NZ Lawyer's annual Elite Women special report celebrates the achievements and hard work of women in the legal profession. In this year's report, Buddle Findlay partner Charlotte von Dadelszen has been profiled as one of the legal profession's elite, having made a significant impact in her career and the profession in the past 12 months.
Charlotte leads our Wellington property and construction team, is a board member and the chair of the national diversity and inclusion committee.
Charlotte specialises in complex property and construction projects and her expertise spans both private and public sectors. During her career, she has been involved in some of New Zealand's key property and construction projects. She also provides specialised advice on Public Works Act transactions and has extensive experience acting for the Crown in the negotiation of Treaty settlements with Māori. She is well-known for providing exceptional client service.
As a partner and a board member, Charlotte's impact as a decision maker has been significant. By challenging traditional norms, embracing diversity and inclusion, and putting people first, she has helped to transform the firm's culture and positioned it for long-term success in a rapidly changing legal landscape. Charlotte is also a natural and authentic leader, creating a supportive environment for her team. She openly provides guidance, resources, and opportunities for others to grow and excel. Philip Maitland, Buddle Findlay chief executive, commented "Charlotte is an inclusive leader who empowers people to strive for greatness and is part of their path to success. She is known for her strength of character, her clarity of vision, and her unswerving dedication to lift others higher to be the best they can be."
A recent initiative Charlotte championed was Buddle Findlay's new parental leave policy. After research suggested that the 'motherhood penalty' existed at Buddle Findlay, Charlotte committed to understanding why this was and exploring avenues for change, which ultimately led the Buddle Findlay partnership to agree to implement a new transformative parental leave package. In an interview with NZ Lawyer Charlotte described this as her "proudest accomplishment" over the last year.
Charlotte is an influential role model for encouraging employees of Buddle Findlay to bring their whole selves to work and has been a key part in ensuring that Buddle Findlay is a diverse and inclusive workplace that is accepting and embracing of peoples' differences. This was demonstrated through Buddle Findlay's involvement in Sweat with Pride this year. The firm's partners and employees raised $23,670 for Rainbow communities, placing Buddle Findlay as the number one workplace and Charlotte's own team as the top fundraiser within Buddle Findlay.
Other recent initiatives Charlotte has driven include the board's commitment to publish Buddle Findlay's gender pay gap – both on Buddle Findlay's website and on the Mind the Gap registry, and the commitment to improving Buddle Findlay's capability in te ao Māori.
Charlotte understands the importance of putting clients at the centre of the firm's operations and has instilled in her team a culture of providing exceptional client service. Notwithstanding this, she recognises the importance and demands of life outside of work. As a proud mum of three children, she sets a strong example by making it 'the norm' to prioritise spending time with family. She encourages and supports her team members to value their own home lives and pursue their aspirations beyond the workplace.
We would like to congratulate Charlotte on this well-deserved recognition.