Five Minutes With… Sophie Merkin, DLA Piper New Zealand

Five Minutes With… Sophie Merkin, DLA Piper New Zealand | Insurance Business

Five Minutes With… Sophie Merkin, DLA Piper New Zealand










Why insurance law?

I fell into insurance law when I started working at DLA Piper NZ and haven’t looked back.  Insurance is such a niche industry but the legal issues involved are pervasive and diverse enough to hold interest, especially with the issues arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes and seeing how the courts are dealing with the unusual situation.
 
How would you change the industry?
Educate people, especially young people, about insurance and the value of it.  Generally, people perceive insurance to be a ‘necessary evil’ that is bought and forgotten about and insurance companies in particular have a bad reputation that they are struggling to shake off.  A lot of the issues that the insurance industry faces could likely be avoided if people appreciated what the insurance they have purchased means to them should a claim situation arise.
 
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Learn from the mistakes of others.  You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Groucho Marx.
 
If you were prime minister for one day, what would you do?
Create a public holiday for the day after when the All Blacks win a world cup.  I’m assuming that they will continue to do so in future world cups.
 
What’s been the highlight of your career?
The day I got admitted in New Zealand.  It may be the only time I get to wear the white wig!
 
What’s your favourite style of coffee?
Soy latte.
 
Union, league, soccer or other?
Football – I have the curse of being a Spurs fan in the EPL.  Also, an ABs convert since moving to NZ (except for when they play against England).
 
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family or friends, who would they be and why?
Groucho Marx, John Cleese and Stephen Fry
I’d just sit back and listen to the stories.
 
Complete this sentence: if I wasn’t in insurance law I would be… 
A struggling actress, so in reality a waitress to pay the bills.