Currently 1 out of every 9 lawyers in New Zealand identifies as Asian. NZ Asian Lawyers collectively advocate for our profession to better reflect that demographic, and at all levels.
As a stakeholder group, NZ Asian Lawyers are regularly invited to have a say on important matters that affect the entire profession. NZ Asian Lawyers also organise public events and member events that further those objectives.
President of NZ Asian Lawyers
Mai was born in Taiwan and immigrated to NZ in 1970 when she was a young girl speaking only Mandarin. She has a First Class Law Honours degree from Otago University, a Masters degree from Harvard Law School, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and an Honorary Associate of Auckland University of Technology.
Mai is one of NZ’s top constitutional and administrative law experts, specialising in central and local Government policy and legislation, and litigating major public law cases. Mai also specialises in evidential issues concerning cultural and linguistically diverse litigants. Mai is also a judicial review specialist. She is a Barrister with over 30 years of experience in Public and Administrative Law, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Issues, regulatory, judicial review, inquiries and reviews and employment law issues. She has also worked extensively in law and policy reform, as the cases below show, she has also had extensive advocacy experience from the Supreme Court down to various Tribunals.
Mai was named in the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life in the Global Diversity List, supported by The Economist. Mai specialises in advising Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) parties in the Courts, especially in areas of regulatory breach and enforcement.
Mai advises on complex employment issues for boards and CEOs and has expertise on investigations and governance issues. She has acted for public and private organisations and is a top legal problem solver and litigator. She is known as a creative problem solver, often of last resort when conventional legal thinking has been tried and failed. She has a gift for settling difficult legal problems. She has a good strategic brain and can pretty accurately predict what is likely to happen and thus how best to prevent a certain decision or achieve a particular outcome. Mai is also a thought leader, a direction setter and a futures thinker.
Mai is approved by the New Zealand Law Society to take direct instructions from clients in certain situations.
Secretary of the New Zealand Asian Lawyers
Dunedin-born (but Auckland raised), he graduated from the University of Auckland and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute and Governance New Zealand and is a current Member of the Institute of Directors and has completed the Company Director’s Course.
Takeshi has been nominated twice as a finalist in the New Zealand Law Awards and was an integral part of the MCK and Bell Gully teams that won both Capital Markets Deal of the Year and International Deal of the Year for a complex transaction involving MCK and an overseas-listed property development company.
Chair of the Asian Women Lawyers Committee
Shehas experience in a wide range of commercial matters, with a particular focus on working with customers and suppliers of technology solutions and services. Many of the projects Karen has advised on involve the procurement of business critical technology solutions or infrastructure, and arrangements for core services (including under ‘as a service’, managed services and outsourcing arrangements), and often undertaken as part of major business transformation programmes. Karen also regularly advises on emerging technologies, often in advising on the development of new technology based products and services (including the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain).
As a data protection and privacy lawyer Karen provides expert guidance to local and multi-national clients on a wide spectrum of privacy issues. This covers advice on practices relating to the collection and use of personal information, database and information management, cloud and outsourcing arrangements (often involving data transfers offshore), and the sharing and monetisation of personal information through online services and emerging technologies.
She is regularly recognised as a leading lawyer in her specialist areas in international legal directories, and is a current trustee of the New Zealand Law Foundation and on the Executive Council of Digital Identity New Zealand.
Chair of the Young Asian Lawyers Committee
Born in Hong Kong and educated in new Zealand, Ali is the head of the commercial and property teams at Schnauer & Co. Limited in Auckland having practiced in New Zealand and Bermuda over the past twenty years. She is particularly passionate about providing advice to business owners (mainly SME’s) and over the past two years has guided many of her clients through the difficult COVID-19 and post COVID-19 times. Ali is leading the Young Lawyers group within NZAL.
Chair of the Asian Criminal Lawyers Committee
Karun came from Fiji to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1981 to study Law. Karun obtained a bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from Victoria University and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand in 1987 and in private practice. Following the 1987 Filjian military coup d’etat in 1987, Karun returned to Fiji and appeared in writs of habeas corpus cases involving those in military detention.Karun returned to New Zealand in 1988 where he worked at Goddard Oakley Carter & Moran at their Lower Hutt office. Eventually, Karun re-joined Russell Buchanan, in partnership as Buchanan Lakshman. In 1996, Karun went to the independent bar and has been instructed in both criminal and civil litigation at trial and appellate levels.
