Hannah Mackenzie

Junior Solicitor, Robertsons Law

“Robertsons have provided me with a number of opportunities to learn, for example by giving me the opportunity to appear in the District and High Courts, which has been invaluable.”  

What kind of work have you been involved in at Robertsons? 

As a junior solicitor I have assisted senior solicitors with files over a broad range of legal areas. I have been encouraged to give everything a go and have assisted in construction litigation, copyright and professional negligence claims.  

What do you enjoy most about working at Robertsons?   

The variation of work and the opportunities! I have really enjoyed learning about different areas of law and building my litigation skills, whilst also learning about the insurance industry. Robertsons have provided me with a number of opportunities to learn, for example by giving me the opportunity to appear in the District and High Courts, which has been invaluable.  

What has been the most challenging part of working at Robertsons?    

Although I love the variety of work, it can be challenging to get up to speed in so many different areas of law, quickly. For example, in one day you might be asked to research a specific negligence point, defamation and a resource management matter. Although this can be challenging, it is great learning and means no two days are the same.  

What makes Robertsons different from other law practices? 

The team environment. Robertsons has a truly supportive, fun work environment. Senior team members always ensure that junior team members can access challenging interesting work and have the support that is needed. Everyone is always accessible to help and will make the time to answer any questions. The partners, Michael and Helen truly care about their staff’s wellbeing and ensure that the firm has a fun, collegial and supportive environment.

What are the social opportunities like at Robertsons? 

Being a smaller firm, Robertsons has a fun collegial environment where everyone gets on and has a good time. We often have client functions or team events throughout the year.

What has surprised you about working at Robertsons? 

Being given the opportunity to appear in court twice in my first six months!

What would be your advise to students wishing to apply to Robertsons?

If you want to get into litigation, then insurance litigation is a good starting point as you will be exposed to such a wide range of legal areas. I would recommend taking papers like evidence and civil litigation as part of your electives at University, as these skills are invaluable in practice.  

“Graduates at Robertsons can expect to be given challenging but rewarding work in a broad litigation-based practise which has an inclusive team environment with real opportunities to develop their skillsets. Graduates can expect to have close contact with senior staff and partners and good client contact.”

About the firm

Robertsons has established itself as a leading specialist insurance litigation firm in New Zealand. The firm was started in 2011 by its current partners, Michael Robertson and Helen Twomey. It undertakes a broad range of general commercial litigation on behalf of its insurer clients while also advising them on complex insurance related matters.

Robertsons is instructed by insurers but act for their insureds in areas including regulatory prosecutions by the Commerce Commission, Ministry of Primary Industries and WorkSafe, NZICA and NZLS complaints, and professional negligence claims against all types of professionals including solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, architects and directors. Robertsons’ solicitors regularly appear in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal and participate in alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration. 

Our team members have experience in all aspects of liability insurance from drafting liability insurance products (including bespoke policies) through to liability management, claims handling and litigation services. We are regularly advising insurers on complex indemnity issues arising out of liability claims.

Robertsons regularly participates in judging for Auckland Law School competitions and sponsors the Auckland Law School Insurance Law award.

Robertsons is regularly nominated at the New Zealand Law Awards for Insurance Law Firm of the Year. It is listed as a Leading Firm in Insurance in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific with Michael and Helen listed as Leading Individuals. It is also a Ranked Firm in Insurance in Chambers Asia Pacific with Michael and Helen being listed as Ranked Lawyers for Insurance in New Zealand.

Working at the firm

Robertsons’ partners, Michael and Helen, have been with the firm since its inception and their clear vision for the firm remains. They prioritise employee job satisfaction and enjoyment of the job while also still encouraging their team members to produce a high standard of work.

Due to the collaborative nature of litigation, Robertsons do not have specific teams for particular specialities. A supportive and friendly working environment is fostered through a lack of job titles. No one team member is allocated to a specific partner or senior team member, junior solicitors instead support senior team members across all matters at the firm. This means our solicitors get experience and get involved with a wide variety of litigation work early on in their careers.

Graduates at Robertsons can expect to be given challenging but rewarding work in a broad litigation-based practise which has an inclusive team environment with real opportunities to develop their skillsets. Graduates can expect to have close contact with senior staff and partners and good client contact.

Robertsons also provide private weekly private personal training “bootcamp” sessions, mid-year and end-of-year functions and opportunities for continued learning including in-house team trainings which are run by both Robertsons staff and external experts in particular fields.

Opportunities for Students

Robertsons generally seek to employ one new graduate each year with no strict recruitment period. If you share our passion for insurance and an interest in litigation and would like to enquire about being part of our exceptional team, we welcome your proactive approach.

Law Clerk

Joel Stephenson