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DLA Piper promotes two senior lawyers to Special Counsel

Press Release – DLA Piper

DLA Piper New Zealand is very pleased to announce the appointment of two Special Counsel: Aucklands Melissa Johnston and Wellingtons Emma Moran. DLA Piper has the best record among our major law firms with the appointment of women to senior …

DLA Piper New Zealand is very pleased to announce the appointment of two Special Counsel: Auckland’s Melissa Johnston and Wellington’s Emma Moran. DLA Piper has the best record among our major law firms with the appointment of women to senior positions, and both Melissa and Emma are outstanding lawyers.

Melissa Johnston becomes the Pro Bono Director for New Zealand, which she finds tremendously exciting.

“No other law firm has an initiative as firmly committed to improving social outcomes as DLA Piper” she says. DLA Piper’s global initiative is New Perimeter, “Its mission is to benefit communities, and especially women, in post-conflict and developing countries. Locally we are reaching out to the Pacific, in places like Fiji and Vanuatu and running pro bono projects. Our staff – not just the firm’s lawyers – are volunteering for a large number of projects, focussing on displaced persons, refugee assistance and child justice.”

In her other work, Melissa’s experience (she is UK-qualified as well) has produced outstanding results in employment relations cases for the firm. She has appeared in tribunals and courts in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. She has a deep knowledge of the healthcare and retail sectors globally, and brings strong advocacy skills to every negotiation, with a shrewd understanding of client goals and a high degree of preparedness.

Emma Moran is an effective litigator across areas like local government and public law, building and construction, insurance and commercial litigation. An enthusiastic and strong communicator, Emma has a particular skill in finessing solutions to disputes that seem intractable.

“I believe in simplifying issues, not complicating them,” she says. “I have appeared as an advocate at most levels of courts and before specialist tribunals. That helps to develop a keen sense of what the other side (and the ultimate decision-maker) is thinking and wants. My approach is assertive and strategic; I don’t shy away from taking cases to court if necessary, but I negotiate hard to find common ground and I pursue alternative forms of dispute resolution where possible. What gives me the most satisfaction is enabling my clients to get on with their lives without being distracted by disputes. I like to think I can see past the commotion to the core of the cases I take on.”

Country Managing Partner, Martin Wiseman says, “These appointments are a continuation of our long-standing commitment to promote the best legal talent across our practice groups and build seamless international capabilities, ultimately granting our clients unrivalled expertise wherever they do business.”
Notes to editors

1 DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world.

2 For further information about our organisation and services, please visit our website: www.dlapiper.com
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