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Law Firm Leader of the Year

Home Insights Law Firm Leader of the Year

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Published on: November 30, 2023


Russell McVeagh Board Chair and partner Allison Arthur-Young has been recognised as the Law Firm Leader of the Year (>100 Lawyers) at the NZ Law Awards 2023, reflecting her outstanding performance and achievements leading the firm.

Comments from the awards judges included:

"A great range of impressive leadership activities."

 "Vision and energy to take the firm forward from difficult times."

"The accolades and testimonials as well as the awards that Allison has received is a testament of her leadership qualities and skills."

"Compassionate leader with a number of important focuses during the judging period."

Allison has been driving a more inclusive and diverse working environment at Russell McVeagh, and in the wider legal profession, having played a pivotal role in Russell McVeagh's culture journey and refreshed D&I strategies. In 2023 the firm released its ESG Overview and Pro Bono Overview, which highlights the firm's progress and objectives across these areas.

She also led Russell McVeagh's response in providing support to communities and staff during and in the aftermath of this year's Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods. This included pro bono support; funding to affected communities; and providing staff with leave to help with clean up and an additional leave day to support staff to reconnect and spend time with whānau.

Known for her 'big picture' outlook, Allison is dedicated to ensuring Russell McVeagh's values of excellence, tenacity, respect and curiosity remain at the centre of what we do.

Recent highlights from the refreshed D&I work programme include:

  • Pay Equity monitoring and reporting – Russell McVeagh signed up to MindtheGap in 2022, NZ's public monitoring and reporting registry of gender and ethnicity pay gaps;

  • Provided an 'out of cycle' pay increase for all staff due to the rising cost of living in 2022;

  • A refreshed Parental Leave Policy, providing increased support for parents;

  • Continuation of flexible working across the firm and provision of a work from home allowance; and

  • Gained Advanced status Gender Tick accreditation in 2023 – a first for a NZ law firm.

Russell McVeagh's recent staff engagement 'Pulse Survey', for which feedback is provided anonymously, showed that Russell McVeagh's people think the firm is a great place to work and that they are proud to work at the firm, of which Allison is tremendously proud.

"I am incredibly honoured to have been recognised, alongside an outstanding group of individuals who are making a positive impact on the people and workplace culture of organisations throughout Aotearoa New Zealand," said Allison Arthur-Young. "We are really pleased of the progress we have made so far, and are always mindful there is more to do".

Allison is named on NZ Lawyer's Elite Women list 2023 and is one of NZ Lawyer's 'Most Influential Lawyers 2022' in the Changemaker category. She is also a Global Woman and was a finalist for the Diversity Champion award at the 2023 Diversity Awards NZ.

Russell McVeagh also won 4 of the top awards at the NZ Law Awards including NZ Large Law Firm of the Year.

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