Anita Chan QC
Joint Chair of the Asian Litigators Committee
Anita Chan QC is one of New Zealand’s leading family law barristers. She was appointed to the rank of Queen’s Counsel in 2014. Anita’s practice is in complex relationship property and child cases, often with an international element (parties or property overseas, cross-border child abduction, forum disputes). Anita is often retained as counsel in cases involving farms, trusts, high-value assets, and complex asset structures. Anita is also appointed by the Courts as lawyer for children, a role she particularly enjoys.
Anita is a Fellow of the prestigious International Academy of Family Lawyers (www.iafl.com). Only those practitioners recognised as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries are admitted as Fellows of the Academy. Anita presently serves as counsel to the Academy and has previously held the offices of Vice-President, Counsel, Parliamentarian and Governor respectively.
Anita chaired the New Zealand Law Society Family Law Section from 2000-2001. Anita is a member of the NZAL Board’s Litigation Committee and is the current Chair of FairWay Resolution Limited.
Anita will be liaising with the NZLS Family Law Section and the New Zealand Bar Association.
Joint Chair of the Asian Litigators Committee
Augustine is a general civil litigator with particular familiarity with relationship property, trust and contract issues. He is a contributing author to Fisher on Matrimonial and Relationship Property, and to the New Zealand edition of Cross on Evidence.
Augustine is a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong and studied at the University of Auckland Law School. Prior to joining Bankside Chambers as a member in 2019, Augustine worked for the Hon. Robert Fisher QC and other members of Bankside Chambers. Augustine is fluent in Cantonese and speaks Mandarin.
Augustine is one of NZAL’s liaising members with the New Zealand Bar Association.
Joint Chair of the Asian Litigators Committee
Yvonne has a double degree in Law and Commerce (Finance) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours. Yvonne was the 2016 Arthur Watts Fellowship intern at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (London) and an Inner Temple Pegasus Scholar (London) in 2018. She has a keen academic interest in comparative legal studies, corporate criminal law, proceeds of crime, administrative law, human rights law, access to justice and international investment law.
Yvonne began her career at the bar as an employed barrister and subsequently held tenancy as barrister sole at two sets of respected chambers in Auckland. During this time, Yvonne worked with a number of prominent senior barristers and appeared in a wide range of District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings both as junior and sole counsel. Most recently, Yvonne worked at the esteemed firm Meredith Connell where she specialised in High Court litigation under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009. She also appeared as sole counsel in a number of criminal prosecutions as well as appellate and disciplinary hearings either as a Crown prosecutor or on behalf of other government clients.
Born in Shanghai, and raised both there and in New Zealand, Yvonne is bilingual in English and Chinese (including spoken dialects and written Chinese). This background gives her insight into the dimensions and nuances of the law as experienced by immigrant communities, particularly from China. As a member of the Diversity Committee of the New Zealand Bar Association, Yvonne is committed to advancing the interests of clients, colleagues and future members of the legal profession from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds.
Chair of the Asian Commercial Lawyers Committee
Lynne is a Partner at Anthony Harper, specialising in commercial litigation. She has advised on a range of complex matters, including shareholder disputes, governance and breach of directors’ duties, breach of trust claims, property litigation (Property Law Act, Unit Titles Act and Body Corporate governance), consumer credit, product liability issues and matrimonial property claims.
She has particular expertise insolvency and restructuring, banking and finance, and securities enforcement litigation. She has extensive experience advising creditors, debtors and insolvency practitioners on a range of issues including debt recovery, enforcement of personal guarantees, personal insolvency issues and compromises, company liquidation and receiverships, as well as Personal Property Securities Act 1999 security enforcement and priority issues. Lynne has appeared at all levels of Court, including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Maori Appellate Court.
Ranked by Chambers and Partners (Global) (2021 and 2022) and Legal 500 (2016-2022).
She has a Master of Laws (Hons) from the University of Auckland specialising in Commercial Law and the Personal Property Securities Act. Most recently, Lynne completed Levels 1, 2 and 3 Te Reo classes at Unitech. She is fluent in English and has conversational Cantonese.
Prior to entering the legal profession, Lynne worked in the hospitality sector, predominantly in food and beverage (fine dining) but with experience in hotels, including 6 years with the Hilton Hotel in an assistant management position and SkyCity Grand.
Chair of the Asian Academics Committee
Gehan Gunasekara is an Associate Professor and is Deputy Head of the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Auckland Business School. He specialises in the areas of franchising law and privacy law. He has published many articles on both information privacy and franchising in New Zealand and overseas and is a regular commentator in national media.His privacy research has been cited internationally, including by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner and by the Australian Law Reform Commission. He served as a member of the academic reference committee for the Review of Privacy by the New Zealand Law Commission and has subsequently played a role in advising the Government on reform of the Privacy Act 1993.
