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Get to know recently appointed Auckland Senior Associate Alana Lathrope

In our next Q&A with recently appointed senior lawyers, we get to know Auckland Senior Associate Alana Lathrope.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a Senior Associate at W+K

I left Auckland for Sydney straight out of law school and landed a paralegal role at a boutique insurance litigation firm. After getting admitted on both sides of the ditch, I sharpened my litigation skills working on property and energy, financial lines and liability matters. I moved across to W+K Sydney as an Associate in 2014 and immediately enjoyed the high calibre of files and clients that the firm is famous for. I abandoned private practice for two incredible claims roles at global insurance companies, but the siren song of litigation lured me back in 2020.

I now have a hybrid role, dividing my focus between my practice and acting as the Client & Markets Manager for the NZ business. I will be working closely with the partners and senior lawyers to implement client-focused and market-focused strategies, and develop and maintain key stakeholder relationships.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

I wanted to become a lawyer from when I was 8 years old … I have no idea why!

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve been given?

“Energy flows where attention goes” and “don’t take anything personally”.

What do you think is a major issue facing your area of insurance law?

The Australian class action culture has made it over the ditch, driven by an increase in litigation funders and an absence of comprehensive legislation. The Supreme Court in Southern Response v Ross [2020] NZSC 126 implicitly confirmed that the courts should exercise their available powers to effectively manage and supervise representative actions, but only offered general guidance on how to do so. Further litigation on procedural and substantive issues is inevitable and, given the stakes are high, I expect matters will be subject to appeals at every turn. This will be an expensive road for insurers and insureds to travel!

What do you enjoy most about working at W+K

My colleagues and clients, and the culture. Having worked for the firm on both sides of the Tasman, I continue to be impressed at the high calibre of lawyers and work that the firm attracts – a sure sign of success!

What do you get up to outside of law?

I can often be found enjoying all the Coromandel has to offer: beaches, fishing and diving. More recently, I spend my weekends chasing my toddler around.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be… 

… a florist!

© Wotton + Kearney 2020
This publication is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this publication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.
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