Highlight: Serious competition characterised the individual winners at the Australasian Law Awards

Top legal talent were neck and neck in the major categories for individual lawyer awards

Highlight: Serious competition characterised the individual winners at the Australasian Law Awards

At last month’s Australasian Law Awards, there was serious competition among lawyers in the categories concentrating on individual lawyers.

Leading corporate law stars battled it out to determine the SP Search & Consulting Australian Dealmaker of the Year, including Maddocks’ Catherine Merity; Gilbert + Tobin’s (G+T) Costas Condoleon and Rachael Bassil; DLA Piper’s Grant Koch; Allens’ Guy Alexander and Tom Story; MinterEllison’s Jeremy Blackshaw; and Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) Rebecca Maslen-Stannage and Tony Damian.

In the end, it was Damian who came out on top for his work on three of 2021’s biggest M&A deals while juggling non-billable and community contributions with publishing a textbook.

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Regal Lawyers’ Mannie Kaur Verma bested high-calibre nominees from Johnson Winter & Slattery, Proximity, Allens, Baker McKenzie, HSF and Sparke Helmore to be crowned Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (30 or under).

“Establishment of the non-profit organisation is a wonderful extra-curricular accomplishment which, on top of the excellent accomplishments achieved in the office, made this application really stand out,” judges explained.

Kelli Martin took it home for KLM Solicitors as she was announced the 2022 Law Firm Leader of the Year (<200 employees) in a finalist group that included Banton Group’s Amanda Banton, Elit Lawyers by McGirr & Snell’s Danielle Snell, Harmers Workplace Lawyers’ Michael Harmer, Carter Newell’s Paul Hopkins and Proximity’s Zoe Lynam.

“Whilst growing her suburban practices, Kelli has demonstrated to her employees, clients and the community her commitment to making the world a fairer and more equitable place to live particularly for women,” judges said.

Tony Macvean of Hall & Wilcox led the pack in the SP Search & Consulting Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 employees) category, beating out Baker McKenzie’s Anthony Foley, Clayton Utz’s Bruce Cooper, Shine Lawyers’ Clare Eves, G+T’s Danny Gilbert, Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Gavin MacLaren, GadensMark Pistilli and HSF’s Maslen-Stannage.

“Tony is an inspirational leader and a custodian of culture – his commitment to people and wellbeing is an example to all law firm leaders,” judges said.

The winners of the 2022 Australasian Law Awards were announced on 19 May.

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