How long have you been practising law, and long have you been with Fee Langstone?
I qualified in 2007 and began my career practising general civil and commercial litigation. Between 2010 and 2013 I spent three years in London, where I moved across into insurance litigation. I returned to Auckland in late 2013, and I have been with Fee Langstone since then.
What makes insurance law different from other areas of practice?
I have always liked the broad variety of work and people that you come into contact with when practising as a civil litigator. However, I also enjoy the detailed knowledge that you start to build up when practising in a specialist area of law. Insurance has such a broad reach across society that you get a really wide variety of legal issues and scenarios to consider, while also having to take into account an overlay of legal principles that are quite specialist and distinct from other areas of law. So for me, insurance law provides the best of both worlds. I also like the close knit nature of the insurance industry in New Zealand, particularly as I get to know more familiar faces.
You’ve recently come back from secondment at Vero. How did you find that experience?
Hugely enjoyable and valuable. It was my first experience of working in house and it was great to be able to get a better understanding of our client’s needs and a new perspective on the industry from a different viewpoint. I got to work with some really great people too!
If you weren’t practising law, what do you think you’d be doing?
If qualifications and job opportunities were no obstacle, I’d like to be a futurist (sometimes known as a trend analyst). Futurists advise private and public organizations on diverse global trends, possible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management. I have always been really interested in trying to understand where we are heading, from a technological, societal and environmental perspective, and what life might look like in 20, 50 and 100 years from now. It’s fascinating to look at predictions from 30 years ago and see what has happened as expected versus where we have veered off into uncharted waters.
What’s your favourite ‘90s jam, and why?
Hold On by Wilson Phillips, which just squeaks in with a release date of 1990. I’m a bit of a karaoke fan and this 90’s jam has everything you need for a good karaoke song – slow verses building up to a crescendo of full-body-dance-moves-over-emotional chorus (as demonstrated in the closing scene of the film “Bridesmaids”). The ultra 90’s outfits in the music video only add to the appeal. If you’d asked for my favourite karaoke song of all time, it would have to be Bonnie Tyler’s epic Total Eclipse of the Heart.