Upon its establishment in 2013, DTI Lawyers was quick to develop a reputation for providing astute legal advice and representation, led by experienced directors Andrea Twaddle and Charlotte Isaac. The firm’s rapid growth was no surprise to the Waikato business community, nor will its exciting news be: that they have two impressive lawyers joining the directorship as of April 1.
New directors Hayley Willers and Jaime Lomas provide specialist expertise in commercial and property matters, and employment law issues, respectively. Each of the four directors are highly sought after for their legal expertise, representing clients in the Waikato and throughout New Zealand.
Hayley Willers has been practising law for more than 13 years, three and a half of those at the firm.
“Becoming a director at DTI is something I’ve been working towards,” she says. “I’m thrilled to have found my place in this profession. I’m proud to be part of the future of this firm. It’s a place I feel really confident in.”
Jaime Lomas feels the same. With 16 years of experience practising law, the last two of those at DTI, she is excited by the directorship and the transition from employee to employer.
The words they use are similar: Excited. Honoured. Validating.
DTI Lawyers is also part of an elite group worldwide: They have only female directors. While women make up over half of the total lawyers in New Zealand, less than a third of the partners and directors in our law firms are female. And the bigger the firm, the lower the number goes. As a firm of 12 lawyers, having solely female directors is worth celebrating.
Charlotte acknowledges that the firm’s promotions “make us fairly unique in New Zealand. We’re thrilled to have Hayley and Jaime joining us in leading the team. They’re experienced and highly skilled lawyers.”
The new directors praise the culture that the founding directors have consciously designed. “Andrea has been a mentor to me,” says Jaime. “When she and Charlotte offered me an opportunity to progress my career, alongside the flexibility that I needed as a mother, I jumped at the chance. They’ve made DTI a really great place to work. We’re very lucky to have fantastic people working in the firm. It’s just a pleasure going to work.”
Hayley and Jaime describe the culture at DTI as “amazing”, saying that Charlotte and Andrea are “employers who truly care about the team. Alongside the work we perform for clients, they place a lot of value on the time we spend with family and our contributions to the community.”
Andrea says “we deliberately set out to create to create something different.” All four women have previously worked at other mid-large law firms. They are proud to have created a relationship-based experience for clients, and a positive, inclusive workplace culture.
“We have a compassionate approach,” says Hayley. “Our clients don’t experience lawyers just sitting behind desks. We make sure we can see things from their perspective. It’s a caring style, which I’m proud of.”
And so, the four directors are pausing to celebrate.
“It feels natural,” adds Andrea. “We’re driven by what we think is the right thing to do for people – colleagues and clients. We know that people come to us for many reasons. It might be making the most of a business opportunity, resolving a problem, or planning and security for the future. These can be inherently stressful times. We’re confident that our lawyers are firstly specialists in the law, and also that the empathy of our team transfers not just to good legal advice, but that it is delivered in a personalised way.
“We could see the contributions that Hayley and Jaime had made. They were already taking on a leadership role, so it only seemed right to confirm that formally. It’s not complicated. And we’re excited about the future of the firm.”
– Supplied copy