Working at Chen Palmer

Working at Chen Palmer is an opportunity like no other to work on the cutting edge of public law. We produce the best advice and we hire the best lawyers. We take care of our staff – we know that they are our strength. Chen Palmer is above all a learning institution.

Find out what our lawyers have to say about working at Chen Palmer below.

“I have found working at Chen Palmer interesting, exciting, and rewarding.  The work is diverse and wide ranging.  It covers everything from civil litigation to briefing Ministers and includes many other less well known ways of resolving disputes and influencing government, law and policy.  Clients often come in with urgent and critical legal, political, or commercial problems that are matters of life and death for their business or organisation.  Deadlines are often tight and standards are high.  Helping clients overcome seemingly impossible odds is very rewarding.

 Chen Palmer is a great place to work.  The lawyers that work here are all  individually outstanding in their own right and their ability to work together as a team is impressive.  People are friendly and helpful.  Mai Chen leads by example and is the total package of: legal book-smarts , political  street-smarts, and commercial savvy.  Although I’ve been a lawyer for 20 years, I still appreciate and value being part of a firm that brings new opportunities to learn and be challenged every day.”

“Working at Chen Palmer is a unique opportunity to see how public law works in practice.  Otherwise straightforward legal problems are always more complicated because of the public law angle.  Consequently, working at Chen Palmer requires thinking creatively about how a client’s problems can be resolved.  There is immense diversity in the work we get. The work is fast-paced, tricky and so always interesting.  I enjoy getting to tackle unique legal issues that haven’t been solved by anyone else.  It is also satisfying that our work is so often about ensuring our clients are treated fairly and justly. 

I also enjoy that working at Chen Palmer provides opportunities not just to solve legal problems but also to assist in preventing them whether that be through advising public actors how to comply with their statutory and public law obligations or through the Superdiversity Centre work.  The history of significant public law decisions that Chen Palmer has been involved is exciting, because it reminds us that working here has and continues to shape public law in New Zealand.”

“When I joined Chen Palmer Partners it was with the hope of finding a role that would broaden my experience, as I felt stifled by the legal work I was doing at that time.  From day one, I got what I was looking for: Chen Palmer Partners is a dynamic and fast-paced working environment, where no two assignments (or days) are the same.  The work is stimulating, and the role requires focus and significant commitment to the task at hand; however, the professional rewards are great, and it’s fair to say that I’ve learnt more at my time with Chen Palmer Partners than I did in my previous role.

 I love my job but if I had to give one reason in particular why that’s the case, then it’s the intellectual challenge.  The clients who instruct us rarely have straightforward problems, and so litigation is seldom the appropriate immediate response.  Instead we seek alternative – often innovative – ways to resolve the issues that we’ve been presented with, and to do so swiftly, so that our clients can get on with their lives.  And then we move on to the next battle!”

Chen Palmer Partners is a fast paced organisation. What I mean by this is that we have clients that expect to receive informed, up to date, and practical advice with a quick turn around. We have clients that need support working with central and local government and this support requires advice to be given sometimes immediately. It is also an organisation that is always looking to improve and to be at the cutting edge of the provision of legal services. Thus, as a business it is constantly changing, making improvements, and ensuring that we can provide the best service possible to our clients. As an employee, it means that you are constantly learning and can never get complacent.

While we specialise in public and employment law, it is wrong to suggest that the work we do is limited.  To properly provide public law advice to our clients, we are required to know about contracts, criminal law, and commercial law. Public law intersects and blends with all types of law and so everyday we are required to delve into a wide range of different areas of law.

The work we do and the clients we represent are always well-known, publicised and in the headlines. This is because the work we do makes a difference. Whether the work is for an individual fighting local government, or whether the work is for business that needs help fighting unfair Crown policy or regulation, we will always be at the forefront taking action that helps.

As an employee at Chen Palmer Partners, I have learnt a considerable amount in a short time. Prior to working here I was restricted to working in one area of law. Working at Chen Palmer Partners has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of different areas of law and expand my skill-set. Chen Palmer Partners also emphasises inclusivity. The other employees are always available to help and support me. Even when they have impending deadlines, they are always willing to take a moment to provide me with advice and guidance. As a member of a minority demographic, in other workplaces I have felt out of place. Here, I feel comfortable and have never been made to feel uncomfortable because of my ethnicity.”