He is the current Chair of the Privacy Foundation New Zealand Inc., a not for profit organisation that helps protect New Zealanders’ privacy rights, through research and education and through highlighting privacy risks in all forms of law, technology and practice, and campaigning for practical and fair solutions.
Below are profiles of some our members from information publically available and information provided to us. NZ Asian Lawyers consists of over 100 members from a wide variety of professional backgrounds working as lawyers, in-house counsel and within academia.
Solicitor at Focus Law
Abbie was born in Hong Kong and speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She holds a Bachelor of Law from Nottingham Trent University and a Master of Social Science in Criminology from the University of Hong Kong. She also finished her study at Auckland University of Technology before admission in New Zealand.
Abbie works in Focus Law’s commercial and property team. Abbie has been working in the legal profession in Auckland since 2015, she specialises in property transactions both commercial & residential, land development & subdivisions and general commercial contracts.
Partner at Ong & Partners Lawyers
Originally from Malaysia, Adelina has been in law practice since 2001. She has gained extensive legal knowledge and experience in NZ and Australia. Adelina prides herself on offering efficient, pragmatic solutions in a timely and personable manner.
Outside the office, Adelina chases around yellow furry balls and shuttlecocks and sometimes just running around for hours chasing nothing just for the fun of it! She is particularly proud of completing a few marathons and a 160km cycle around Lake Taupo.
Adelina enjoys spending time with her friends, loves good food and cooks a formidable chicken curry.
Principal of Alex Lee Lawyers
Alex holds two post graduate masters in laws specialising in public law, international law and international trade law. Alex has also been actively involved in various business and trade organizations including The Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association (Past President), Thailand New Zealand Business Council (Past Chairman) and the NZ Association for Migration & Investment Inc. (Past Board Member). Alex has taught law in Hong Kong and Auckland and was the Auckland Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
Alex is also actively involved in screen and stage. He also previously taught film production at the University of Auckland. Alex was a National Executive Member of the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand, Chairman of Film Auckland, Director and Founding Trustee of the Documentary New Zealand Trust, Chairman of the Asia New Zealand Film Foundation Trust and Founder & Previous General Counsel of The Oryza Foundation for Asian Performing Arts. He was previously the Head of the School of Screen and Performing Arts at UNITEC.
Alex is a practising media and entertainment lawyer who is also a screen/stage director and producer and therefore, he brings a personal, comprehensive and practical understanding of the screen and stage industries to his legal practice.
Employment Relations Lawyer at Fonterra
Anmol is an Employment Relations Manager – Solicitor at Fonterra Co-operative Group, where he provides advice to the business on employment law related matters including restructures, personal grievances, and union relations. Anmol also conducts investigations on serious issues, such as allegations of bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
Prior to working at Fonterra, Anmol worked at the Employers and Manufacturers Association providing employment law advice to small, medium, and large businesses. In 2014, he began working at Tamaki Legal where he was heavily involved with a number of Waitangi Tribunal Treaty inquiries including the Te Rohe Potae Inquiry, Te Paparahi o Te Raki inquiry and the Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry. Anmol also provided legal advice on employment law matters, the environment, Maori land law and issues surrounding the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011.
In 2016, Anmol commenced work at Chen Palmer Partners, where he provided advice to businesses and organisations on employment law issues, some public law issues and was also heavily involved in Treaty Negotiations with the Crown, on behalf of Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua. On behalf of the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy, and Business, Anmol also assisted with providing unconscious bias and Asia capability training to businesses and organisations.
Arthur Loo QSM
Partner of Loo & Koo Solicitors
Arthur co-founded Loo & Koo in 1995 and since then has overseen its growth into Australasia’s largest South-East Asian focused law firm. Arthur entered the legal profession because he felt a calling to make the law and legal advice accessible to people who are constrained by language barriers, such as the Chinese community. Arthur combines more than 30 years of legal experience with business and financial savvy to assist businesses and create wealth for his clients.
Arthur is a trustee of; Skycity Auckland Community Trust, Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Education, Koru Care Charitable Trust and the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation. His community work has included holding executive positions on a number of community and sporting organisations. Currently he is the Chairman of the Auckland Chinese Community Centre.
He was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal in recognition of services to New Zealand. He was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Chinese Community, in the New Year’s Honours list 2012.
