Liam Johannesson

Solicitor, DLA Piper

You will find yourself in a closeknit, diverse and supportive team. Juniors work directly with partners on files, and you can tell the partners really enjoy their company and input.”  

What kind of work have you been involved with at DLA Piper? 

I am part of a team within the wider Corporate team where I work on general commercial, front-end construction, and competition matters. Being a part of the Corporate team, I have also been exposed to M&A and corporate governance work.  I am also involved in a range of pro bono work, including work for the StarJam Charitable Trust, and have recently led the New Zealand team on our contribution to the Global Marriage Equality Survey that the global firm prepared in collaboration with LLAN, Nishimura & Asahi and Baker McKenzie.  The survey was undertaken to assist attorneys who are pushing for marriage equality in Japan, and was recently published and announced at LLAN’s 6th annual Equality Gala. 

What do you enjoy about working at DLA Piper?   

The relationships. At DLA Piper we don’t just go into the office to sit at our desk and work – we genuinely enjoy catching up with each other, finding out about what we got up to in the weekend, and going out for coffees and food. 

What sets DLA Piper apart from other firms? 

DLA Piper is a global firm with offices in more than 40 countries. The international work we get from our colleagues overseas is unparalleled in the New Zealand market – and it gets better every year. 

What are the social opportunities like at DLA Piper?

There are plenty of them! We have a social touch rugby and netball team, we attend events to support our pro bono clients, and we have plenty of diversity & inclusion committees to join where you make heaps of friends. I am on the Thrive Committee which focuses on mental health in the workplace and aims to ensure our people thrive both in and out of work.  Thrive has hosted a number of panel sessions speaking about health and wellness. I was pleased to recently get involved in the facilitation of a session that focused on managing our relationship with alcohol.  We presented the session with support from a partner from our Hong Kong office. The session focussed on making thoughtful decisions that support our health and wellbeing and removing habits that may not serve us, swapping those out for more healthy rituals that nourish us.  

What has surprised you about working at DLA Piper?  

Law students may have an expectation that a law firm is quite hierarchical. At DLA Piper, despite having lawyers at all levels from graduates to senior partners, the firm has a very egalitarian feel. Juniors work directly with partners on files, and you can tell the partners really enjoy their company and input.   

What has been your favourite experience at DLA Piper so far?  

Our Auckland team’s move to our new Commercial Bay offices in September 2020 was amazing. Our new open floor plan allows for a lot of collaboration and connection with others, and the stunning view and awesome facilities like the look-out café give the office a nice, energised feel.  

What would your advice to students be who are wishing to apply to DLA Piper?    

Focus on what makes you an individual. What makes DLA Piper a great place to work at is that individuality is celebrated – the firm’s leaders recognise that the team succeeds when we harness each of our different backgrounds, personalities, and ways of thinking. 

If you want to become a global lawyer you’ve come to the right place.

About the firm

DLA Piper is a global business law firm 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.  We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients and contributing to the communities we operate in. 

DLA Piper is a global powerhouse, consistently ranked in the top five most powerful law firm brands in the world. As the first global business law firm in New Zealand, we offer clients a unique competitive edge on local and international stages. Our clients range from some of the world’s most renowned global brands to the most influential businesses in New Zealand that are defining the future. 

One of our key differentiators is the ability to apply international thinking and experience to the work we do for all our clients, wherever they do business. Across every major sector and specialist practice, the firm provides pragmatic, commercially astute advice. 

 

Working at the firm

 

We are a values driven business, and everything we do is connected with our People, our Clients and our Communities, we live by these values: 

  • Be Supportive – we care about others, value diversity and act thoughtfully 
  • Be Collaborative – we give, we share and we join in 
  • Be Bold – we stand tall and challenge ourselves to think big 
  • Be Exceptional – we exceed standards and expectations 

Diversity and inclusion underpins how we live our values and everything we do. We believe that everyone has a voice, and that everyone’s voice counts. We are committed to providing an inclusive working environment and culture across our firm where everyone can bring their authentic self to work. We welcome the unique contribution that each person brings to our firm which is why over a third of our people are active in one of our five D&I committees. Our people own our D&I journey. 

Our commitment to pro bono is unparalleled and engrained in our culture. Our approach to pro bono is consistent with our vision to be “truly local, truly global” and we have a strong pro bono practice that is appropriate to the local circumstances and cultures in which we work. We work with individuals and organisations that could not otherwise afford counsel, providing advice across a wide range of specialisms and geographies.  

DLA Piper strives to also be a leader in environmental sustainability. We undertake initiatives to reduce our own operational environmental impact and we believe that our greatest contribution to a sustainable environment is the advice and support we provide to our clients – both in managing their own environmental impacts and assessing and responding to climate – related risks and opportunities. 

Opportunities for Students

The whole legal industry is changing. The old establishment is gone, and there’s a new establishment in town. It’s an exciting and dynamic future, which we at DLA Piper are leading. 

It’s a new business world, with new client needs. Clients want more than legal advice, they want strategic business advisers that cross borders and geographies. They want global insights with local savvy. And so do we. 

DLA Piper is a firm built for this rapidly globalising world, and we’re looking for people to join us on this mission. We’re looking for people who see the world differently, who listen to clients, and who solve their problems, not just give advice. Being well read is good, but being able to read the room is great. We’re looking for people to help make business better for our clients. 

We offer a handful of sought-after summer clerk and law clerk openings in New Zealand. This means you will experience a first-class journey, with full participation in real work. Partners and senior lawyers will support you with genuine help and encouragement. Applications are open to students in their penultimate or final year at University. 

We do not look for any specific subjects when recruiting, but seek commercially minded students, who have gained a broad platform of understanding from their studies.  

The clerkship programme generally starts in November. You will be busy and experience a variety of work. You will be truly contributing, spending your summer rotating between two teams before going into a permanent team. 

For more information visit: https://www.dlapiper.com/nzgrads 

Location: Auckland, Wellington
Areas of Expertise: Global business law firm providing full services in corporate, employment, finance, intellectual property, technology, international trade, regulatory, government affairs, litigation, arbitration, investigations, projects, infrastructure, real estate, restructuring and tax. DLA Piper are sector experts in financial services, government, hospitality and leisure, insurance, life sciences, media, sport, entertainment, real estate, retail, and technology.
Staff: 22 partners, 72 lawyers
Contact: Kirsty Katzin, Talent Acquisition/HR Consultant, kirsty.katzin@dlapiper.com

Corporate Lawyer

Ravi Maharaj