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Nuwan Siriwardena, Solicitor

Russell McVeagh acts on complex, high profile and precedent-setting cases. As a junior in the Litigation team, you will help New Zealand's largest and most innovative companies and individuals through the full spectrum of commercial and civil disputes. You will also be encouraged to get involved with our firm's pro bono initiatives, where we help primarily charitable and not-for-profit organisations on a variety of public interest work that touches on the lives of countless New Zealanders.

On a day-to-day basis, you can expect to be working on:

  • Legal research: Some (but not many) of the legal questions that juniors complete research on have a clear answer. Often, Russell McVeagh is instructed on disputes concerning untested areas of law or where the application of the law is uncertain. When the firm acts on such matters, juniors are regularly tasked with preparing research memoranda advising on what the law is likely to be on the basis of existing judgments and commentary and principle. These assignments are intellectually stimulating and rewarding.

  • Drafting legal advice: Unlike law school, our clients are interested in more than just a strict legal analysis of their disputes – they also want advice on how they should resolve them in the most commercially optimal way, taking into account not only the law. By preparing first drafts of legal advice, you will learn how law is applied "in the real world".

  • Drafting court documents: Legal proceedings are constituted by legal documents, such as pleadings and court submissions. By preparing court documents, you will develop your written advocacy and legal reasoning skills in a process which often ends in a court judgment.

Analytical thinkers who like to solve complex legal problems will enjoy a career in litigation. It is also helpful to be a confident communicator who enjoys advocating for their solutions (verbally and in writing).

Some of the university papers that would be useful for a career in litigation and dispute resolution include evidence, civil procedure and advocacy, but litigators tend to have broad practises.

What's it like to work in our Litigation team?