2016 Award Winners

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

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.

Certificates of Service

  • Antoinette Austin
    Costs Lawyer, Slater & Gordon
  • Rob Bradley
    Principal, Aitken Partners
  • Anna Brown
    Director, Human Rights Law Centre
  • Michael Butler
    Principal, HR Worklaw
  • Rosslyn Curnow Nolch
    Principal, Rosslyn Nolch Solicitors
  • David Davis
    Principal, David Davis & Associates
  • Cate Dealehr
    Principal, The Australian Legal Costing Group
  • Erik Dober
    Solicitor, Department of Justice and Regulation
  • Patrick Doyle
    Solicitor, TP Legal & Associates
  • Charles Englander
    General Counsel & Company Secretary, AWTA Ltd
  • Ralph Glezer
    Director, Glezer Lanteri & Associates
  • David Goldberg
    General Counsel, Peninsula Health
  • Tony Greenaway
    Partner, Gadens
  • Naomi Guyett
    Senior Associate, Lorraine Jones & Associates
  • Elizabeth Harris
    Director, Harris Cost Lawyers
  • Henri Kauthen
    Principal, Kauthen legal
  • Julian McDonald
    Director, Westminster Lawyers
  • Fiona Mullen
    Senior Costs Lawyer, The Australian Legal Costing Group
  • Anne Nielson 
    Accredited Property law Specialist, Recently Retired from Russell Kennedy
  • Celina Roth
    Principal, Celina Roth Lawyer
  • Michael Scully
    Consultant, Bazzani Scully Priddle Lawyers
  • Fiona Spencer
    Barrister, Greens List Vic Bar
  • Reynah Tang
    Partner, Johnson Winter & Slattery Lawyers
  • Penelope Van den Berg
    Director, Mahlab Costing Pty Ltd
  • Jenny Young
    Principal, Jenny Young Costing Lawyers Pty Ltd

2014 Award 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.

2013 Award 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.