Key Personnel

Mai Chen

Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mai Chen is the Managing Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment law Specialists, Australasia’s first specialist public law firm which she co-founded in 1994. Mai is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law; a Director on the Board of BNZ; Founder and Chair of New Zealand Asian Leaders; Founder and Chair of Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business; Inaugural Chair, NZ Global Women; and Co-founder, Cultural Bridge, a joint venture between Chen Palmer and NZME. Mai was a top 10 finalist for the 2014 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Click here for further information about Mai.

Hon Margaret Wilson DCNZM

Principal Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hon Margaret Wilson was borned in Gisborne in 1947 and holds a LLB from the University of Auckland.  She has a distinguished career and was Dean at the University of Waikato (where she established New Zealand’s fifth law school), a trade unionist, Law Commissioner, President of the New Zealand Labour Party, Chief Political Advisor to Sir Geoffrey Palmer when he was in office, Member of Parliament, Attorney-General, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Since retiring from the political forefront, Hon Wilson has resumed her Professor of Law position at the University of Waikato.

Leo Donnelly

Principal Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leo is a former Ombudsman from 2016-2018, and Deputy Ombudsman from 2004-2016. He has also occupied the roles of Assistant Ombudsman, Senior Investigating Officer, and Investigating Officer with the Office of the Ombudsman, and previously worked for the Parliamentary Counsel Office.  Leo  graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand in 1981.

Leo has been a champion for diversity in the public sector and will be building on that experience to advise private and public sector clients on managing the challenges and opportunities of a superdiverse society. Leo will be advising clients on the their diversity and inclusion strategies, delivering Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training, and to assist with its research into the implications superdiversity has for workplace health and safety, and other areas of law and policy.

Leo is of New Zealand and Japanese ethnicity.

Marina Matthews

Senior Māori Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marina has over fourteen years experience providing legal and public policy advice on a range of issues.

Marina has a LLB and Diploma for Graduates in Arts from the University of Otago, and was admitted to the Bar in 2002. Marina joined the public service, firstly with the Transition Tertiary Education Commission, then the Tertiary Education Commission. She was seconded to Parliament as the tertiary education private secretary for four senior Ministers of the Crown. She then moved back to the Tertiary Education Commission as a Senior Manager.

In private practice, Marina has significant experience in advising institutes of technology and polytechnics, industry training organisations, universities, wananga and private training establishments as well as early childhood education services, schools and students’ associations.

Click here for further information about Marina

Zong-Pei Zhao

Senior Chinese Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zong-Pei grew up in Hong Kong.  His family migrated to New Zealand in the late 1990s.  Proficient in both Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese, Zong-Pei has been involved in international relations for the Wellington City Council since 2004 – hosting overseas Chinese delegations, translating and interpreting (including simultaneous interpretation) in official occasions, advising the Wellington Mayor on cultural and diplomatic matters, co-leading Mayoral delegations to North Asia, and connecting Kiwi businesses with opportunities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam.

Zong-Pei was also a civil servant at various central government entities for over 10 years before joining the private sector. He has a solid understanding of the machinery of government and has experience in the areas of building and construction law, criminal law, education law, immigration rules, evaluation, public policy, official information, courts management and international relations.

Outside work, Zong-Pei is a life member of the New Zealand Chinese Writers Association, a division of the World’s Chinese Writers Association, where membership is by invitation only. He is also a keen musician and plays a number of instruments.

Click here for further information about Zong-Pei

Anmol Shankar

Senior Indian Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the majority of his time in practice, Anmol has been involved in providing advice to employers regarding employment relations issues. He has expertise in employment law, industrial relations, and health and safety. Through his experience  providing advice to employers regarding employment law, it has become manifestly clear to him how bias can affect employment-related decisions. From recruitment, to making decisions regarding promotions, or deciding to take disciplinary action, bias—and in particular unconscious bias—can influence an employer’s decision-making in a way that breaks the law and prevents the company getting the best talent for the role.

The knowledge he has acquired regarding unconscious bias during his time working, supplemented his personal experience. He was born in New Zealand, but his parents migrated to New Zealand from Fiji. He is of Fijian-Indian decent and has been brought up by a family proud of their cultural heritage. Through this experience, he has gained significant insight into unconscious bias and how to make people conscious of its impact. He also has high CQ due to his own cultural background as a bridge between the kiwi culture and his Fijian-Indian ethnicity.

Anmol will be a part of the team undertaking CQ, subconscious bias and Asia capability training for the Superdiversity Centre.

Sean McCusker

Senior Health and Safety Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean McCusker is an intermediate associate at Chen Palmer Partners.  He specialises in employment law, Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and litigation.

Chloé-Rose Barakat-Devine

Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

Chloé-Rose has a BA/LLB from the University of Canterbury, and was admitted to the Bar in 2014. She is from an Irish-Lebanese family and has experience working in culturally and linguistically diverse environments. Prior to joining Chen Palmer, Chloé-Rose spent time overseas working with people from a range of different countries at the United Nations before returning to New Zealand to work as an immigration lawyer.

Rosie Judd

Advisor

Rosie is an associate at Chen Palmer and was admitted to the Bar in 2016.  She has experience working for the local government, specifically advising on the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

Sam Bird

Advisor

Sam graduated from the University of Cambridge on full scholarship and has previously worked as a Judge’s Clerk at the High Court.

Sam will commence working for the Superdiversity Centre in August 2018.

Penelope Jones

Research Assistant

Penelope is currently a Complaints Assessor Assistant at the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner.  She will commence working for the Superdiversity Centre in July 2018.

Anna Wu

Research Assistant

Anna is a fourth year BCom/LLB (Hons) student at University of Auckland.  She arrives in New Zealand with her family as new immigrants at the age of seven and settled in Papamoa.  She has previously worked in Hong Kong as an intern.

Shivani Thirayan

Research Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shivani is in her final year of LLB/BHSc at the University of Auckland.  She has previous experience working as the legal clerk at ACC.

Shivani has her heart in the community and has volunteered at a number of not-for-profit organisations: Hospice Waikato, Waitamata Community Law Centre, the Equal Justice Project, just to name a few.

 

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