DLA Piper NZ names first female head

The new country managing partner aims to build on the firm's international connections

DLA Piper NZ names first female head
Laura Scampion

DLA Piper has named partner Laura Scampion as the new country manager of its New Zealand arm – the first woman to take the reins in the role.

“Laura has made a major contribution to DLA Piper since she joined us in 2011. She became a partner in March 2015, which coincided with the New Zealand firm integrating with DLA Piper,” outgoing country managing partner Martin Wiseman explained. “Her work in diversity and inclusion, employment law, the rapidly evolving area of health and safety, and in advising boards on business ethics has been hugely influential.”

Scampion was the first partner elected after the integration, and heads up the firm’s New Zealand employment team. She has taken on a number of leadership and governance positions at DLA Piper, having served as a New Zealand board member, co-chair of New Zealand’s diversity and inclusion steering committee, lead of New Zealand’s Head Start Programme, member of the Asia Pacific Diversity and Inclusion Council and Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Group and former trustee of the Global Scholarship Programme.

Earlier this year, she was named among NZ Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers, and was also included in the first-ever batch of Top Diverse Board-Ready Directors by the Superdiversity Institute and the Ministry for Ethnic Communities.

“I am really excited by the opportunity to lead the New Zealand team and build on Martin’s legacy of work in growing DLA Piper in New Zealand. We are a law firm like no other in this country. That’s a big responsibility,” Scampion said. “We’ll continue to strengthen connections with DLA Piper teams across the globe and tap into sector trends and thought leadership across the US, Asia Pacific and EMEA regions.  Having such significant global reach is a competitive advantage in New Zealand.”

She shared the firm’s plans to expand its services to clients.

“We’re continuing our radical change journey with the introduction of our Law& solutions. This is the DLA Piper platform for new, often digital, solutions beyond traditional legal services – like litigation funding, integrated M&A advisory, digital asset tokenisation, AI that detects anti-competitive business practices, sustainability and ESG advisory services and more,” Scampion explained. “All these products and services are available in New Zealand with DLA Piper. Expanding the services we offer beyond legal services and providing innovative solutions for our clients is a real priority for us.”

DLA Piper managing director – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Charles Severs welcomed Scampion’s appointment.

“We are looking forward to Laura driving our new Law& solutions and sustainability and ESG commitments as we continue to change the traditional law firm model and culture. She is well respected internationally for her efforts in leading on diversity and inclusion and in progressing opportunities for diverse practitioners to join and advance their careers with DLA Piper,” he said. “Laura has made a considerable impact since joining DLA Piper. She will bring a fresh perspective to leading the firm at a time of significant challenge and opportunity to businesses in New Zealand and around the world.”

Severs also praised Wiseman’s contributions during his tenure at the helm, which included playing a role in the New Zealand office’s integration with the DLA Piper’s global network. Wiseman will remain a full-time corporate partner with the firm, as well as chair of the Starship Foundation.

Scampion steps into the New Zealand country managing partner role on 1 January. She will juggle her new role with her responsibility as employment practice head.

“My vision is to keep building on what we have by bringing all of this new thinking to life in New Zealand. I can’t wait to get started,” she said.

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