The architectural beauty that is Te Pae, nestled next to the Avon river, was a warm and welcoming venue for the gathering of the “lawyers on the inside”, which is a rough translation of “Ngā Rōia ā Roto”, the Māori name of ILANZ.

The conference theme for 2022 was ‘Whakapuāwai - Flourish’. Keynote speakers Craig Hudson, Dr Paul Wood, and Dame Sophie Pascoe all addressed this theme, each speaking from their own experiences, and sharing their lessons and expertise.  

Seminars ranged from developing specialist topics such as Climate Change Disclosures and the upcoming Modern Slavery law, to broader in-house legal topics such as “The role Tikanga plays in the way lawyers interpret/apply law”, and “Delegate using data not drama”. Topics such as “A note to my younger in-house self: how to fly rather than float” addressed career development. In fitting with the theme of the conference, time was also dedicated to discussing wellbeing, with topics such as “Flourishing as an In-house Lawyer - Out of the Quicksand”, “Connecting the dots between Mood and Food”, and an open ‘unconference’ discussion on flexible working.  

Juno Legal’s team members in attendance enjoyed meeting new colleagues from around the motu, and catching up with old friends. After chatting and meeting on Teams for a couple of years, Aucklanders, Wellingtonians and Cantabrians enjoyed connecting in person, some for the first time!

Below are a few key quotes that stood out to me, which I will be reflecting on for a while (with apologies to the speakers if I have misquoted them): 

“Am I present? Am I open? Am I doing what matters?
– Dr Paul Wood, psychologist 

“General Counsels need to give permission to their teams to drop perfectionism.
– Sarah Thorner Crossley, Senior Legal Advisor, Zespri International 

“Winners are losers who give it one more try”; and “Showing vulnerability is integrity.” 
 Dame Sophie Pascoe, eleven-time Paralympic gold medallist 

The Gala Dinner closing off the conference was themed “The Secret Garden”, where Juno Legal’s butterfly lawyers flitted between the champagne and the award winners. We congratulate all nominees, finalists and award winners for their incredible achievements. Click here to see a full list of finalists and winners. 

Congratulations to the ILANZ committee and sponsors for a successful conference. The enthusiasm for attendance proves that connecting with our colleagues, in person, is essential to our flourishing as in-house lawyers.