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Law Council of Australia

Business Law Section

2021 Tom Yuncken Australian Young Construction Lawyer Award Announced

21 October 2021

                            (Caption: Katie Mead, 2021 Tom Yuncken Australian Young Construction Lawyer Award winner and Adrienne Parker)

On 15 October 2021, the Chair of the Business Law Section’s Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee, Adrienne Parker, and the Deputy Chair for Victoria, Dr Matthew Bell, presented the Tom Yuncken Australian Young Construction Lawyer Award at the Society of Construction Law Australia’s ‘micro conference’. The micro conference was organised at short notice and held on a virtual basis as a result of the national conference having to be postponed due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Adrienne acknowledged the generous support of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia in providing the $2,500 prize and the support of SoCLA in enabling the re-invigoration of the Award after a hiatus of several years. The esteemed judging panel for the Award for 2021 comprised the Honourable Susan Crennan AC QC as Chair, together with the Honourable Robert McDougall QC, the Honourable Wayne Martin AC QC, Meg Redwin and Kiri Parr and we thank them all for giving up their valuable time to review and deliberate on the nominations received.

Dr Bell shared some insights into Tom Yuncken, the inspiration for the Award, with the audience. He noted not only Tom’s extraordinary construction law practising experience in Australia and abroad but also his commitment to the nurturing of our profession, including through pioneering pro bono work and the Law Council of Australia’s Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee.

We were privileged to have the Honourable Robert McDougall QC ‘virtually’ announce the winner of the Award and the following is a summary of His Honour’s remarks about the winner, which were made on behalf of the judging panel:

The Honourable Robert McDougall QC noted that the judging panel was impressed by the high standard of all the nominations received and enjoyed deliberating over the merits of the nominees for the Award.

The judging panel unanimously agreed that Katie Mead is the winner of the 2021 Tom Yuncken Australian Young Construction Lawyer Award. Katie is an Associate based in the global disputes practice of Jones Day.

Katie’s nomination was particularly impressive, demonstrating her significant and broad construction law experience at a quite senior level for someone of her years of practice through the descriptions of matters in which she has been involved and the references provided. She has combined her practice with further study, completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne focused on construction law and international arbitration - and achieving a number of accolades at the same time, whilst contributing to the field through her authorship of various papers, speaking engagements and also managing to give back to the profession and wider community through her participation in various industry and gender focused committees and pro bono work.

Katie’s nomination showed that she is a worthy recipient of the 2021 Tom Yuncken Award in that each of the Award criteria were clearly satisfied, and from a holistic perspective she is a focused and well rounded construction lawyer who is a strong ambassador for this area of practice and the profession more widely.

As Katie is based in Perth, the Chair of the Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee, Adrienne Parker, was delighted to be able to present the Award to Katie in person. It is hoped that if the SoCLA national conference can take place in Hobart in March 2022, further celebration of Katie’s success might be possible.



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