Melissa Anastasiou

General Counsel
Spark New Zealand

Melissa Anastasiou

General Counsel, Spark New Zealand

Melissa was appointed to the Spark Leadership Squad on 1 July 2018. As General Counsel, Melissa leads Spark’s legal and compliance functions, providing Spark with strategic legal and commercial guidance, ensuring the business acts lawfully and with the utmost integrity. She has also played a pivotal role in leading out Spark’s diversity and inclusion programme. Melissa joined Spark in 2009 and undertook a range of legal roles across the organisation before being appointed as Group General Counsel in 2012. Prior to joining Spark Melissa spent a number of years as a Senior Legal Counsel for UK mobile provider Telefonica O2. She also has extensive experience working for leading corporate law firms in Auckland and the UK. Melissa has a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington. 

Jania Baigent

Partner
Simpson Grierson

Jania Baigent

Partner
Simpson Grierson

Jania is the head of the commercial litigation department and a member of the firm's board of management. She is a specialist in commercial litigation and dispute resolution.

Jania acts on major commercial cases involving complex contractual, tortious, Fair Trading Act and IP disputes. She has specialist expertise in insurance and for many years she has acted for insurers in defending and resolving claims across a range of industries. She advises insurers regarding policy coverage issues, claims and litigation.

Jania is also a specialist in privacy, media and information law. She acts on disputes regarding the protection of private or confidential information, and advises clients on online content liability, privacy, defamation, Harmful Digital Communications Act, and other corporate reputation issues.

Marija Batistich

Partner
Kensington Swan

Marija Batistich

Partner, Kensington Swan

Marija has over 20 years’ experience as a leading lawyer and is a specialist in resource management and regulatory law. She has particular expertise in consenting major infrastructure, having worked on some of Auckland’s most important transport and other place-shaping projects. She has advised Auckland Transport, and its predecessor the Auckland Regional Transport Authority for the past 13 years’. She also has significant expertise in public law and liquor licencing.
Marija is one of Kensington Swan’s key leaders in our “Gender Diversity Initiative” which has also been recognised as a finalist by the 2019 Diversity Awards NZ in the Empowerment Award category. Marija utilises the firm’s flexible approach to work hours, which allows her to be a successful partner for a leading law firm and also an active parent. She also sits on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, where she helps to drive and implement diversity and inclusion policies as part of her involvement with the firm’s graduate recruitment. Marija is currently a member of the Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN).

Lisa Carrington

New Zealand Olympic Gold Medalist & 5x World Canoe Paddling Champion

Lisa Carrington

New Zealand Olympic Gold Medalist & 5x
World Canoe Paddling Champion

Lisa Carrington (MNZM), 29, is a multi-Olympic gold medallist and a five-time world champion in kayaking and recently won gold at the World Rowing Championships in August 2019. 

Born and raised in the Bay of Plenty, Lisa grew up playing netball and surfing, transitioning to kayaking competitively in her mid-teens.

She went on to win gold in the Women's K-1 200 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as gold in the same event at the 2011 Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Lisa was named as New Zealand's senior Māori sportswoman and overall Māori sportsperson of the year in November 2012. In the 2013 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to kayaking, and at the 2016 Halberg Awards, she won the Sportswoman of the Year and the Supreme Award.

 

Ophir Cassidy

Principal
Manukau Law

Ophir Cassidy

Principal
Manukau Law

Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Ko Ngati Porou te iwi.

Ophir was a Deputy Principal in a total immersion Maori school in Mangere before starting her legal career. She is the Principal of Manukau Law and started her legal career in 2002 with the all women Maori and Pasific Island firm, King Alofivae Malosi.

Ophir specialises in Family law with a particular interest in care and protection matters and young people with complex needs. Ophir was appointed as Lawyer for the Child in the Family Court in 2007 and a Youth advocate in 2010.  She is currently involved in a Maori initiative with Te Korimako Legal education and is travelling throughout Aotearoa to educate and support whanau who come to the attention of Oranga Tamariki and the Family Court. Ophir was the co -president of the Maori Law Society in 2017 and 2018 and is a current board member of Youth Horizons Trust.

In her spare time Ophir enjoys spending time with whanau and friends, travelling and karaoke!

Kate Cornege

Partner
Tompkins Wake

Kate Cornege

Partner
Tompkins Wake

Kate specialises in general corporate and commercial dispute resolution.  She has represented clients in a broad range of commercial disputes, including contractual, competition and consumer, companies and securities, intellectual property and property disputes.  Kate has considerable experience working across regulated industries such as dairy, energy and telecommunications.

