175th anniversary of that court in Victoria. As a Monash law undergraduate in the 1970s, he helped found Australia’s first community legal centre, the Springvale Legal Service.

    Access to Justice Award

    Alexandra Wilson

    Partner, Lethbridges Barristers & Solicitors

    Alex began working at Lethbridges Barristers and Solicitors as a paralegal while completing her Law degree in 2004. She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Music with outstanding results in criminal law, federal criminal law and intellectual property. Alex was admitted to practice after completing her professional legal training at the College of Law. She has wide-ranging experience in criminal law including complex frauds and major drug prosecutions to Magistrates’ Court summary criminal matters.

    Veronica Haccou

    Principal, Nevin Lenne Gross

    Veronica was admitted to practice in New South Wales and has been with NLG for 10 years, where she was made principal in 2013. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation matters. She serves on the board of Reprieve Australia, an anti-death penalty organisation, and she was recently appointed by the Australasian Lawyers Surfing Association Inc as a mentor for the children’s mentoring program, supporting the East Bali Poverty Project.

    Robert Kumar

    Retired Deputy Chief Magistrate

    His Honour Robert Kumar was appointed coordinating magistrate for the Hume Region in 1992 and was responsible for bringing more innovative practices to Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court, including a trial of the Criminal Contest Mention system, which is now a fundamental part of the Victorian justice system. He was also involved in establishing the Koori Court as part of the Magistrates’ Court in Victoria and played a key role in the court-annexed mediation program called the “Broadmeadows Pilot”. Throughout his many years of service to the professio, His Honour built a reputation for making the community’s interaction with the Victorian justice system a positive and helpful experience.

    Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

    Kathy Wilson

    Principal, Aitken Partners

    Kathy is an LIV accredited specialist in wills and estates, a qualified trust and estate practitioner, and an accredited mediator. She has a background in property law, commercial litigation and succession law with more than 20 years’ experience advising in wills and succession planning, complex probate applications, asset structuring, and the resolution of disputes in wills, property, estates and guardianship matters. Kathy has a keen interest in promoting legal education and regularly speaks at professional and community events with a particular focus on practical skills and advice.

    Community Lawyer / Organisation of the Year Award

    Lucy Adams

    Justice Connect

    Lucy manages an integrated legal practice for Victorians experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Homeless Law works with pro bono lawyers and two in-house social workers to prevent evictions into homelessness and reduce the negative impact of the law on people experiencing homelessness. They practise in tenancy and eviction prevention, fines and infringements, credit and debt, and guardianship and administration. Lucy was made a Churchill Fellow in 2013 and is part of the LIV Human Rights and Charter Committee.

    Emma Smallwood

    Women’s Legal Service Victoria

    Emma is a family lawyer at the Women’s Legal Service Victoria, a not-for-profit organisation that has been providing free legal services to women for more than 30 years. Within that organisation, she is also the project manager for the Stepping Stones Project to assist women experiencing family violence and financial hardship. Emma was a finalist for the Young Gun of the Year award at the 2015 Women in Law Awards.

    Deal of the Year Award, BHP Billiton Demerger of South3

    Herbert Smith Freehills

    Known for their excellence around the globe, Herbert Smith Freehills advises many top local and international organisations on complex transactions and matters. Their Melbourne office opened in 1853 and is the oldest office in its network. They strive to provide fulfilling careers for all of their staff and are advocates for diversity, as well as promoters of healthy and successful workplace relations. Their teams contribute hundreds of hours to helping the community through pro bono work, volunteering and charity organisations.

    BHP Billiton’s $11 billion demerger of South32 Ltd was the largest demerger in Australian corporate history. The demerger was extremely complex, as a result of the dual listed structure of BHP Billiton, the fact that 10 fully-integrated businesses within BHP Billiton operating in five countries needed to be separated to form South32 and that South32 would ultimately list on three stock exchanges. The transaction was of significant strategic importance to BHP Billiton and struck at the very core of the company’s strategy of simplifying its operations to concentrate on large, long-life mining assets across “five pillars” of strategically important commodities.

    Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award

    Sanmati Verma

    Senior Lawyer, Clothier Anderson Immigration Lawyers

    Sanmati practises in immigration and refugee law, with a focus on complex immigration matters. She was the co-founder and coordinator of the International Student Legal Advice Clinic (with Western Suburbs Legal Service) and was nominated for the John Gibson AM Young Migration Lawyer of the Year Award in both 2014 and 2015. She was the chair of the LIV Refugee Law Reform Committee in 2014 and is part of the LIV Legacy Caseload Working Group.

    Government Lawyer of the Year Award

    Jodie Burns

    Senior Legal Counsel, Coroners Court of Victoria

    Jodie’s practice focuses on coronial and criminal law and WorkSafe investigations. As senior legal counsel, she was involved in implementing a new structure for the Coroners Court of Victoria (CCOV), helping to deliver a more efficient and effective court for the Victorian community. Among other notable accomplishments, Jodie assisted Judge Gray to bring the inquests of Luke Batty and Gregory Anderson to hearing within eight months. She is an active member of the CCOV’s Operational Executive Group.

