Introducing Our People
Jen Crawford has been a lawyer for 18 years and had initially planned on being a diplomat before considering a legal career. She is now one of the hottest private practice lawyers in the New Zealand market, according to a new report.
Jen, along with fellow partner Sarah Simmers, was recently named in the NZ Lawyer Magazine’s 2014 Hot List, which takes the pulse of the industry and identifies the country’s top 38 trailblazing lawyers. She was one of only eight women to be recognised.
After completing a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Honours, History) at Otago University, Jen was admitted to the Bar in 1996. She has experience working for leading law firms in Auckland, Christchurch and the United Kingdom and was attracted to Anderson Lloyd because of its renowned resource management practice and the ‘cutting edge’ nature of its work.
Advising on all aspects of environmental and planning law, Jen has particular expertise in urban and lifestyle developments, agribusiness, water management and project consenting.
“I was attracted to project consenting because it allows me to get out from behind my desk, work closely with multi-disciplinary teams and see the tangible results of developments,” says Jen.
As the lead consenting lawyer for Foodstuffs South Island Limited, Jen achieved the fast track redevelopment of supermarkets damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes and recently obtained approval for the contentious Wakatipu PAK’n SAVE following years of complex litigation. In the last 12 months she has also secured approvals for various peri-urban developments to meet Canterbury’s intense housing demands.
“At the moment I am also being kept busy as a specialist in environmental due diligence acting for investors in the dairy sector and advising on the consenting of irrigation schemes.”
Jen is directly involved in the Canterbury rebuild and recovery effort. She devotes her time on a pro bono basis as Chair of the Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board, and her contribution to the $290 million restoration of 22 heritage buildings at the Arts Centre – believed to be the largest project of its kind currently being undertaken in the world – led to her recognition in the NZ Lawyer Hot List as a ‘pillar of the community’.
“Giving back to the community is such an important part of what we do and it’s particularly critical during the Canterbury recovery to lend our skills to help the community get back on its feet. I believe that the Arts Centre will be a key feature of rebuilding our city’s cultural heart and my hope is that, in years to come, this revitalised area will anchor people back to Christchurch.”
Jen is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Canterbury on resource management law and is actively involved in training expert witnesses and junior lawyers for preparation in court proceedings. She is a current member of the Institute of Directors, New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the Resource Management Law Association.
Outside of work, Jen enjoys skiing and snowboarding with her husband and two children, aged seven and nine, and spending time on their lifestyle block on the outskirts of Christchurch. A social (but mildly competitive) downhill ski racer since the 1980s, she competes in the Mt Hutt Masters every year and is also a member of the Anderson Lloyd ski team at the annual ‘lawyers versus accountants’ race in Canterbury and looks forward to defending the firm’s trophy later in 2014.