4 June 2020: Clayton Utz lawyers Georgia Davis and Susan Flynn were among the talented young professionals recognised at the Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards 2020, the winners of which were announced on Friday 29 May.
Georgia took out the Projects, Energy and Resources category, and Susan won in the Pro Bono category.
Georgia said it was a "surreal" experience to hear her name announced at the Awards ceremony - which this year, took the form of a live-streamed broadcast from a virtual ballroom. "This award is a big thank you to our clients and the firm for allowing me the opportunity to practice in an area I love. I feel pretty lucky to be at Clayton Utz and work with such high-profile clients," said Georgia.
Susan said she was " incredibly grateful" to have won in the Pro Bono category "particularly when the other finalists are all doing such incredible work in responding to the gap in access to justice to Australia". "The inclusion of a Pro Bono category in the 30 under 30 Awards highlights that pro bono is real legal work that is valued by the profession," said Susan. "I feel very lucky to work at Clayton Utz where pro bono is an essential part of what we do and supported by every person who works here. Being recognised through this award shows that we mean it when we say we are serious about pro bono best practice. I'm grateful to be a small part of that."
Award winners were judged on their achievements in their practice area over the past 12 months, and how they have demonstrated innovation, initiative and/or leadership both in their firms and the legal industry.
Georgia is a valued member of the Brisbane Energy and Resources team, acting for major infrastructure and energy and resource project proponents on a wide range of matters. Among highlights of her contribution to her practice area over the last 12 months, Georgia organised a Native Title Forum, bringing together experts in native title from across firms to share knowledge and expertise, best practice and build a peer network. Georgia is also involved in the Clayton Utz LGBTIQ network sub-committee, is an LGBTIQ Ally, a supporter of the office's lawyer-led Cultivate networking program for young legal professionals, and volunteers with the Ardoch Foundation's Literacy Buddies program.
Susan is the co-ordinator of the Melbourne Pro bono team where she leads a practice that last year increased its pro bono hours to an average of 68.3 hours per lawyer by assisting over 200 low income and vulnerable Victorians. Of that work, she is particularly proud of the assistance given to people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness in eviction prevention and infringement matters through the Homeless Law clinic run in conjunction with Justice Connect. Susan is a Mental Health First Aid Champion, an Ardoch volunteer and a member of the Cultivate committee in Melbourne, which has developed a program to upskill junior lawyers to sit on not-for-profit boards through workshops and mentoring sessions with senior members of Clayton Utz.
Georgia and Susan were among 10 finalists from Clayton Utz, who included:
- Katherine Agapitos - Construction and Infrastructure
- Michael Beukelman - Projects, Energy and Resources
- Shirley-Anne Hu - Competition
- JW Lee - Projects, Energy and Resources
- Madeleine McCloy - Insolvency
- Victoria Read - Mergers and Acquisitions
- Alex Selig - Commercial
- Gabrielle Sheehan - Dispute Resolution and Litigation