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Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Finalists for Government Law Award revealed

The ACT Law Society is very pleased to introduce the finalists for the 2022 Government Law Award.

The Government Law Award recognises the outstanding achievements of local practitioners working in government. The Award seeks to raise awareness of the activities of government law practitioners, and encourages government law practitioners to remain active participants in the legal profession in activities beyond their core employment duties.

The judging panel was impressed by the high standard of nominees this year, all of whom were technically very competent while still displaying a high level of commitment to community work outside their core duties.

The finalists for the 2022 Government Law Award are:

Adrian D’Amico, Chief Counsel of the Department of Defence. Adrian leads one of the most challenging and demanding legal practices in the Commonwealth Government, comprising approximately 250 permanent staff and 380 Reserve Legal Officers who serve in over 50 different sites, including overseas. He has demonstrated the depth of his technical legal capacity over a broad spectrum of complex and sensitive legal issues including areas of law as diverse as international and humanitarian law on military and peacekeeping operations, military discipline, law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, litigation, legislation, commercial and international law. He has demonstrated leadership and innovation, directly improving the way Defence Legal works – under his guidance the Defence Legal Division has for several years been the highest ranked team in Defence for customer service.

Patrick Hornby, General Counsel at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. His work has included negotiating and drafting the Casualty Investigation Code for Maritime Investigations which is annexed to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. He was one of the architects of legal arrangements with Malaysian and Chinese counterparts to establish the Australian-led search for MH370, represented ATSB at tripartite discussions, and advised senior Australian government officials. He routinely represents the ATSB at coronial investigations into transport related fatalities, developed the mandatory transport safety legislation training program used by investigators, and delivers specialist training at RMIT for domestic and international investigators on coronial witness processes and evidentiary matters. He is also the ACT council member for the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. Outside his legal role, he is General Manager for the annual Canberra Comedy Festival, and enjoys mentoring young comedians and others in the performing arts industry.

Kristine Scheul, manager of the legal branch at the ACT Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate. She was responsible for reforming and restructuring the legal and contracts area from a legal policy team to an inhouse legal advisory team (the first in-house legal team in an ACT Government directorate) that triages all legal matters and provides customised legal advice to all parts of the diverse TCCS directorate. She developed a centralised legal triage system that manages the large volume of legal requests through a central point, reducing duplication of work and ensuring only complex or high-risk issues are forwarded to external legal lawyers. She also developed a streamlined procurement and contract management compliance framework designed to combat potential fraud, which has now been rolled out across other directorates. She has also volunteered for many years as a director and Board Chair of National Association of Women in Construction.

The final winner of the Government Law Award, as well as the other ACT Law Awards including the prestigious President's Medal, will be revealed at the Law Society’s Annual Dinner & Awards Night on 4 November 2022.

The Law Society is proud to recognise Leo Cussen Centre for Law and Lawcover as the sponsors of the Law Society's Annual Dinner and 2022 ACT Law Awards.