    Law Firm of the Year Award (Fewer than 20 partners)

    Hive Legal

    Hive Legal is a contemporary corporate commercial law firm delivering innovative legal solutions that improve the experience for its clients and team. The firm provides clients with fixed, value pricing (rather than time based pricing), increased access to experienced senior lawyers, flexible supporting legal resources and forward thinking innovative technology solutions. For its staff, Hive Legal provides a truly virtual and flexible workplace, access to sustainable careers and great work in a collaborative, innovation-rich environment.

    Law Firm of the Year Award (20 partners or more)

    Clayton Utz

    Clayton Utz is a leader in legal services in Australia, both commercial and pro bono. The firm has had a presence in Melbourne for more than 30 years and today has 32 partners and more than 200 employees based in Victoria. It is active in the community through partnerships with organisations such as FareShare, Fitted for Work and Ardoch Youth Foundation. In 2015 the firm was proudly named an inaugural Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Clayton Utz also marked the milestone of 500,000 hours of  pro bono legal services since they formalised its pro bono practice in 1997 – the most pro bono hours performed by any law firm outside the US.

    Mentor of the Year Award

    Dominique Saunders

    Principal, Saunders Legal

    Dominique is a previous winner of the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award for service in administrative law and human rights, and has also won the Australian Women Lawyers/Women Barristers Association Award for general excellence in government law. She practises in health law, ethics, human rights, disability and discrimination law. Dominique started a peer mentor group involving nearly 10 young lawyers and she is part of the LIV Administrative Law and Human Rights Section.

    Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

    Danny Frigerio

    Principal and Regional Office Leader, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

    Danny is an LIV accredited specialist in personal injury law practising in all areas of injury litigation, particularly workers’ compensation, TAC and public liability. In 2003 he established the WorkCover practice in the firm’s Sunshine office and in 2010 he opened the Wangaratta office. He also sees clients in the firm’s visiting offices in Wodonga, Shepparton and Bendigo. Danny is president of the North East Law Association and a member of the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

    Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

    Maria Rigoli

    Principal Lawyer, Rigoli Lawyers

    Maria is an LIV accredited specialist in family law and part of the LIV Family Law Section. Her areas of practice include complex family law property disputes, deceased estate disputes, superannuation death benefits and inheritance disputes. Drawing on more than two decades of legal practice experience, Maria founded Rigoli Lawyers in 2003 to provide a more modern and practical approach to the delivery of legal services.

    Paul Baker Award

    Fleur Ward

    Principal, Fleur Ward & Partners

    Fleur is an LIV accredited specialist in children’s law and practises principally in this area. She received an LIV Certificate of Service in last year’s Law Institute of Victoria Awards ceremony. Fleur has just earned a Masters of Mental Health Science (Child Psychotherapy) from Monash University. She is the chair of the LIV Children & Youth Issues Committee and a member of the Family Law Executive and Children’s Law Specialisation Advisory Committee.

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Chris Molnar

    Partner, McKean Park Lawyers

    Chris is an LIV accredited specialist in workplace relations, using his extensive experience and qualifications to advise clients on employment law, harassment, discrimination, industrial relations and workplace health and safety. He is a long standing member of the LIV Workplace Relations Section, having also served as its Chair for two years. In 2009, Chris was awarded the LIV President’s Award for his significant contribution to the workplace relations Specialisation Scheme, including in his role as inaugural Chair of the advisory committee. He regularly writes for legal and industry journals, and presents at professional development and industry forums.

    For his article, “Eliminating mental health hazards”, published on p27 of the LIJ’s September issue (89.9). Chris is an LIV accredited specialist in workplace relations, using his extensive experience and qualifications to advise clients on employment law, harassment, discrimination, industrial relations and workplace health and safety. He is a longstanding member of the LIV Workplace Relations Section, having also served as its chair for two years. In 2009 Chris was awarded the LIV President’s Award for his significant contribution to the Workplace Relations Specialisation Scheme, including in his role as inaugural chair of the advisory committee. He regularly writes for legal and industry journals, and presents at professional development and industry forums.

    Honorary Life Membership

    Mark Woods

    Solicitor, Tyler Tipping & Woods

  • Who were the 2015 winners?

    President’s Honorary Award

    Findlay McRae, Victoria Police

    Findlay has been the Director of Legal Services for Victoria Police since 2006. He has been instrumental in implementing reforms in summary jurisdiction, focused on early disclosure and resolution of matters that have benefited both Victoria Police and the community. He has made significant contributions to Royal Commissions, Inquiries and major litigation. Among many other accomplishments, Findlay oversaw the police response and contributed to government coordination during and after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. He was also instrumental in initiating the biannual Police National Heads of Legal Conference for the police legal advisers from Australia and New Zealand.
     

    Access to Justice / Pro Bono Award

    Antoinette Braybrook, Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria

    ABORIGINAL FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND LEGAL SERVICE VICTORIA

    Antoinette has been the CEO of the FVPLS Victoria since its establishment in 2002. In that time, she has grown the staff size from one to more than 30 people statewide and expanded the organisation to four office locations. As an Aboriginal woman, Antoinette has been a powerful advocate for access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, particularly victims of family violence, both in Victoria and on a national scale.


    Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

    Sam Eichenbaum, Rigby Cooke Lawyers

    RIGBY COOKE LAWYERS

    Before becoming a partner at Rigby Cooke, Sam was a principal at M+K Lawyers and became the national head of the workplace relations practice in 2011. He is an Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations and chairman of the Workplace Relations Specialisation Advisory Committee at the LIV. An expert in industrial agreements, employment matters, dispute resolution, negotiation and protection of employee rights, he has acted on behalf of several organisations at the Fair Work Commission and in the Courts.


    Community Lawyer/Organisation of the Year Award

    Elsie Stokie, Barwon Community Legal Service

    BARWON COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE

    Elsie established the Geelong  Community Legal Service (now  Barwon Community Legal  Service) after becoming its first  employee in 1986, and  advocated for its further funding  and expansion. She co-authored  the innovative Family Law Booklet – a plain English  document for the benefit of the community that  inspired similar subsequent publications. Among  many other tireless accomplishments, Elsie worked  on a number of group actions, and was a lead  litigator on behalf of consumers against the credit practices of Waltons Stores in the 1980s and ’90s.  


    Deal of the Year Award: Joint Winners

    Medibank IPO, King & Wood Mallesons

    In 2014 KWM advised government-owned health insurer, Medibank, on its high profile privatisation. At almost A$5.7 billion, the listing is the second largest IPO in Australian history. Several Melbourne partners and senior associates worked on the significant deal, which closed in late November 2014. KWM’s appointment as advisers to Medibank followed the firm’s important role on the initial scoping study, which included consideration of the method and timing of the sale.


    Deal of the Year Award: Joint Winners

    Medibank Private Privatisation, Herbert Smith Freehills

    The privatisation of Australia’s health insurance provider, Medibank Private, was one of the largest and most high profile transactions globally in 2014 (including being the third largest global IPO of that year). Herbert Smith Freehills advised the Commonwealth Department of Finance on the scoping study regarding the possible sale of Medibank and assisted with the complex initial public offer.


    Government Lawyer of the Year

    Skye Rose, Victoria Legal Aid

    VICTORIA LEGAL AID

    Skye is a senior lawyer in the VLA Equality Law Program. She is known for taking on challenging cases that require specialist knowledge. One of her greatest achievements in the past year involved a case alleging that a major health service provider discriminated against a woman because she was Muslim. Through strategic advocacy, Skye was able to resolve the matter for her client despite many obstacles. The health service provider will now prioritise requests for same-gender care because of religious beliefs, cultural concerns and past trauma, changing the way that health services are delivered in Victoria.


    Law Firm of the Year Award (less than 50 partners)

    Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

    Founded almost 100 years ago in 1919, Maurice Blackburn has emerged as a highly successful example of how a law firm can evolve to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century client, while remaining true to its founding principles. The firm’s commitment to social justice principles is unwavering and is evidenced by its support of cases with social and legal significance. Equally telling is the firm’s impressive growth and continuing success across the plaintiff law spectrum.


    Law Firm of the Year Award (more than 50 partners) - Sponsored by American Express® Platinum Reserve Credit Card

    Clayton Utz

    Clayton Utz possesses a strong presence in Victoria, with 33 partners and more than 250 employees located in its Melbourne office. Clayton Utz has built a reputation over many years for professional excellence in legal practice. As leaders in social responsibility, in FY2015 the firm will reach the milestone of 500,000 hours of pro bono work since this division was established in 1997 – the most pro bono hours conducted by any firm in Australia, and any outside of the United States.


    Mentor of the Year Award

    Russell Cocks

    INDEPENDENT LEGAL CONSULTANT

    Russell Cocks is a household name as a leading expert in property law. He has contributed hundreds of hours as a presenter, consultant, adviser and mentor through the LIV and other institutions all over the country. His once self-published 1001 Conveyancing Answers is now featured online through Smokeball, and his texts and journal articles have been read by thousands of practitioners and students throughout Australia. His importance to the legal profession and contribution to the practices of Victorian lawyers cannot be understated.


    Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

    John Sullivan, Sullivan Braham Pty Ltd

    SULLIVAN BRAHAM PTY LTD

    John has extensive experience appearing before the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Children’s Court and has instructed counsel in various criminal trials and appeals. He is a respected member of the legal profession, highly regarded in the Gippsland community for his involvement in Victoria Legal Aid and tireless advocacy on behalf of the Koori and Aboriginal communities. John works to create a vibrant learning environment for graduates and new solicitors within his firm, devoting hours to mentoring and training his practitioners.


    Rising Star of the Year Award - Sponsored by American Express® Gold Credit Card

    Linda Rayment, Nicholes Family Lawyers

    NICHOLES FAMILY LAWYERS

    Since being admitted to practice in 2011, Linda has actively participated in many committees and organisations that champion human rights, driving change for some of the most marginalised groups of society. In 2014 Linda co-founded the Human Trafficking Taskforce for Lawyers in an effort to assist victims of the sex trade and to help eliminate human trafficking in Australia. In addition to all of her volunteering work and commitment to social justice, she has shown great passion and determination as an associate with Nicholes Family Lawyers.


    Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

    Phillip Allen, Allen & Macaulay

    ALLEN & MACAULAY

    Phillip was admitted to practice in 1969. He was the secretary of the Southern Solicitors Group from 1988–1991, the president from 1994–1996 and the treasurer in 1991 and continuing. He became a member of the Suburban Law Association Committee (SLAC) in 1989. He is responsible for convening 24 annual Southern Solicitors Group Conferences and five International Conferences of the Group in Bali. The conferences permit members to de-stress, socialise and gain CPD points. He mentors younger lawyers in an unofficial capacity and provides valuable guidance to support the next generation.

     

    Paul Baker Award

    Kerin Leonard, Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

    VICTORIAN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

    Kerin has held a variety of senior positions in the Australian and Victorian governments. She uses her platform to fight for human rights by keeping the government accountable to its obligations and improving the way public authorities operate through Charter compliance reviews. While her efforts have seen Victoria become more progressive with regard to human rights law, Kerin has also used her knowledge and passion to work with international partners on missions in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

    The Administrative Law and Human Rights Section established the Paul Baker Award in 1998 to honour Paul Baker, the former chair of the Section and a passionate lawyer. It recognises the significant achievement or outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of administrative or human rights law. The winner is selected by the Executive Committee of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section and receives a $1000 cash prize.


    Rogers Legal Writing Award: Joint Winners

    Louise Fairbairn, Forte Family Lawyers

    FORTE FAMILY LAWYERS

    Louise is an associate at Forte Family Lawyers and is experienced in the areas of international taxation, commercial law and family law. She also speaks and reads German. At the LIV, she is a member of the Social Committee of the Young Lawyers’ Section as well as the Social Media Taskforce, and is a part of various committees with Victorian Women Lawyers. Louise is currently studying her Masters of Law at the University of Melbourne.


    Rogers Legal Writing Award: Joint Winners

    Evelyn Young, Forte Family Lawyers

    The joint winners of the Rogers Legal Writing Award are Louise Fairbairn and Evelyn Young, who co-wrote the article, “Netiquette in Aladdin’s cave”, published on p42 of the LIJ’s March 2014 issue (88.03).

    FORTE FAMILY LAWYERS

    Evelyn has practised exclusively as a family lawyer since her admission to practice. She is a member of the Social Media Taskforce of the LIV, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and Victorian Women Lawyers. She has co-written a number of articles in the areas of social media, family law, surrogacy and bankruptcy.

     

    Certificates of Service awarded to the following recipients

    • Noel Jackling
    • Glen Ludbrook, Central Highlands Community Legal Centre
    • Sue Macgregor, Macgregor Barristers & Solicitors
    • Michaela Moloney, K&L Gates
    • Ian Morrison, William Murray
    • Sam Norton, Robert Stary Lawyers
    • Bruce Pippett, Bruce Pippett Legal Consultant
    • Fleur Ward, Fleur Ward & Partners
    • Kathleen Wilson, Aitken Partners
    • Mark Yorston, Wisewould Mahony Lawyers
  • Who were the 2014 winners?

    President’s Honorary Award

    Steven Stevens

    Steve was for many years a taxation partner in the Melbourne office of what was then Freehills, where he specialised in state taxes and the taxation of financial services. But the reserve umpire got back up and refereed the rest of the game and Steve went off to university to study economics. He spent 12 years as a public sector economist for the State and Federal governments but during this time he continued to feel the pull of the law, originally sparked by a visit to a jury trial on a school excursion when he was 12. He was president of the LIV in 2010 and now, in his so-called retirement, is a member of the Legal Services Board and is on the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Victorian Government’s State Taxes Consultative Council.

    Steve’s work is always done in a self-effacing manner, and at all times he acknowledges the work of others. With great intelligence and quiet perseverance, Steve gets the job done and he was an obvious choice as the recipient of the 2014 Law Institute of Victoria President’s Honorary Award.

    Access to Justice / Pro Bono Award

    Cate Dealehr, The Australian Costing Group

    Cate Dealehr has been a lawyer for 30 years. She commenced her legal career at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s office with secondments at the DPP and Parliamentary Counsel’s office before becoming a legal advisor to the Chief Commissioner of Police. Since 1990, Cate has been a costs lawyer, having established the Australian Legal Costing Group (ALCG) formerly known as Compucost. In 2010, Cate become one of Victoria’s first accredited specialists in costs law and has been at the forefront in the difficult field of costs disputes.

    Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

    Tim McFarlane, McFarlane Legal

    Tim McFarlane became an Accredited Specialist with the LIV in Alternate Dispute Resolution in1993. Tim practised in commercial litigation for 16 years prior to developing a specialty in mediation. He was Chairman of the Mediation Advisory Committee for 12 years and is currently a member of the national Mediator Standards Board. Tim now conducts a firm with two other lawyers which practises exclusively in mediation.

    Community Lawyer/Organisation of the Year Award

    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

    On 8 June 2001 the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre opened its doors in a tiny shop front in Footscray with only a few hundred dollars and a few boxes of food to their name. They have now grown to be Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation. They are a multi-award winning, independent and non-federal government funded human rights organisation, and work at the coalface assisting some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.

