Australian women take lead in this year’s Women in Law Awards

For her innovative approach to reducing attrition and financial growth, Sue Kench, KWM managing partner, was recognised as Executive of the Year. During this year’s Women in Law Awards, international firms were strongly represented with King & Wood Mallesons winning both the executive award and the dealmaker. As a matter of fact, one judge was heard saying that the initiatives from Ms Kench were seen to be creating a workplace that is more like a “centre of excellence” and less like a “traditional law firm,” where development and learning is highly valued.

On the other hand, Yuen-Yee Cho received the Dealmaker of the Year Award in the M&A, area hence making it another big win for King & Wood Mallesons. According to the judges, Ms Cho was found to be an “original and innovative thinker” and a “first-class dealmaker” with strong team skills. “I love the adrenaline of deals,” said Ms Cho while speaking with Aussie Lawyer Blog. “The kinds of deals we do gives our team a big buzz since they are usually quite unique in a market setting,” added Ms Cho. Given that she ultimately settled on her work on the Velocity Frequent Flyer spin-out/Virgin Australia Airlines, Ms Cho said that it was a difficult choice amongst many picking her own top deal of the year.

Claire Forster from Norton Rose Fulbright was awarded the Special Counsel of the Year title. “With the Indigenous and with homeless communities, it is very impressive to see a busy commercial lawyer also dedicated time to pro bono projects,” commented one judge. Also, Colleen Platford from Gilbert&Tobin was given the Partner of the Year award which is usually presented by e-law International and it is considered one of the most competitive categories. Ms Platford is now the most senior female litigation partner at Gilbert & Tobin since she was one of the first two women partners appointed at the firm in 1995. Currently, Ms Platford is exploring the tax deductibility of child care costs for all women and she has been a pioneer of flexible working arrangements at Gilbert & Tobin.

In addition, Ms Platford has undertook significant amounts of pro bono work and she has also participated fully as the firm’s lead partner on a number of complex and large dispute resolution cases in the past years. One judge also said that in the past year, Ms Platford has been able to achieve excellent outcomes for her clients since her dispute resolution work in the past year has been of high quality standard.

Written by Joseph Craig

Joseph Craig is a writer, blogger, legal researcher and best-selling author of dozens of technology, law, digital marketing and self-development books and courses. You can contact him at josephcraigwrites@gmail.com

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