Corrs Chambers Westgarth partner Annette Hughes received the coveted and competitive Female Partner Award at this year’s Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards.
The Women in Law Awards recognise leadership and excellence in the legal profession, including the female legal professionals who have challenged, influenced or changed the practice of law in Australia.
Annette was recognised for her commitment to creating a partnership that values collaboration, diversity and mentoring. She is an outstanding professional, partner and leader. Her leadership roles include Co-Chair of the Corrs Diversity Council, Member of the firm’s ELT, and Client Relationship Partner for one of Corrs’ longest standing and most important clients, BP.
Corrs partner and CEO John W.H. Denton warmly congratulated Annette on her recognition and valuable contribution to the firm, “Equally passionate about the firm’s cultural goals and its business goals, Annette works very effectively towards these. She is a champion for positive change, for teamwork and for the constant improvement of our firm and workplace.” In supporting Annette's nomination, her clients described her as among the very best of the lawyers they had worked with across multiple jurisdictions, always responsive and dedicated, managing matters deftly and very commercially, even (and especially) in crisis situations.
Fellow partner and Co-Chair of Corrs’ Diversity Council, Sandy Mak, said Annette is a role model and mentor to many young women both inside and outside Corrs. “Annette has been able to drive change within the firm on diversity related issues at all levels. She is also one of the most generous people I have encountered, always finding time to engage with people who require her assistance or are looking for her guidance.”
Outside of her role as a partner at Corrs, Annette is the Chairman of the Board of a not-for-profit organisation, the Women’s Circus. The Women’s Circus was founded as a safe haven and support for women who were victims of violence, and is focused on enriching the lives of women and their communities through circus and the performing arts. Annette also mentors professionals and law students alike, and engages the broader business community on issues relating to women in leadership.
In speaking with Lawyers Weekly recently regarding the awards Annette said she uses her position as a partner and leader to try to facilitate positive change in the profession- as a starting point, she seeks to keep productive conversation going about gender and cultural diversity, questioning assumptions and identifying barriers.
In addition to winning the leading female partner award, Corrs had two well deserving finalists in categories recognised as very competitive – Lawyer Krista McMeeken for Pro Bono and Lawyer Emily Raftos for Future Star.
The Awards, celebrated at an exclusive event in Melbourne, recognised the achievements of women in law from the most senior to the stars of tomorrow.
This is the second time Corrs has been awarded the Female Partner Award and the third year in row Corrs’ leading females have been recognised for their achievements and leadership, with Sandy Mak receiving the Female Partner Award in 2013 and Christine Covington receiving the Legal Mentor Award in 2012.
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