    Deal of the Year Award

    Refinancing of the Desalination Plant, King & Wood Mallesons

    This complex deal involved the implementation of a new documentary structure (incorporating an intercreditor regime allowing for future tranches of non-bank debt alongside the new bank facilities and hedge counterparties) while retaining the existing project document and security structure (which KWM originally advised on in 2009). The deal was significant as it also involved the settlement of $1.3 billion in outstanding claims between the State, AquaSure (the project company) and the D&C contractor (a joint venture between Thiess and Degrémont).

    Law Firm of the Year Award

    Herbert Smith Freehills

    Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the world’s leading law firms, with an extensive global network providing local insights. They are a single integrated partnership and advise many of world’s leading corporations and governments in a broad range of commercial, finance and dispute resolution work. They strive to provide fulfilling careers for our partners and staff and give back to the community through extensive pro bono activities.

    Mentor of the Year Award

    Jennifer Batrouney QC, Barrister

    Jennifer is a highly respected advocate and advisor in tax, commercial, administrative and superannuation law. She is a director of the Law Council of Australia, a member of the Victorian Bar Council and Vice President of the Tax Bar Association. She is also a director of the Australian Charity Law Association, a Councilor of The Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne and was the President of Australian Women Lawyers in 2003-4.

    Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

    Keith Richards, Martin Irwin & Richards Lawyers (Mildura, North West Law Association)

    Keith has practised in Mildura since 1971, predominantly in civil and commercial litigation. He was a sessional Member of VCAT for 10 years from 2002. Currently Keith is a mediator for the Victorian Small Business Commissioner. In 2008, he was the recipient of LIV Certificate of Service in recognition of significant contribution to the legal profession, while in 2009 he was awarded Order of Australia Medal for service to children and young people in the Sunraysia region.

    Rising Star of the Year Award

    Bianca Janovic, Herbert Smith Freehills

    Bianca was admitted in 2011 and is a gazetted mediator. She has diverse experience in dispute resolution, employee relations, corporate governance and probono work, with a focus on complex commercial litigation. Bianca co-chairs Herbert Smith Freehills’ LGBT Network and volunteers with the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, where she offers advocacy and a caring nature to some of our community’s most vulnerable members.

    Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

    Antonella Terranova, Castra Legal Costing (Greensborough, North East Law Association)

    Antonella is both a Director and Lawyer of Castra Legal Costing Pty Ltd. Prior to setting up her own legal practice, she worked exclusively in the area of personal injury litigation for more than 12 years, spending the first six years working in two top tier plaintiff law practices obtaining compensation for hundreds of clients in all aspects of their claims. The other six years were spent practicing personal injury litigation for a personal injury insurer, The Transport Accident Commission. Antonella expanded her career to practise exclusively in the area of legal costing in 2010 and in that same year was nominated and elected President of the Northern Suburbs Law Association.

    The Paul Baker Award

    Professor John Tobin, Melbourne Law School

    Professor Tobin specialises in human rights law and has been a Visiting Professor at Queens University Belfast, New York University, New York and the American University, Washington. In 2010 he was awarded the Barbara Falk Award for Teaching Excellence by the University of Melbourne and in 2011 he was awarded a national citation for outstanding contribution to student learning in the area of human rights. He has provided training on human rights with a special emphasis on children’s rights on behalf of the Judicial College of Victoria, County Court of Victoria, Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Victoria Police, Human Rights Law Centre, Law Institute of Victoria, Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and numerous NGOs. He is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Children’s Law Accredited Specialisation Advisory Committee and the Principal Examiner for this specialisation.

    The Administrative Law and Human Rights Section established the Paul Baker Award in 1998 to honour Paul Baker, the former chair of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section who was a passionate lawyer. It recognises the significant achievement or outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of administrative or human rights law. The winner is selected by the Executive Committee of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section and receives a $1000 cash prize.

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Kelvin Tam, Partner at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers

    Article: "How Victoria can add value in Asia", December 2013 LIJ.

    The Rogers Legal Writing Award commemorates Peter Rogers’ contribution to the legal profession and is awarded to the most outstanding contribution to the LIJ for the previous financial year. The winning contribution is selected by the LIV’s Editorial Committee and the LIJ editor. The committee also presents a “highly commended” acknowledgement. The winner will receive a $1200 cash prize and the author who has been highly commended will receive a $500 cash prize.

  • Who were the 2013 winners?

    President’s Honorary Award

    The Honourable Bernard Teague AO

    The first practising solicitor in the state to be appointed a Supreme Court judge and two-time LIV President (1978 and 1986), Mr Teague has handled more than 90 murder trials, is on the Parole Board helping out doing interviews with parolees and mentors members of the judiciary and at the University of Melbourne.

    He is chairman of the Council of Legal Education Board of Examiner’s and chair of the LIV’s new Wellbeing and the Law Foundation (WATL). To top it off he is also on the board of Eastern Palliative Care and does ongoing work with state and national fire authorities in addition to being a volunteer fireman with the Daylesford Fire Brigade.