Principal of Arti Chand Tax Law
Arti graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, majoring in Economics and Money & Finance.
Arti started her career as a Solicitor with the Large Enterprises Unit of Inland Revenue where she was primarily involved in preparing tax dispute documents and dealing with binding ruling applications. From there Arti moved on to work with a couple of accounting firms, Horwath Wellington (now BDO) and Ernst & Young. Immediately prior to setting up Arti Chand Tax Law in 2015, she was an Associate Director with a boutique tax practice providing complex tax advice (including international tax) to high net worth individuals/families.
In addition, Arti was recently appointed President of the Pasific Lawyers Association. Further to this, she is; vice President (Wellington) of the New Zealand Law Society, Vice President of the Wellington branch council of the NZLS, an executive committee member of the New Zealand Fiji Business Council and the 2018 Winner of the Pasifika Woman Business Owner Award (Pasifika Business Network). Arti has previously volunteered with Wellington Victim Support, for over a decade. More recently, she has served as board member and Chair of the charity, Parent Help. And, she currently foster puppies for the SPCA.
Arti is of Fijian-Indian descent and grew up in Fiji. As such she is a strong advocate of celebrating the success of Pacific people and businesses in New Zealand.
Dr Chat Nguyen
Director of Internationalisation and Lecturer at the University of Canterbury
Dr Nguyen obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Canterbury. He has taught at the University of the South Pacific prior to joining the University of Canterbury. Further to this, Dr Nguyen has worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Jean Monnet Actions in a number of teaching initiatives and research projects on Anti-Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing, Transnational Organised Crime, and Cybercrime in the Asia-Pacific region.
His particular research interests are in Financial Crime, Cybercrime, Transnational Criminal Law and Socialist Criminal Law.
Solicitor at Dentons Kensington Swan
Chelsea Wong is a musician, lawyer and experienced arts project manager. She currently practices as a Solicitor at Dentons Kensington Swan, specialising in intellectual property law. She is also a violinist and musicologist, with a particular interest in music copyright and issues that affect the creative sector. Prior to legal practice, Chelsea worked in the public sector and spent many years managing music education projects at Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. She is a passionate advocate for arts education and the way the arts can champion diverse voices and bring communities together.
Partner at Tompkins Wake
Chen obtained his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland. With 12 years’ experience, Chen has worked at a number of top law firms in New Zealand before becoming partner at Tompkins Wake in 2021.
Chen is a litigation specialist with an unwavering focus on people and the law. He has an excellent eye for the big picture, drawing on a wide body of knowledge to disentangle complex issues into clear and logical advice. Chen specialises in commercial and civil and regularly appears in the District and High Courts. Chen’s expertise includes contracts, trusts and estates, companies, property and construction, insurance. He delivers thoughtful, balanced and solution-driven advice and his ability to see the “big picture” enables
him to give strategic and tactical recommendations to our clients as a trusted advisor.
Staff Barrister at Chris Patterson Barrister
Danny has a particular interest in shareholders’ disputes, construction and insolvency law. Danny has acquired his legal experience through working in London, Papua New Guinea and Australia. In addition to New Zealand, Danny is also admitted to practise in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Having come from Taiwan in 1997, Danny is aware that it is not easy for newcomers to New Zealand to understand the law, culture and operation of a new country. You may also encounter cross-cultural issues. Danny enjoys being able to combine his legal and language skills to help you navigate through these challenges, towards a guided solution.
Outside of work, Danny is passionate about people in the community and is involved with various charitable causes including community legal education and legal clinics.
Partner at McVeagh Fleming
Dong-on graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics and Finance, in 2005. He was later admitted as a solicitor and barrister in 2005, He has since been at McVeagh Fleming since 2007 and specialises in all aspects of commercial law and property matters.
Outside of work, Dong-on likes to travel and can be found conjuring up travel itinerates in his spare time. He enjoys spending time with mates who have introduced him to a number of interesting diversions over the ears, including playing board games, trout fishing and sitting exams.
Corporate Lawyer at the Bank of New Zealand
Elyse obtained her Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington and is fluent in Korean.
Elyse is a corporate lawyer in BNZ’s in-house legal team. She advises various internal stakeholders in relation to banking products and services. Prior to joining BNZ, Elyse worked at various law firms in Auckland practicing in the areas of property and commercial law.
Foreign Policy Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Emily completed her Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington in May 2020.
