Tue 16 May | 4:00PM - 6:15PM | Norman Shieff Room, Level 4, ADLS - Chancery Chambers

Please note revised date of Tuesday 16 May 2017

In 2017, have you dived into your legal role with vigour or crawled back to it reluctantly? Addressing a range of topics that will encourage you to take stock of what makes you happy and where you want your career to go, including wellbeing, flexibility, money and risk, as well as transitioning, this forum is brought to you by panellists with wide-ranging experience in the legal field and representing a spectrum of law-related careers.

Registrants are invited to submit questions for the panel prior to the forum, by emailing cpd@adls.org.nz.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Receive guidance on the personal values and interests that you should consider when conducting a career stocktake.
  • Gain insights about the characteristics of practice models and roles including partnership, bar, in-house and directorship, with a view to gaining clarity about which one(s) would suit you.
  • Become better apprised of what’s involved in effecting a smooth transition from one legal role to another.

Who should attend?

All lawyers looking at their career direction and progression, whether to confirm you are on the right track, reviewing or reflecting on your progress to date or considering a change in your career path. 

In person registration only

Please note this page is only for registration to attend in person.

To register to attend via live stream click here.


David Bigio QC

David was born and raised in Montreal, Canada.  He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts at Concordia University in Montreal where he graduated with distinction in 1983. He attended the Faculty of law at McGill University where he obtained an LLB and a BCL, graduating with Second Class Honours in 1988.

David emigrated to New Zealand in 1989. He has worked in law since that time, became a partner in Ellis Gould and then began practice as a Barrister in May 2003.  He joined Shortland Chambers in 2008.  David was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.  

Judith Eller
Director and Senior Consultant
Legal Personnel

Judith has many years as a recruitment consultant recruiting in a broad range of corporate and commercial sectors, professionals and now a business owner. Earlier in her career she came from a teaching background having taught for 5 years in NZ, Australia and London. Judith moved through to an executive assistant position supporting a government appointed committee involved in education, training and employment along with undertaking labour needs analysis surveys for industry. After several years of forecasting skill needs and shortages she stepped into the commercial world of recruitment on the way to developing a career in Human Resources. However, she enjoyed the world of recruitment and the many companies and opportunities that she work with that she has made a career in this area. 

In 1996 Judith set up her own recruitment company recruiting in the corporate and commercial sector, insurance, insurance brokers, share brokers, law firms and general international corporate companies.  In 2006 she rebranded as Legal Personnel to reflect the growing clients in the legal sector that she recruited for. Legal Personnel has always been built on the philosophy that people count and relationships matter. Judith has trained as a career coach and is completing her hours to qualify. 

Sarah Keene
Russell McVeagh

Sarah began her career at Russell McVeagh in 1996, before travelling overseas to gain experience as a European Competition Regulatory Lawyer at Clifford Chance, London, then later a Senior Associate at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. She returned to Russell McVeagh in 2004 as an Associate, but was quickly promoted to Partner in 2006. Sarah now heads a highly successful competition and consumer law practice, which has repeatedly earned the highest New Zealand ranking from Global Competition Review. She has been described as a "Top shelf lawyer" by her clients. She maintains a reputation as one of the market's pre-eminent practitioners, assisting clients in merger clearance applications and Commerce Commission investigations and competition and consumer litigation.

Liesl Knox
General Counsel
Flexi Cards

Liesl is the General Counsel and Company Secretary at Flexi Cards (previously Fisher & Paykel Finance) a specialist consumer credit financer and Non-bank Deposit Taker. Liesl has over 20 years legal experience gained in large international law firms and in in-house roles.  

Liesl’s experience has been gained across a number of blue chip brands both in New Zealand and overseas including working for entities such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury Schweppes, Barclays Bank and National Westminster Bank.  In her current role Liesl leads the Legal, Compliance and Risk & Assurance Teams, is a member of the Executive and assists in leading the company’s financial and strategic direction.  

Rory MacDonald
MacDonald Lewis Law

Rory qualified as a lawyer at the end of 1970. In 1971 he set off to see the world but never got past Melbourne where he practised for 14 years, first as an employee, then as a sole solicitor and finally in partnership. His practice in Melbourne centred around property, small business and personal injury litigation.

In 1985 Rory returned to Auckland and practised as an employee for 2 years before becoming a partner in different law firms and then heading out on his own in 2000. More recently he has taken on a partner in his firm which now has 8 staff. His practice is predominantly small business and franchise law.