SA law firm wins national diversity award for championing women in the industry

South Australian law firm NDA Law was named ‘Boutique Diversity Law Firm of the Year’ in the 2018 national Women in Law Awards announced in Melbourne last night.

The award recognises the firm’s inclusive policies that have encouraged women to excel in leadership, and mentors them to stay in the legal profession where the drop-out rates are high, often due to discrimination, bullying or lack of flexible work options.

It is the first time a South Australian firm has won the national title.

Managing Director Andrea Michaels was also a finalist in two categories this year, including Executive of the Year and Thought Leader of the Year. She said she was proud her firm has been recognised for the inclusive culture she worked hard to establish at NDA Law since its start in 2015.

“Starting my own law firm with a different mandate was a risk, but it’s enabled me to redefine the culture and create the kind of practice that delivers the very best work for clients, fosters collaboration and ensures the wellbeing and continued development of our people.

“I’m passionate about helping more women into positions of leadership. It’s shocking that the number of women who make partner level, or run their own firms, is still less than 30 per cent, despite the fact more females than males graduate from law school.

“Gender equity is an important measurement for business – we know firms that get it right deliver better results. It’s not good enough that there is still a 27 per cent pay gap between men and women at equity partner level.

“Business is starting to realise flexible work, parental leave and career development opportunities make sense if you want to attract and retain the best people.”

Ms Michaels is a well-known media identity in South Australia and regularly writes about tax and superannuation policy and economic issues affecting the state. She has initiated new programs within her firm to encourage diversity and leadership skills, including mentoring younger female lawyers to sit on the boards of local NFP organisations, and plans for an internship to be offered to a female Aboriginal law student in 2019.

The annual Women in Law Awards are run by Lawyers Weekly and celebrates the achievements of Australian women in the legal industry.

About NDA Law

NDA Law was established in 2015 with a focus on supporting SMEs and local businesses with strengths in tax, estate planning, corporate and commercial law, and employment law. In just over three years, the firm has more than doubled its client list and now employs six people.

The firm has won a number of national and international awards including: Best Lawyers: Commercial Law, Tax Law, and Succession Planning; Corporate LiveWire Finance Award: Best Boutique Law Firm in Australia; Finalist in SA Telstra Business Women’s Awards (Entrepreneur Award); Global Excellence Award ‘Most Influential Woman in Tax Law - Australia’; ‘Best Tax Lawyer’ International Advisory Expert Awards; finalist, 2018 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards (Best Boutique Firm) and Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards (Professional Services); and the 2018 APAC Business Awards winner for Best Tax Law Firm (SA) and Most Influential Woman in Superannuation Law (Australia).