Emily is currently a Foreign Policy Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working in the Pacific Regional Division on labour mobility issues. Prior to rotating into her current team at MFAT, Emily worked at the Royal Commission of Inqui
ry into Abuse in Care, in the Trade Law Unit in MFAT’s Legal Division, and has completed secondments into emergency responses at MFAT. Emily is interested in a wide range of legal areas including international trade law (and international law more generally), intellectual property, consumer credit law, and human rights law.
Partner at Lane Neave
Evelyn obtained her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and was awarded Senior Prizes in Law, Accounting and Finance. She is fluent in her native Bahasa Malaysia and is proficient in Mandarin.
Evelyn specialises in all aspects of banking and financial services law. Evelyn is a technical and solution-focused adviser. She has particular expertise in securitisation and other structured and financial products (including derivatives). She also provides advice on financial sector regulation.
Before joining Lane Neave, Evelyn has worked at other major law firms in New Zealand and in London. She has also worked in-house (on secondment and on contract) at a major bank and a leading consumer finance product company in New Zealand.
Fei Fei Teh
Principal and Director of Millennium Lawyers
Fei Fei was born in China. She moved to the United Kingdom in 1990 as an international student. Her work experience in UK includes being the Head of Chinese Outreach in an UK-based international organisation. She immigrated to New Zealand in 1995.
After graduating from the University of Auckland Law School with a Bachelor of Laws(Honours), Fei Fei started her legal career in civil litigation and property law. In civil litigation, Fei Fei has worked alongside skilled litigators, such as Gregory Thwaite, to represent clients in the Family Court, District Court and High Court. In the process, she has gained skills in negotiation, dispute resolution and preventative legal measures. She applies these when assisting her clients in property and commercial matters.
Solicitor at Solomons
Feifei is a Solicitor at Solomons, having completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Otago.
Feifei brings a unique skillset to the team as she also holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Anhui University of Architecture in China, and a post graduate diploma in Environmental Science from the University of Otago. Being fluent in both English and Mandarin, she is able to assist the firm and clients with translation when needed.
Feifei’s practice areas include Dispute Resolution, Relationship Property, Trust Formation and Succession Planning, Immigration, Property, Commercial, and Employment Law.
Solicitor at K3 Legal
Grace holds a Master of Law degree from Emory University, in Georgia, USA, as well as a Bachelor of law from China Jiliang University. She completed her studies at the University of Auckland prior to admission in New Zealand.
Having worked in general practice firms in Auckland for five years, Grace has specialised in complicated immigration matters across a wide range of areas, including compliance investigations, deportation matters, waivers, ministerial requests and appeals. She also practices in the areas of civil litigation, employment relations and family property disputes.
With her experience of studying and living in New Zealand, China and the USA, Grace understands the joys and struggles of being part of multiple cultures and can empathise with many clients, who have roots all over the world but now call New Zealand home.
Barrister and Solicitor
Admitted in 1997 as a lawyer at a High Court in India, Gurbrinder was elected as the executive committee member of the High Court Bar in 2000. As a graduate in Law, English Literature, and Sociology. Gurbrinder studied & re-qualified in New Zealand and was admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor at the High Court in Auckland. He worked at law firms in North shore and Auckland, before going on his own account in late 2015 and setting up his private litigation practice in Auckland.
He has acted in Judicial Review, Leave to Appeal, Civil Claims, Liquidation and Insolvency matters, Contempt of Court proceeding, Family and Property Relationship matters, acted for Immigration Advisors at the IAA and IACDT, successfully litigated the Privacy Act matter before the Human Rights Review Tribunal, and acted in Criminal matters and appeals relating to discharge without conviction at the District Court and High Court. He has also advised the Indian High Commission to New Zealand, on legal matters.
A member of the New Zealand Bar, he is on the Advocacy Committee of the New Zealand Bar Association. Earlier he has served on the Litigation Committee of the Auckland District Law Society. Apart from English, he is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu languages.
Hak Jun Lee
Partner of Commercial Property Team and Head of Asia Practice at Hesketh Henry
Originally from Korea, Hak Jun graduated from the University of Auckland and was admitted in New Zealand in 2001. He is also admitted as an Attorney at Law in New York, USA and in New South Wales, Australia.
Hak Jun advises in all aspects of commercial and property law including complex business and property transactions, land development, banking and finance and foreign investments. As Head of Asia Practice, Hak Jun regularly advises various international and corporate clients from the Asia pacific region on cross-border transactions and investments to New Zealand.