“Working at Chen Palmer is a unique experience. We work as a team in a dynamic, fast-paced environment to deliver creative solutions to our clients. The standard of work is high and the range of problems we deal with is diverse. There is never a dull moment at Chen Palmer. We go beyond standard legal advice and take a holistic approach to the complex interface between the law and the ever changing political landscape. All our lawyers share a passion for public law and a drive to make a real difference.”

“Having recently started at Chen Palmer the stand out difference is the pace and intensity of the work, as well as the broad nature of the types of issues we deal with. This makes working here high pressure but exciting and interesting – it is certainly never boring! The supportive team approach is also a fantastic part of the Chen Palmer culture and everyone pitches in together to help get the job done rather than competing amongst themselves. Everyone here is also driven to make a difference and is passionate about what they do which makes it a privilege to be able to come to work each day and contribute to that culture.”

“I have never worked with such loyal, committed and smart people who are pulling together as a genuine team across a wide spectrum of expertise to help our clients. The issues are clients are dealing with are amongst the most challenging and complex in New Zealand, and the trust and confidence they put in Chen Palmer is both a great responsibility and inspirational.”

“After working at a full service firm for 5 years, I joined Chen Palmer. Working at Chen Palmer is truly unique. Our desire for perfection, equality and equity sets us apart from other firms and organisations. I am required to be a true lawyer! The work we do here provokes intelligent and innovative thinking and demands diligence and commitment. Chen Palmer also attracts great people. Everyone is distinguished in their own way and has something special to offer. Together we form an outstanding team.”

“Chen Palmer is a fantastic place to work and learn. We have a great team of passionate, talented and interesting people. Joining the firm as a clerk was an excellent decision for me – I have been able to work on genuinely fascinating stuff which is of real importance to New Zealand. The everyday challenges are exciting and diverse, and I have been assisted to find my niche and succeed.”

“I joined Chen Palmer because I wanted to experience the thrill and excitement of working on cutting edge public law issues. I knew I would be challenged and was challenged from day one. Everyone is supportive and committed to delivering quality advice to all clients. It has been one of the best moves in my legal career and I am very fortunate to be mentored by Mai and our team of public law experts.”

“Working at Chen Palmer provides some of the most unusual, challenging and rewarding work I have experienced in over 15 years in private practice. The specialist nature of our practice means that most of our work is bespoke – designed from scratch to meet a particular client’s needs and expectations. We don’t do ordinary!”

“Chen Palmer is a dynamic environment that engages in New Zealand’s most significant constitutional and public law issues on a daily basis. The Chen Palmer team is vibrant, and most of all, dedicated to advocacy and excellence. We are pushed to be our best to deliver high quality outcomes for our clients. We do this because we are committed to justice, the rule of law, and contributing to the constitutional evolution of New Zealand.”

“As a recent addition to the firm, I was struck from my first day by the calibre of my colleagues and the collegial and collaborative atmosphere at Chen Palmer. Chen Palmer has its finger on the pulse of public law. The work is engaging and diverse, and I look forward to developing my legal skills in a supportive environment that prizes excellence.”

“The work is diverse, fast-paced, outcomes-focused and always interesting. We are often lawyers of last resort, which requires effective and creative problem-solving. We set high standards, and take pride in our success. It is great training for a young lawyer. Mai has been a supportive and generous mentor, including supporting me in my endeavours to pursue post-graduate study in the United States.”

“One of the things I enjoy the most about working at Chen Palmer are our clients. It is great helping people navigate their way through the law and translating how government works. The work is interesting and stimulating”

“Coming to work at Chen Palmer was a breath of fresh air. It’s a completely different environment from any other workplace I’ve ever been in. There is a great atmosphere amongst the team here; everyone works together to achieve results as opposed to competing against one another. One thing which is unique about Chen Palmer is the drive to go beyond providing standard legal advice. We don’t just tell clients that the law is, we can also tell them what it might be in the future and how they could go about changing it. It’s that holistic approach that keeps so many clients coming back to the firm.”

“I have been at Chen Palmer for six years, and I couldn’t be happier. There is nowhere else to practice law that combines intellectual challenge on a daily basis, the fascinating and varied client work, and the fantastic and supportive firm culture.”

“I joined Chen Palmer as a law clerk and in my years here I have been challenged, supported, and inspired. I have grown as a lawyer, and been led along my way by excellent colleagues and strong firm leadership. Chen Palmer is a fantastic place to grown, learn and develop your skills as a lawyer – and it is also a place where you are given the freedom to achieve anything you set your mind to.”