Kate has appeared in the District Court, Family Court, High Court, and as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Kate is a member of the Tompkins Wake Working parents’ forum, helping her colleagues and the firm create better options for optimising whole life balance.

Vivienne Crawshaw, QC

Barrister

Vivienne Crawshaw, QC

Barrister

Vivienne has been in practice for over 20 years, the past 15 of which she has focused primarily on family law. Vivienne has presented to ADLS, NZLS, to the Institute of Judicial Studies, for Lexis Nexis, and IBA Conferences. She has co-presented two NZLS travelling roadshows, the first on on without notice applications in 2004 and the second in 2012 on relationship property agreements. Vivienne wrote the family law column in the New Zealand Herald for two years and in 2006 published a book on family law. Vivienne became a partner at Gubbs Lawyers, Auckland in 2003. She has been a barrister sole since 2008.

Tracey Cross

Partner
DLA Piper

Tracey Cross

Partner
DLA Piper

Tracey has more than 20 years' experience with DLA Piper as a leading lawyer in the funds management and superannuation industry, and is ranked as a leading individual by both Chambers & Partners  2019 and Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019.

Tracey has been at the forefront of the changes introduced by the Financial Markets Conduct Act and advises managers and supervisors of investment funds including on regulatory compliance. She is currently leading her clients in areas of conduct and culture, corporate governance, and the changing expectations of the regulators. In this regard she liaises closely with global colleagues to offer leading thought leadership.

She is a member of the management committee of Women in Super (NZ) Incorporated. She also chairs DLA Piper New Zealand’s Leadership Alliance for Women programme, which aims to empower female lawyers through the development of leadership skills, networking and business development opportunities.

Malcolm Crotty

Chair
Russell McVeagh

Malcolm Crotty

Chair
Russell McVeagh

Malcolm specialises in commercial litigation and dispute resolution, including construction, insolvency and employment law. He acts on matters involving emergency and urgent relief orders and complex contractual and statutory interpretation issues.

Malcolm brings his experience and intelligence to represent clients in all Courts, appearing before the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court. He is also experienced in representing clients before mediations and commercial arbitrations.

Malcolm is Chair of the Russell McVeagh board and was previously Partnership Chair.

Tiana Epati

Principal & President
Rishworth Wall & Mathieson & NZ Law Society

Tiana Epati

Principal & President
Rishworth Wall & Mathieson & NZ Law Society

From 10 April 2019, Tiana will be the President of the New Zealand Law Society.

Her election means she will be the fourth woman to be President of the New Zealand Law Society. Since the first President was elected in 1897, the national lawyers’ organisation and regulator has had 30 Presidents.  Tiana is the first President of Pacifica descent and the youngest.  She is the first President to come from Gisborne where she lives with her family. 

Tiana is a partner with Gisborne law firm Rishworth Wall & Mathieson. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in September 2000 after graduating from Auckland University with a BA in philosophy and history and an LLB.  For many years, she was a Crown prosecutor in Auckland and Wellington.  Tiana worked at Crown Law Office in 2008 working in the criminal law team before moving to Gisborne in 2012, where she has worked as a criminal defence lawyer with Rishworth Wall & Mathieson.  She was President of the Law Society’s Gisborne branch from 2014 to 2016 and was elected Vice-President, Central North Island in April 2016.  She has also served terms on the New Zealand Law Society’s Criminal Law Reform Committee and Women’s Advisory Panel.   

Richard Greenaway

Chief Executive
Anderson Lloyd

Richard Greenaway

Chief Executive
Anderson Lloyd

Richard is an experienced senior executive, with extensive expertise across the professional and financial services industries, both within New Zealand and Australia.He joined Anderson Lloyd as Chief Executive in 2012, while his experience in financial services includes senior positions within retail banking, business banking, property finance and human resources.

Richard strongly believes in building a sustainable business and achieving excellent results through maintaining a long-term strategic focus and emphasis on the balance between clients, staff, community and the shareholder.

He has a passion for delivering excellent client service, and for ensuring a business’s focus remains on adding value to its client base and finding, for itself, a unique position in the market.

 

Catriona Grover

Partner and Board Member
Kensington Swan

Catriona Grover

Partner and Board Member, Kensington Swan

Catriona is a Member of Kensington Swans’ Board and is a Partner in our financial markets team with more than 20 years’ experience in funds management law. She specialises in investment funds, which include KiwiSaver, managed funds and superannuation schemes. Catriona is Ranked Band 1 in Chambers for 2019 and is a Leading Individual in Legal 500 for 2019. Catriona has acted for a number of New Zealand’s leading financial services providers and works with many of New Zealand’s leading fund managers, as well as a range of smaller and boutique companies.