Hak Jun actively involves himself with various business and community associations. His current appointments are; Honorary Legal Counsel for the Korean Consulate Office in Auckland, advisor for Auckland and Busan (Korea) Sister City relations, trustee for Korean Cinerama Trust – responsible for the annual Korean Film Festival in NZ; and Regional Governor for AKL (International Association of Korean Lawyers).
Senior Associate at Lane Neave
Helen is a Senior Associate in the Building and Construction team at Lane Neave in Auckland. She is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. Helen has over 10 years’ experience specialising in construction and property disputes.
Prior to Lane Neave, she had worked in both boutique and general practice firms, gaining broad experience in other areas of law including insurance, insolvency and trusts.
Helen is currently serving as a Committee Member of the Auckland Chinese Community Centre Inc. She is also a mentor in the New Zealand Law Society’s Mentoring Programme.
Solicitor at McVeagh Fleming
Helen graduated in 2018 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 2019. Helen commenced her legal career at a small conveyancing firm as a law clerk and then at a well-established mid-sized firm on the Shore as a solicitor working on a range of commercial and property matters and general practice.
Helen joined McVeagh Fleming in early 2021 and works closely with Partner, Dong-on Lee, in the Commercial Property Team at the Auckland Office on a broad range of commercial law and property matters, including residential conveyancing and commercial contracts.
Helen is a fluent speaker of Korean language.
Iswari (Ish) Jayanandan
Ishwari was originally born in Sri Lanka but moved to New Zealand as a child. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce. She has been a barrister sole since 2010 and practises in South Auckland.
Her trial work is varied in nature and includes single/multiple defendant homicides, multi-accused Police operations, sexual offending, assaults of varying degrees, fraud matters and cases that are governed by the Criminal Procedure Mental Impaired Persons Act.
Ishwari is a legal Aid PAL 4 provider, and is on the Duty Lawyer, PDLA and Amicus Panel for Manukau District Court. She is a member of the NZBA, ADLS, AWLA, South Auckland Bar Association, IBA and CLA. Ishwari sits on both the NZBA and ADLS criminal committees. She is on the executive committee of the SABA. She has been a member of working groups including the Auckland Custody Project implemented at eh Auckland District Court and the Remote Participation National Court to Court Custody Operating Model in September 2018.
Captain Jin Cha
Legal Advisor at New Zealand Defence Force
Jin holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Studies from the University of Auckland. After graduating, Jin joined the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2017. Here he fell in love with being part of a principled organisation which “works towards an admirable goal in the service of others”. Later, Jin returned to New Zealand. Looking to continue that principled work, he reached out to the New Zealand Defence Force where he now works as a Legal Advisor and is supported by a team of outstanding lawyers in the Defence Legal Services.
Associate at Dentons Kensington Swan
Joy is an associate in Dentons Kensington Swan’s Auckland corporate and commercial team. She has experience in advising clients on a range of corporate and commercial law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, overseas investments, general corporate and commercial law as well as commercial contracts.
Joy is the co-author of , “What changes to expect in NZ’s overseas investment laws next month- and why New Zealand remains open for business,” Dentons Kensington Swan Newsflash, May 19, 2020. She is also the founder and trustee of the Youthmix Charitable Trust.
Joy is fluent in both English and Chinese (Mandarin).
In-house Counsel and Advisory at The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
Joyce holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Auckland. She is currently studying in her spare-time towards a Master of Laws (Applied Law), majoring in Dispute Resolution and In House Practices.
Joyce is In-house Legal Counsel and Advisory at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, where she provides commercial legal advice to all departments and provides advice on commercial contracts with major real estate brands, among others. Prior to this role, Joyce was a commercial and property Solicitor and Deputy Anti-Money Laundering Officer at an Auckland law firm for five years.
Joyce was awarded the 2022 Rotary Youth Leadership award and has been selected as one of sixteen lawyers to be part of the New Zealand Law Society’s National new Lawyers Group.
Outside of work, Joyce regards netball as a central part of her life. She is both an avid player and umpire of the sport. Along with this, Joyce currently sits on the 2022 Umpires’ Committee and acts as a convener for Auckland Netball.
Principal at Rosebank Law
Junichi Nishimura was born and raised in Japan and has lived in New Zealand since 1986. He worked as a teacher in Osaka, Japan for seven years before coming to New Zealand.
Junichi obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Osaka before completing his Bachelor of Laws in Auckland. Upon arrival in New Zealand he worked as a student counsellor at a language school. In performing his duties he came to realise that there were communication gaps between the students and the systems in New Zealand. He decided to study law to broaden his knowledge of New Zealand law and his understanding of the systems in New Zealand. After completing his studies he decided to put his knowledge to practice and joined the legal profession with a view to assisting Japanese businesses and individuals in New Zealand.