    Access to Justice Award

    Sophie Delaney, Victoria Legal Aid

    Admitted in 1995, Sophie Delaney is a Senior Lawyer in the Mental Health and Disability Program of VLA's Civil Justice Service. Prior to nearly four years at VLA, she worked for 13 years at the Mental Health Legal Centre in policy, legal and coordination roles.

    Ms Delaney has volunteered with the Eastern CLC, Tenants Union and Disability Discrimination Legal Service, and has been published significantly on mental health law. Ms Delaney is a long term member of the LIV Disability Law Committee and instructed in the infringements law changing Taha case.

    Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

    Lorna Gelbert, Madgwicks

    Lorna Gelbert is a Property Partner at Madgwicks. With more than 35 years’ property experience (initially as law clerk), she advises private clients and property trusts in a number of states on buying, selling and developing commercial property (including aged care facilities and retirement villages), leasing for landlords and tenants and general property matters.

    Ms Gelbert chairs the LIV Property and Tenancy Specialisation Committee. She is past chair of Women's Legal Service Victoria and Family Law Legal Service and, until recently, served on the board of Places Victoria.

    Community Lawyer/Organisation of the Year Award

    Shelley Burchfield, Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre

    Admitted to practice in 1989, Shelley Burchfield has worked and volunteered in community legal centres for more than 20 years.

    She is currently engaged as a solicitor with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre with a focus on law and policy related to prisons/corrections, family violence, access to justice for Aboriginal women, and refugee/asylum seeker issues.

    Government Lawyer of the Year Award

    Louise Johnson, Department of Health

    Louise Johnson is engaged as the director of Legal Services for the Department of Health. She is responsible for in-house legal advice and legislative services for the portfolios of Health, Mental Health and Aged Care.

    Ms Johnson has been in this role since July 2010. Prior to this she held similar roles in the Department of Human Services and the then Department of Sustainability and Environment. Before this she worked in state and federal government departments and statutory bodies as a government lawyer.

    Law Firm of the Year Award

    Justitia

    Justitia is a leading employment, discrimination and labour relations law firm. Working only with employers, Justitia delivers workplace advisory and litigation services throughout Australia.

    As well as specialist legal advice, Justitia has a wealth of experience in misconduct investigations, OHS prosecutions, alternative methods of workplace conflict resolution and the provision of in-house training. Justitia provides practical solutions in complex workplaces for clients including other law firms, corporates, government, regulators and not-for-profit organisations.

    Mentor of the Year Award

    Victor Harcourt, Russell Kennedy

    Victor Harcourt is a Partner, Practice Group Leader of the Public Law, Litigation and Aged Care team, and head of the pro bono program at Russell Kennedy. Admitted in 1989, he has been at his firm for more than 20 years.

    His team provides specialist legal services to the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments as well as clients in the Health and Aged Care sectors. He was named in the 2012 and 2013 Best Lawyers in Australia list for health and aged care law.

    Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

    Dianne Hadden, Dianne Hadden Solicitor (Ballarat, Ballarat & District Law Association)

    Admitted to practice in 1985, Dianne Hadden is the Principal and sole practitioner of Dianne Hadden, Lawyer of Ballarat and Dimboola. Ms Hadden is also a Court Advocate in the Magistrates and County Courts and advises clients on a range of legal issues such as criminal law, family and de facto law, children’s matters, conveyancing, wills and estate disputes.

    Since 1989 she has been a Volunteer Lawyer with the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre, Ballarat.

    Rising Star of the Year Award

    Claire Kowarsky, Kelly Hazell Quill Lawyers

    Claire Kowarsky is lawyer with Kelly Hazell Quill Lawyers (admitted October 2011). Working across the commercial, marketing law, litigation and workplace relations teams, she is currently putting her skills to use in a six-month secondment to Lonely Planet. Outside work, she has volunteered with the Western Suburbs Legal Service since 2009.

    She works directly with clients from her local community, and is also the elected deputy chair of the committee of management. Ms Kowarsky balances paid work and pro bono commitments with her top priority – being a mum.

    Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

    Celina Roth, Celina Roth Solicitors (Brighton, Southern Lawyers Group)

    Admitted to practice in 1976, Celina Roth works as a sole practitioner specialising in property, commercial law, body corporate, wills and probate.

    She has been President of the Southern Solicitors Group since 2007. Ms Roth works to actively raise awareness in the profession of mental health, stress issues, mentoring, reputation of the profession – especially of the small practitioner, diversity, tolerance and human rights, Women’s equality, leadership and a life free from violence.

    The Paul Baker Award

    Kylie Pearce, Scholarship Student, Master of Laws (Juris Doctor)

    Kylie has undertaken a variety of human rights internships and volunteer positions over the course of full time study. In 2012 Kylie was selected to participate in the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Global Internship Program, which is offered to outstanding Monash Law students considered to be the human rights leaders of tomorrow.

    Kylie has also interned with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the Public Interest Law Clearing House, PLAN International and Amnesty International. 

    The Paul Baker Award recognises the significant achievement or outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of administrative or human rights law. The winner is selected by the Executive Committee of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section and receives a $1000 cash prize.