Catriona was previously a Managing Partner in our Wellington office. She is a current member of Workplace Savings NZ, the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ (INFINZ) and Women in Super (NZ). Catriona also sits on the firms KenPens Committee a group of senior women in our Wellington office which provide opportunities to raise issues of relevance to women and support the development of initiatives that will help women in Kensington Swan.

Karen Kemp

Partner
Anthony Harper

Karen Kemp

Partner, Anthony Harper

Karen specialises in commercial litigation, advising clients on a wide range of disputes and risk management.

She has extensive experience acting for national and international clients in corporate disputes, construction risk management and project litigation, debt collection and issues relating to regulatory compliance.

Karen uses her experience to provide strategic advice to get the best result for the client.  She is an expert in a wide range of construction contract claims under NZ Standard Forms and NEC contracts, acting for all manner of construction clients – contractors, principals, subcontractors – as well as companies and individuals in general litigation. 

She has acted on several complex construction adjudications and arbitrations, appeared as counsel in the High Court, District Court and Tribunals, as well as advising clients on complex investigations by the Department of Internal Affairs or acting in judicial review proceedings.

Sooyun Lee

Special Counsel
Bell Gully

Sooyun Lee

Special Counsel
Bell Gully

​​​​​​​​Sooyun runs the trade mark practice of the wider Bell Gully IP team. She acts for a diverse range of clients which includes industry leaders, owners of iconic New Zealand and international brands, SMEs and start-ups. She has particular experience in advising the fashion, food and beverage, health and beauty, manufacturing, and nutraceuticals industries.

Sooyun’s key responsibility is to protect her clients’ IP in New Zealand and internationally. She advises on all aspects of IP. She provides targeted brand strategy, advises on availability and registration, and handles IP disputes.  One of her strengths is coordinating the careful growth and maintenance of clients’ local and global IP portfolios.

Sooyun also provides strategic advice on commercialising IP assets and is frequently involved in advising on the IP aspects of a business sale or acquisition, including the preparation of IP agreements.

She is experienced in implementing anti-counterfeiting and border protection measures in New Zealand and internationally, in particular China.

Sooyun has a reputation for providing practical and business-relevant IP advice. In The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019, Sooyun was named a 'next generation lawyer' in the intellectual property practice area. Sooyun was also identified as a 'next generation lawyer' in the 2017 and 2018 editions of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Bell Gully, Sooyun worked for a leading specialist IP firm for over seven years.

Sabrina Muck

Senior Lawyer
Waitemata Community Law Centre

Sabrina Muck

Senior Lawyer
Waitemata Community Law Centre

​​​​​​​​Sabrina leads the team at the Waitematā Community Law Centre, delivering free legal advice to those who are most in need in Auckland’s Waitākere, North Shore and Rodney areas. Sabrina is passionate about supporting women to live free from violence, and empower them in their decision-making for themselves and their whānau; and has a particular interest in housing and homelessness issues affecting the community. Sabrina has previously held roles at both a boutique commercial law firm and a top tier national law firm, and has long been an advocate for meaningful improvement of inclusivity and intersectionality in the law.

Marcia Murray

Crown Counsel / Tumuaki Wahine (Co-President)
Crown Law Office / Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa

Marcia Murray

Crown Counsel / Tumuaki Wahine (Co-President)
Crown Law Office / Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa

​​​​​​​​Marcia Murray has iwi affiliations to Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Tūhourangi, Ngā Puhi and is an advisor, motivator, connector and an advocate for Māori. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Māori Studies from The University of Auckland and a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington.

Marcia is an experienced solicitor, policy analyst and kaitakawaenga (Māori Liaison) with a demonstrated history of working in the government and tertiary sectors. Marcia has worked for the University of Auckland, Tuaropaki Trust, the Waitangi Tribunal and the Ministry for the Environment. She is currently working as Crown Counsel at Crown Law, on secondment from the Ministry for the Environment.

For the past two years Marcia was the elected Wellington representative for Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa - the Māori Law Society.  She led the background work for launching the first Wahine Rōia Māori Mentoring Programme and the Society’s Ngā Hoa Aroha Panel, a national ‘friends panel’ designed to be proactive and provide tautoko and awhi (support) to Māori lawyers on a confidential basis, relating to a safe working environment. In October 2018, Marcia was elected as Tumuaki Wahine (Co-President) of the Māori Law Society. 

