Programme 2021

Programme 2021

Registration & Exhibition Hall Open



Erin Ebborn, Director & Principal Lawyer, Portia



What’s Next for the Legal Industry? How Legal Operations is Shaping all our Futures

Today’s legal department leaders are charged with creating a legal service delivery strategy for their organisations that not only provides top-quality, timely legal services, but does so in a way that maximises value. To achieve this, leaders have a dizzying array of options to choose from as a result of globalisation, disaggregation of legal services, new market entrants, new technology capabilities, and of course, the rise of Legal Operations. In this opening session, we’ll explore some of the changes taking place, how it’s affecting the in-house world and their clients, the impact for law firms and what it means for our future.

Mary O’Carroll, Director of Legal Operations at Google & President of CLOC

Is COVID-19 the opportunity for wider legal transformation?

COVID-19 demonstrated that we can adapt quickly when we have to, as the legal industry hurdled conventional barriers to change in order to continue operations during the pandemic. Hear about the journeys of leading legal professionals from across the profession as they (and their organisations) adopted new ways of working and found opportunity amid the chaos. They will share the key lessons learned along the way and their views on whether the pandemic is a critical stepping-stone to the wider transformation of legal services, or will we revert back to how many have worked for years?

Moderated by:
Erin Ebborn, Director & Principal Lawyer, Portia

Emma Priest, Specialist Criminal Barrister, Blackstone Chambers
Julian Benefield, Associate General Counsel, Foodstuffs
Hayden Wilson, Chair & Partner, Dentons Kensington Swan
Louise Taylor, Special Counsel, Russell McVeagh

Your Potential in the Digital Economy: How Technology offers the opportunity of personal reinvention

Innovation isn’t only the giant disruptions you read about in newspapers: neuralinks, robotics, or automated vehicles. Often innovation starts with a single agitator creating a niche in a small market. Netflix went from mail-order DVD’s to a streaming giant. Amazon went from online books to revolutionizing e-commerce. But this talk isn’t about technology businesses, it’s about harnessing people and technology. We’ll explore how engaging with new technologies offers us all the opportunity to become agitators, to innovate ourselves, and define our potential in the evolving digital economy.

Sara Cole Stratton, Advisor, Tech Futures Lab
Taurean Butler, Director of Corporate Innovation, Tech Futures Lab

Morning Tea
Beyond Innovation Theatre – The Reality of Tech Adoption in law firms

This panel of legal+tech experts will provide practical insights on how to successfully leverage technology to transform your business processes and practices.  Using real examples, they will discuss both the opportunities and the challenges to changing the way you deliver legal services, sharing what they have done, the ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ along the way, what they are doing now, and what comes next.

Moderated by:
Gene TurnerManaging Director, LawHawk
Tila HoffmanSpecial Counsel & Business Transformation Manager, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Lindie WalshConsultant, Efficient Practice
Sam Kidd, CEO, LawVu

Is technology creating a new level in that uneven playing field?

No matter the size of your practice or the size of your technology stack; a new generation of tech and delivery models is altering the eDiscovery landscape permanently. Learn how in this not to miss session.

Rebecca Grant, Founder and CEO, icourts

How to achieve success from simplicity

In this highly practical session, Jeremy will explain how he utilises technology to make work less repetitive for lawyers and more user friendly for clients and canvas the various ways he has achieved success by stripping things back to basics. He’ll highlight some of the most useful tech tools he uses and explain how to use them effectively. Discover how adopting Jeremy’s ‘simple is best’ philosophy will help you streamline your work and your practice, while maintaining (or even improving) the quality of work. You’ll also learn how to identify areas that need improvement and practical strategies to implement change.

Jeremy Sutton, Senior Family Lawyer, Bastion Chambers

Lawyers Act 2025

It’s been 15 years since the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act introduced the 21st Century to the profession of law. Is it time for a change? Get a sneak preview of the Law Practitioners Act 2025 – a full four years before it is even written – and see what the future might hold for law in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Jarrod Coburn, CEO, Portia

In-house Innovation Stories from the Coal Face

Three leading in-house lawyers share their personal innovation war stories, outlining the key strategies, tactics and tools they have adopted to drive change in their departments and organisations. Discover what worked (and what didn’t) plus the challenges they overcame along the way. You are guaranteed to find something you can take away and implement in your own team!. The session concludes with a Q & A with each speaker, led by Helen Mackay.

Moderated by:
Helen Mackay, Director, Juno Legal
Julian Benefield, Associate General Counsel, Foodstuffs
Rebecca Robertshawe, Director, EIS Legal at Education Infrastructure Service
Melissa Anastasiou, General Counsel, Spark New Zealand

A Duty to Care: Creating Sustainable Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession

The pandemic reinforced the importance of workplace mental health. Grant will share his experience in this critical field offering practical ideas and strategies to improve wellbeing for individual lawyers, teams and firms, including the Umbrella model and the role of technology in supporting better mental health. This session will provide learning, interaction and structured reflection time in a safe supportive format.

Grant Pritchard, Senior In-House Lawyer, Spark New Zealand | President, ILANZ 

A View from the Trenches

In this dynamic talk, Nick will discuss the journey from idea to successful LegalTech exit, what he learnt from four years of deep R&D and experimentation with some of the largest players in the LegalTech world, all while pulling back the curtain on the threats, the hype, and the practical things you can do to get ahead.

Nick Whitehouse, General Manager, Onit AI Center of Excellence

Afternoon Tea
Innovation and adaptability

In his compelling keynote session, Gus shares the simple yet powerful lessons he has gleaned from two decades of market disruption in Media. The scale of transformative change that newspapers, books, magazines, TV, music have experienced since the late 90s had not been seen since the industrial revolution. Today, every industry and every business irrespective of size, is going through a similar level of disruption.  Gus will candidly bare his battlescars, and share the tricks and tools you need to transform yourself and your business.

Gus Balbontin, Entrepreneur

The Wrap & What’s Next?

As the finale of an action-packed day of practical insights from legal thought leaders, technologists and innovators, we look ahead to envision the future of law. The panel will discuss what the future holds for the profession and the delivery of legal services. They will explore what is possible with new opportunities to innovate through people, process and technology, both for today and the future. The discussion will inspire you to apply new thinking to your role and organisation, to help you adapt and thrive in a continuously changing market.

Moderated by:
Erin Ebborn, Director & Principal Lawyer, Portia

Nick WhitehouseGeneral Manager, Onit AI Center of Excellence
Maria Sopoaga, Solicitor, Auckland Council

Jarrod Coburn, CEO, Portia
Helen Mackay, Director, Juno Legal

Networking drinks