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Joh Kirby, VLF Executive Director and Lawyer

    Article: ‘Plain language a commercial edge?’ in the August 2012 edition of the LIJ

    The Rogers Legal Writing Award commemorates Peter Rogers’ contribution to the legal profession and is awarded to the most outstanding contribution to the LIJ for the previous financial year.

    The winning contribution is selected by the LIV’s Editorial Committee and the LIJ editor. The committee also presents a “highly commended” acknowledgement. The winner will receive a $1200 cash prize and the author who has been highly commended will receive a $500 cash prize.

  • Who were the 2009 winners?

    Access to Justice category

    Mary Anne Noone- West Heildelberg Community Legal Service

    Accredited Specialist category

    Chris Molner - McKean Park

    Community Lawyer category

    Brendan Sydes - Environment Defenders Office

    Government Lawyer category

    John Scala - Australian Government Solicitor

    Green Inititative of the Year category

    Julie Fraser - Australian Government Solicitor Environment Group

    Legal Ethics category

    Peter Rashleigh - D.L.A Phillips Fox

    Managing Partner of the Year category

    Anthony MacVean - Hall & Wilcox

    Pro Bono Category

    Jane Good - Brand Partners Commercial Lawyers

    Regional Lawyer category

    James Tait - Tait Leishman Taylor Lawyers

    Certificates of Service

    • Katherine Navarro - VicRoads
    • Joanne Knight
    • Eric Dyrenfurth - State Revenue Office

    50 Years in Legal Practice

    • Douglas Alexander
    • John Barlow - Birch Ross & Barlow
    • Simon Begg
    • John Bloom - Nunan & Bloom
    • Paul Brotchie
    • Robert Constable
    • William Freeman
    • Francis O'Loughlin - Baird & McGregor Pty Ltd
    • Noel Purcell
    • Domenic Segafredo - Felthams
    • Dalton Tillyard - Donaldson Trumble Lawyers Pty Ltd
    • Barrie Williams

    Paul Baker Prize - Administrative Law & Human Rights

    Debbie Mortimer SC

    Roger's Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Julia Avis & Emma Cahill

    Highly Commended: Myles Tehan & Ben Jellis

    Bushfire Legal Help Recognition Awards

    Individuals:

    • Karen Bowley
    • Flora Culpan
    • Robert Frajsman
    • Rachna Muddagouni
    • Michael Smith
    • Daniel Taylor
    • Suzi Hormis
    • Tony D'Aquino
    • Camille Woodward
    • Caroline Ratcliffe-Jones
    • Michael Wighton
    • Joel Townsend
    • Peter Noble
    • Mark Woods
    • Emma Aldersea

     

    Organisations:

    • Victorian Legal Aid 
    • Victorian Law Foundation
    • Victorian Bar
    • Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH)
    • The Federation of Community Legal Centres
    • University of Ballarat
    • The Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC)
    • Law Instutite of Victoria 
     
  • Who were the 2008 winners?

    Access to Justice category

    Gabriel Kuek - Acesss Law

    Accredited Specialist category

    David Brett - McKean Park

    Community Lawyer category

    Peter Noble - Loddon Campapse Community Legal Centre

    Government Lawyer category

    Mary Scalzo - Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

    Legal Ethics category

    Adrian Evans - Monash University

    Pro Bono category

    Ken Gray - Baker & McKenzie

    Regional Lawyer category

    John Irwin - Martin Irwin & Richards

    General category

    Andrew Goddard - Goddard Elliot

    Mentor category

    Grenville Skewes - Maddens Lawyers

    New Lawyer category

    Marika Dias - Western Suburbs Legal Service

    Certificates of Service

    • Stella Stuthridge - Stella Stuthridge & Associates
    • Michael McNamara - McNamaras Lawyers
    • Keith Richards - Martin Irwin & Richards
    • Peter Jacobs - Peter Jacobs Barrister & Solicitor

    Honorary Life Membership

    David Faram - Faram Ritchie Davies 

    50 Years in Legal Practice

    • Rodney Ryan - Mal Ryan & Glen
    • Richard Hyett - Richard Hyett
    • Marjory Coates - Rigby Cooke
    • Milan Kantor - Milan Kantor
    • Bruce Wainwright - Bruce Wainwright
    • Imants Dizgalvis - Kahns Lawyers
    • Ewen Cameron - Redmond & Cameron
    • William Blair - McKean Park Lawyers
    • Jane Jordan - Jane C. Jordan
    • Geoffrey Chambers
    • Michael Kelly - Michael Kelly & Co.

    Paul Baker Prize - Administrative Law & Human Rights

    Professor Tim McCormack - University of Melbourne

    Roger's Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Jason Newman - TressCox

    Highly Commended: Oscar Roos - Deakin University 

  • Who were the 2007 winners?