Jaya Prasannan

GM – Corporate Services & General Counsel
NZ Compare

Jaya Prasannan

GM – Corporate Services & General Counsel, NZ Compare

Jaya Prasannan is an experienced in-house lawyer with additional expertise in governance. Jaya is currently General Manager – Corporate Services & General Counsel at NZ Compare and S.L.I.C.E. Digital, two Auckland based digital disruptors. She leads a team responsible for legal affairs, finance and human resources functions. Prior to joining NZ Compare and S.L.I.C.E. Digital, Jaya was in-house counsel for a number of large NZ businesses.  Jaya also spent 5 years in private practice and in-house in London, where she is originally from.  She has been admitted as a solicitor in New Zealand, England & Wales and Australia.

In addition, Jaya is the Deputy Chair of the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand Inc.  Jaya is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand through which she has completed additional study in governance and from whom she received the 2019 Emerging Director Award.

Jaya holds a B.A. (Hons) in Natural Sciences & Psychology from the University of Cambridge and subsequently attended Nottingham Law School to complete her postgraduate legal studies. She is currently studying towards an MBA from the University of Auckland.

Andrew Poole

Chief Executive
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Andrew Poole

Chief Executive
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

​​​​​​​​As Chief Executive of MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Andrew is responsible for the overall leadership of the firm and, with the Board, driving forward the firm’s strategy and growth.

Andrew looks after all aspects of the firm’s business and professional responsibilities including client engagement, overall partner and staff management, and leadership of the senior management team.

Andrew brings extensive leadership experience and an in-depth understanding of the legal profession. He is enthusiastic about creating opportunities to help build clients’ success by providing the best legal solutions and commercial advice.

Outside of law, Andrew has led significant projects including for the NEXT Foundation and for the Rotoroa Island Trust.

Prior to joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts Andrew built a successful leadership career in law and professional services.

Nick Wells

Chief Executive Partner (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae)
Chapman Tripp

Nick Wells

Chief Executive Partner (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae)
Chapman Tripp

Nick is Chapman Tripp's Chief Executive Partner (Hoa Rangapū Whakarae) responsible for the overall leadership of the firm and driving the firm's strategy and growth.

Nick’s role covers all aspects of the firm’s business and professional responsibilities including client development, partner management and development, and leading the senior management team. He also sits on the firm’s board.

In addition to his role as Chief Executive Partner, Nick is a leading expert on corporate structuring for Māori, private equity, businesses and charities and will remain Kaihautū of Chapman Tripp’s Māori Legal Group, Te Waka Ture. The group specialises in providing commercial legal advice to iwi and Māori organisations, and those looking to work with them - focusing specifically on post-Treaty settlement transactions, joint ventures and collective iwi arrangements.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland Law School, responsible for the iwi governance courses at undergraduate and Master’s level. He is also a contributing author to the Laws of New Zealand and co-author of Wells’ Limited Partnership Handbook published by LexisNexis.

Nick has led some of the most significant corporate acquisition and private equity transactions in New Zealand.

He was the independent expert to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Limited Partnership legislation. Limited Partnerships are one of the most significant structuring initiatives for Māori, charities and corporate activity in recent times.

Nick is a trustee of KiwiAde (a New Zealand charity helping Namibian children in need). He also assists a number of community organisations including the Te Potiki National Trust, the Sir Hugh Kawharu Foundation, and the First Foundation.

Ronni Cabraal

Employment Relations Manager and Legal Counsel
The University of Auckland

Ronni Cabraal

Employment Relations Manager and Legal Counsel
The University of Auckland

Ronni is an experienced employment law practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience working in in-house roles and in boutique and large law firms. Roles Ronni has held include Senior Associate roles at large firms such as DLA Piper and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. In Ronni’s last role in private practice she was Special Counsel at Anthony Harper. Ronni has significant experience in representing clients at mediation, before the Human Rights Commission, and at hearings in the Employment Relations Authority. Her experiences mean that she has a strong mix of skills that provide her with the ability to engage confidently at both a strategic and operational level across all levels of an organisation, from boards and senior management to front line staff, to ensure that the best outcome is always achieved. She was ranked as a recommended lawyer, in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 Directory for both 2016 and 2017. In 2016, she was commended for being as ‘commercial and client-focused.” Ronni is currently the Employment Relations Manager and In house Counsel at Auckland University.

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