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This award recognises a public sector solicitor, or group of solicitors, who have performed above and beyond their usual responsibilities. It recognises excellence in practice, as well as innovation and ethical conduct. The person or team is a great role model for more junior or aspiring government solicitors.

2022 Winner: Megan Smith, Legal Counsel, NSW Ombudsman

Megan Smith has been the NSW Ombudsman’s legal counsel since February 2016. She is the principal legal adviser to the Ombudsman and manages the provision of legal services to the office and litigation involving the Ombudsman. She also oversees the internal governance and risk unit and policy development and governance.

Prior to this, Megan was a solicitor at a large commercial law firm. She has also co-authored a textbook on equity. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (Hons) degree, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (Hons).

In judging this award, the panel noted that Megan “made their job very difficult, in the best possible way”. They acknowledged the significant contribution Megan has made to the legal profession and noted that she consistently goes beyond the requirements of her work, and proactively performs above expectations, including leading the research for and drafting of a ground-breaking report on algorithmic decision-making.

“The panel expressly welcomed her development of resources that are simple for people to use and have made a significant impact,” the judges said.

The Law Society of New South Wales, President and Council congratulate Megan Smith on this achievement.


  • Ruth Carty, EAGP/Committals Lawyer, Legal Aid NSW
  • Governance and Legal Team, Department of Planning and Environment
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