Since December 2007 he has been running his own law firm, Rosebank Law. Among others, Junichi is a legal Adviser of Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland, a legal Adviser of Kodansha Treefarm NZ Ltd since 2008 and one of Founders of NZ Japan Law Institute.
Associate at Righteous Law
My name is Jyostana (Jo) Haria. I am an Associate at Righteous Law and a member of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI). I manage a team of dedicated and professional talents specialising in Immigration Law within the Immigration Department. As a migrant myself, I am originally from India and am fluent in English, Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi. I specialise in Immigration Law including temporary and permanent resident visa applications, deportation matters, appeals to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, requests for Ministerial intervention, responding to complex PPI letters. Before joining Righteous Law, I have worked in a boutique law firm in central Auckland for nine years gaining legal experience. I understand migrants’ needs as well as expectations and strive to give them the justice they deserve.
I also assist with conveyancing matters such as property purchase, property sale, sale and purchase of land, refinance. Our firm also provides services including subdivision, resource consent, change of titles, caveat on property. Our law firm services a diverse range of clients. Our lawyers practise in different areas of law to ensure all clients’ legal needs can be sufficiently managed. We aim to assist our clients to succeed in different aspects of their lives.
In my personal time I enjoy exploring New Zealand’s beautiful bush walks and beaches and being with my family, especially with my toddler daughter.
Kai Ling Chiu
Kai Ling completed her Bachelor of Laws at Victoria University of Wellington in 2017 and was admitted in the High Court of New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2018. She was also admitted as a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2019.
Prior to joining McVeagh Fleming, Kai Ling had worked in a boutique law firm on Auckland’s Queen Street with her main areas of practice in dispute resolution, debt recovery and civil litigation. Kai Ling works in the Litigation Team at the Auckland Office on a range of matters including commercial and civil disputes, including money claims, commercial and contract disputes and business/property sale and purchase disputes.
Aside from English, Kai Ling is also a fluent speaker of Mandarin and Cantonese. Outside of work, Kai Ling enjoys her Pilates reformer classes, belting songs at the karaoke with her friends and trying out new baking or dinner recipes.
Director and Chief Executive of the Serious Fraud Office
Karen holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) in Accounting & Finance, from the University of Auckland.
Karen Chang joined the Serious Fraud Office as Director and Chief Executive in April 2022. Prior to this Karen was Head of Enforcement at the Financial Markets Authority, a role she had held since 2017. She was also Acting General Counsel from November 2021, leading the policy, governance, corporate legal, investigations and enforcement functions.
Prior to joining FMA, Karen was a senior Crown prosecutor, conducting a range of trials involving serious criminal offending. Earlier in her career, Karen was a commercial and regulatory litigation lawyer in private practice in Auckland, Sydney and most recently, in New York City.
Kenneth obtained his Bachelor of Laws(Hons), Bachelor of Engineering(Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland before graduating from Cambridge University with his Masters in Technology Policy.
Capstone Law was founded by Kenneth, who was a software engineer prior to becoming a lawyer. Kenneth was awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.
Senior Associate at Wynn Williams
Kimberley is a senior associate in the national Corporate & Commercial team. She has extensive corporate advisory experience having worked on domestic and cross-jurisdictional transactions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Kimberley is experienced in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and joint ventures.
She also advises on a range of corporate governance issues, including shareholder arrangements and board matters.
Prior to joining Wynn Williams, Kimberley worked for a leading international law firm in London where she led teams on complex and high value corporate transactions. Prior to that, Kimberley began her career at a leading law firm in New Zealand.
Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology
Krishan is about to complete his PhD at the University of Auckland in the areas of surveillance, privacy, and human flourishing. In particular his PhD critically examines the ethics of surveillance and privacy and whether both concepts can work together to achieve the common good and good life.
As of December 2021, Krishan has commenced his new role as a Lecturer at the AUT Law School. Krishan’s areas of interest are constitutional law, administrative law, law of torts and the intersection between law and other disciplines in particular, philosophy and sociology. He likes to critically investigate and develop ways to address socio-legal issues using interdisciplinary approaches.
Leo Donnelly ONZM
Member of New Zealand Asian Lawyers
Leo is a former Ombudsman from 2016-2018, and Deputy Ombudsman from 2004-2016. He brings his expertise and considerable experience in public and administrative law to Chen Palmer’s recognised leadership in the legal industry.