    President’s Honourary Award

    Brendan Keilar - Norton Gledhill Commercial Lawyers

    Access to Justice Award

    Cecilia Riebl - Blake Dawson Waldron

    Accredited Specialists Award

    Annemarie Lanteri - Glezer Lanteri & Associates Pty Ltd

    Community Lawyers’ Award

    Kristen Hilton - Public Interest Clearing House

    Government Lawyers’ Award

    Sue Nolan - Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

    Legal Ethics Award

    Jason Newman - Tresscox

    Pro Bono Award

    Nieva Connell - Hunt & Hunt

    Regional Lawyer’s Award

    Judith Meagher - Deakin University (Geelong)

    Certificate of Service

    • Geoffrey Bonsall - Maeve O’Brien & Associates
    • Vin Sier - Adams Maguire Sier
    • The late Robert Dobson - Dobsons Lawyers
    • Janie Gardiner
    • Donald O’Halloran
    • John Rutherford

    Paul Baker Prize - ALHR

    Erskin Rodan - Erskin Rodan & Associates

    Honourary Life Membership

    Erskin Rodan - Erskin Rodan & Associates

    50 years of LIV Membership

    • William Cleland - White Cleland
    • Geoffrey Dawson - FRE Dawson & Son
    • Ian Townsend - Doolan Kemp & Townsend
    • Alexander Koltay - Koltay & Myers
    • George Cattermole - Taylor & Whitty
    • Brian Smyth - BR Smyth
    • Peter Shattock - Aitkin, Walker & Strachan
    • Patrick Cannon - Cannon, Cannon, Coburn & Associates
    • Gregory Gray
    • Aubrey Schrader

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Emilios Kyrou - Mallesons Stephen Jaques

    Highly commended: Sarah Nicholes - Nicholes Family Lawyers

  • Who were the 2006 winners?

    Access to Justice Award

    Vanessa Bleyer - Coadys

    Accredited Specialists Award

    Michael Regos - Phillips Fox

    Community Lawyers’ Award

    David Manne - Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre

    General Award

    David Brahe - Garland Hawthorn & Brahe

    Legal Ethics Award

    Richard Fleming - Deacons

    New Lawyers’ Award

    Catherine Dwyer - Wisewoulds

    Pro Bono Award

    Brain Walters SC - Victorian Bar

    Regional Lawyers’ Award

    Richard Dwyer - Dwyer & Willett

    Certificate of Service

    • Philip Grano - Office of the Public Advocate
    • Kevin Power - Victorian WorkCover Authority
    • Michael Regos - Phillips Fox
    • Bill Impey - Kennedy Wisewoulds
    • Ken Gray - Arnold Bloch Leibler
    • Geoff Park - McKean & Park Lawyers
    • George Stogdale - Middletons Lawyers
    • Brian Jacomb - Brian F. Jacomb & Associates
    • Frank Brody - Mallesons Stephen Jaques
    • Chris Furrell - Victorian Bar

    50 years of LIV Membership

    • Ian Campbell - Warren Graham & Murphy
    • John Hewison - J. T. C. Hewison
    • Tadeusz Irlicht - Irlicht & Broberg
    • Sydney Powell - S. B. Powell & Co.
    • Patricia Strachan - Kell Moore Solicitors Pty. Ltd.

    Paul Baker Prize - ALHR

    David Manne - Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Michael O’Brien - Victorian Bar

    Winner: James Richardson - Gadens Lawyers

    Highly commended: Reynah Tang - Corrs Chambers Westgarth

  • Who were the 2005 winners?

    Access to Justice Award

    Alexandra Richards QC - Victorian Bar

    Accredited Specialists Award

    Rose Lockie - Gadens

    Community Lawyers’ Award

    Gary Sullivan - West Heidelberg Community Legal Service

    General Award

    Lillian Conney - Maurice Blackburn Cashman

    Government Lawyers’ Award

    (Edward) John Butler - Department of Justice

    Legal Ethics Award

    Huan Walker - Wisewoulds

    New Lawyers’ Award

    Philip Lynch - PILCH

    Pro Bono Award

    Professor Tim McCormack - University of Melbourne

    Regional Lawyers’ Award

    Kim Bainbridge - Garden & Green

    Certificate of Service

    • Mick Batskos - FOI Solutions
    • Paul Dellios - Dellios West & Co
    • Murray McCutcheon - Hunt & Hunt Lawyers
    • John Rantino - Maddocks Lawyers
    • Dr Clyde Elliott Croft SC - Vctorian Bar
    • Julianne Wantrup - Wantrup & Associates
    • Keith A Harvey - Ambry Legal
    • Paul Matthew Davine - Kevine Davine & Sons
    • David Fawell - Cuthberts Barristers and Solicitors
    • William McGregor - Baird & McGregor
    • Kirsten Mander - TXU Australia
    • Rose Lockie - Gadens

    Honourary Life Membership

    Roger Batrouney

    50 years of LIV Membership

    • Brian Bayston - McCracken & McCracken
    • Euan McBain - Garland Hawthorn Brahe
    • Francis Carew - W Carew & Associates
    • Lancelot Woodhouse - Lancelot G Woodhouse
    • Jeffrey Kiddle - JS Kiddle
    • Francis Moorhead - Francis Moorhead

    Paul Baker Prize – ALHR

    Robert Stary - Robert Stary & Associates

    Rogers Legal Writing Award

    Winner: Russell Cocks - Deakin University

    Highly commended: Lara Ruddle - Middletons

    Highly commended: Sally Nicholes - Kennedy Wisewoulds