Young UNSW Law alumni who are achieving big things at the start of their career have been acknowledged at the annual Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.
Six UNSW alumni were recognised as the best up-and-coming young talent in the legal field across 30 categories at the annual awards which celebrate the finest young lawyers Australia's legal profession has to offer.
Now in its eighth year, the industry awards night is described by event organisers as a catalyst for career progression and showcases young lawyers' passion for the law, professional performance and leadership capabilities.
Typically a highly-anticipated black-tie gala event, the awards were a little different this year, held virtually via live broadcast. However the format didn't seem to affect the turnout, with around 850 registrations for the virtual ballroom broadcast, bringing the glitz and glamour to the home.
“30 Under 30 looks a bit different this year, but the goal of it remains the same – and that is to recognise the amazing, outstanding achievements of young lawyers right across Australia,” Lawyer's Weekly editor Emma Ryan says.
Tomoyuki Hachigo, the co-founder of online law firm, Sprintlaw, won the commercial category. The innovative legal startup aims to provide more affordable quality legal services faster and simpler for small businesses.
Finalists who highlighted a clear breakdown of their innovative approach to matters they've advised on, who displayed strong initiative and leadership capabilities through these matters, and pro bono work was also highly regarded.
“I get a lot of motivation from being part of this changing industry and I'd like to continue contributing to more innovation in our field,” Mr Hachigo says.
Susan Flynn, Pro Bono Coordinator at Clayton Utz, took out the pro bono category amongst a pool of finalists who were commended for displaying not only a commitment to the legal profession but also for their impact on those in need.
“I am particularly proud of our assistance to people experiencing – or at risk of – homelessness in over 60 eviction prevention and infringement matters,” Ms Flynn says.
David Frew, Senior Associate at Wotton + Kearney, won the insurance category for demonstrating an impressive track record and commitment to clients and managing large volumes of claims containing complex insurance issues. The finalists in this category showed their dedication to exceed expectations in their quantity and quality of work.
“If you think by your actions you can make the world a better place, do it,” Mr Frew says.
Helena Papapostolou, Associate at Greenwoods + Herbert Smith Freehills, took home the prize for taxation. Finalists were commended for excelling within their workplace and on projects, as well as maintaining excellent client relationships.
“My biggest achievement is in the pride and fulfilment of being accepted as a member of a successful team of trusted advisers [and] to be involved in complex, career-defining transactions in a profession I am passionate about,” Ms Papapostolou says.
Kevin Shum, Associate at Baker McKenzie, won the award in the insolvency category. Finalists in the insolvency category displayed high levels of dedication and ability to negotiate in complex and detailed matters and were recognised for achieving favourable outcomes for their clients while displaying vast expertise and a strong level of professionalism.
Amy Zhang, Executive Counsel & Team Leader at Harmers Workplace Lawyers, was a finalist in five categories, and took out the category for Workplace Health and Safety for exceptional commitment to the workplace and their practice area.
UNSW Law was gold partner for the event. Dean of UNSW Law Professor George Williams and Dr Katherine Kemp presented the Health and Medical award and the Technology award, respectively, on the night from the comforts of home.
Professor Williams commended Lawyers Weekly for pivoting to an online awards ceremony.
“During these uncertain times [it] is important that we acknowledge and recognise the success of our young professionals working in the legal industry. This year's finalists have demonstrated extraordinary commitment, and we are honoured to continue putting a spotlight on and support their contributions and achievements through these awards,” Professor Williams says.
In total, 27 UNSW Law alumni finalists and one student finalist were among the nation's best young lawyers nominated.
Construction and Infrastructure:
Planning and Environment:
Banking and Finance:
Workplace Health and Safety:
Employment and Workplace Relations:
Sports and Entertainment:
Community Legal Centre Lawyer:
Corporate Counsel (large business):
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Lee Anne Yeo
Health and Medical:
A full list of 30 Under 30 Award winners is available at Lawyers Weekly.