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5-Star Employer of Choice 2022

We are excited to share that we have been recognised as an Employer of Choice by NZ Lawyer for 2022.  Some of our team share their experience at McCaw Lewis in the special report below.

At McCaw Lewis, it’s all about a whānau-first approach. The firm prioritises “being authentically bi-cultural,” and this focus on values and culture is what makes employees stay.

“McCaw Lewis is always looking for a way to evolve with the times. If ever a hurdle is hit, we manage it with grace and communication. An example would be COVID – we adapted, and the management team kept us updated quickly,” senior legal executive Kerri Schofield shares.

Schofield lauded the firm’s values of whāia te iti kahurangi, manaakitanga, and kotahitanga, and highlights its encouragement of “work-life harmony.”

“They are open and honest in their communication about changes and want to include all staff in their vision and growth,” she says of the leadership team. “They have always encouraged work-life balance (now work-life harmony). There is an overwhelming feeling of being supported – not just by people within the team, but across the wider firm. If someone is drowning in work, you can be certain there is someone waiting to support or step up to help.”

For senior solicitor Chantelle Tyler, kotahitanga in particular is the McCaw Lewis value she sticks around for. “The ‘one team’ aspect has always been important to me – we have each other’s backs, and everyone helps each other,” Tyler explains, adding that the firm extends this approach to clients. “We know them well personally and build rapport with them.”

Meanwhile, senior associate Jessica Middleton, associate Zane Mora, and solicitor Carmen Mataira came to appreciate manaakitanga – “the recognition of the value of every person, and a genuine care to see them succeed”.

“McCaw Lewis genuinely and actively cares about its people. It does not matter what may be occurring in our professional or personal lives, good or bad, we know that McCaw Lewis will be there to support us,” Mora says.

Olivia Carter, who handles finance and IT at the firm, adds, “The directors/management are open and honest about anything to do with the firm – communication is important, and this is delivered. We are like one big family!” She comments that working with McCaw Lewis has also afforded her opportunities to bolster her knowledge of her culture.

Mataira shares that she was first drawn to McCaw Lewis’ whānau environment. Since she joined the firm in March 2021, she has observed the development of the firm’s culture into “a very flexible tight-knit space”.

“Everyone has come together, and my team especially is closer because of all the ups and downs we have had over the past year due to COVID,” she says.

Middleton remarks that she was initially attracted to the firm because “the history and degree of respect that McCaw Lewis had in the community was immense”. Considering how the firm responded to the events of the past few years, she points out that its “ability to stay current and flexible to adapt to modern challenges has become so evident”.

Chief executive Glenn Forster and executive director Renika Siciliano explain that the firm’s management provides clarity to the team “so that we are all paddling the waka in unison”.

“This culture ensures we can provide our people the best opportunities to grow as individuals and lawyers, including attracting exciting client work and building meaningful relationships,” they comment.


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