Five minutes with…Daniel Arapere, DLA Phillips Fox

DLA Phillips Fox’s new property partner Daniel Arapere chats to NZ Lawyer about the challenges and opportunities that arise from globalisation, and pollen allergies

DLA Phillips Fox’s new property partner Daniel Arapere chats to NZ Lawyer about the challenges and opportunities that arise from globalisation, and pollen allergies
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
When I started at University I was working towards getting qualified as a Phys Ed teacher.  Part way through those studies I realised I would be better suited to a career with more intellectual challenges and less interaction with uncooperative high school students.  I chose law for a few different reasons, but predominantly due to the admiration I have for my uncle who is a lawyer.

How long have you worked at DLA Phillips Fox and what brought you to that position?
I was based in the Auckland office of DLA for one and a half years and recently moved to our Wellington office to lead the Property team.  The reasons I was attracted to DLA are the high calibre people, impressive client base, reputation for pragmatic business advice and close alliance with global law firm DLA Piper.  Prior to DLA, I worked at Baker & McKenzie in Sydney for 6 years and Russell McVeagh in Auckland for 5 years. 

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
Property law doesn't get that strange.  

 If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
  • Astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, to answer my many and varied questions about the cosmos. 
  • Comedian, Eddie Izzard, to do some stand-up and, in particular, his "Death Star Canteen" routine. 
  • Guitar legend and musical genius, Jimi Hendrix, for an after dinner jam session.
You’re based in Wellington – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
I'm new to Wellington so don't know all the good spots, but so far I can vouch for a drink after work at Arbitrageur and dinner at Charley Noble.  

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
"Law is a marathon, not a sprint.  Pace yourself." Seems to apply to so many things I have encountered in the practice of law. 

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Nothing like model trains or orchid cultivation (the hobbies of certain former colleagues). Much of my spare time is spent running around after my two young daughters and feeling concerned about my teenage daughter.  When I get a chance, I like to ride my bike and play touch football and indoor netball. 

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Living in the far north driving a tractor for my father-in-law’s haymaking business.  If only I wasn’t so allergic to grass and pollen...

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2014?
The challenges and opportunities that arise from globalisation and the growing influence of international markets and off-shore investment on NZ.  Like everyone else, lawyers and law firms must be prepared to improvise and adapt to remain competitive.

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
I would try to make it the day he is scheduled to be at his plush holiday home in Hawaii or playing golf with Barack Obama.  I'm not suited to politics.

What do you love about your job?
I get to interact with a wide variety people from different backgrounds who all push themselves to achieve their goals.  I get a lot of satisfaction from getting great results for my clients and being an integral part of achieving their vision.  Helping people get out of sticky situations and being part of a high performing team is also great.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I'll need to get back to you on this one, just need to check the 100 new emails that arrived in my inbox overnight…

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