Leo 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 Bachelor of Laws 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 is also working as a Principal Advisor with the Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business to advise 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.
Dr Lida Ayoubi
Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology, Law School
Dr Ayoubi completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Tehran before graduating with an Master of Laws in International human rights and Intellectual Property law from Lund University. She received her PhD degree from Victoria University of Wellington in 2015. Her doctorate investigated access to copyright protected works for visually impaired persons and the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty.
She also acts as an Executive Member of the Asian Pacific Copyright Association and the Deputy Director for AUT Centre for Indigenous Rights and Law.
Dr Ayoubi has contributed to different research projects in academia and international institutions including the WIPO and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights. She has presented and published on different themes arising from the interface of human rights and intellectual property rights with a focus on the relationship between copyright and socio-economic and cultural rights and rights of indigenous peoples.
Ling Yan Pang
Senior Associate at Russell McVeagh
After obtaining her Bachelor of Laws(Hons) and Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland, Ling Yan joined Russell McVeagh as a graduate. She worked at Linklaters LLP in London as an associate and managing associate in the structured finance group before returning to Russell McVeagh in 2017.
As a senior associate in the Auckland office, Ling Yan specialises in debt capital markets and structured finance, in particular securitisations and covered bonds. Her recent work highlights include acting for Argosy Property as issuer of the first green bond by a New Zealand corporate and acting for the arrangers on the 2019 note issuance out of Resimac’s RMBS programme. She also regularly advises on warehouse securitisations of mortgages and other receivables, and has advised four of New Zealand’s largest banks on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s proposed residential mortgage backed securitisation standard.
Ling Yan advises corporates and financial institutions on financial services regulation, such as the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 and the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.
Dr Lili Song
Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago
Prior to joining the Faculty, Dr Song taught at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu for about three years. She has held research or visiting positions at Oxford University, Melbourne University, the Michigan Law School, the Australian National University, the Humanities Institute in Myanmar, and Northwestern University in the US. Before entering academia, she worked as a lawyer at an international law firm and then as an in-house counsel at an international commercial bank, both in Shanghai, China. In 2012, she completed an internship with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs in New York.
Dr Song serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Refugee Law and Climate Law and Policy, as secretary of the New Zealand Asian Studies Society, and on the advisory board of RefLaw.org (an e-journal launched by the Michigan Law School), and regularly provides Country of Origin Information and expert reports to asylum courts and tribunals. From 2016 to 2019, she served on the editorial board of the Journal of South Pacific Law. She is a member of the Centre for Global Migrations (University of Otago) and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.
Dr Song’s research interests include refugee law, Chinese law, Pacific law, law of the sea, and public international law issues relating to China or South Pacific island states. She has gratefully received research fellowships/awards from institutions in N
ew Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, the US, China, and South Korea, including an Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship, a Michigan Grotius Fellowship, a New Zealand Law Foundation research grant, a Human Rights in Asia fellowship and a Victoria University of Wellington Postgraduate Research Excellence Award, and has conducted fieldwork in Myanmar, South Korea, China, India, and Cook Islands. She is the author of Chinese Refugee Law and Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Non-Executive Director of Restaurant Brands NZ
Lyn Lim is experienced in investment structures, risk management, HR, HSW, AML, dispute management and compliance. She has 30 years of legal practice specialising in commercial, corporate and governance issues and dispute resolution.
She is on the boards of Auckland University of Technology, Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, and General capital. She is also a trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and holds voluntary position on the board of Middlemore Foundation. Lyn is a chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, a member of the new Zealand Law society, and a member and vice chair of the Women in business Committee of the Inter Pacific Board Association.
In 2017, Lim became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to New Zealand-Asia relations and governance.
Director of Mt Eden Legal
Mahesh was born in Auckland and educated at Auckland Grammar School. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in French) and Bachelor of Laws degrees at the University of Auckland. Prior to commencing practice as a Director of Mt Eden Legal, Mahesh was Director at Gandhi Lala Lawyers after working in an established city firm where he acted for many private and commercial clients in a city firm environment, gaining invaluable legal experience at a high level.
His main areas of practice are Property Law, Trusts and Business law. Mahesh has a particular interest in estate planning advice and has built his practice largely on his reputation for providing accurate and efficient service to his clients, carrying out legal work on a timely basis.
Mahesh is married to Sandhya and they have two sons, Milan and Dhruv, and a daughter Sajel. Time out of the office is largely spent trying to keep up with his children and following Manchester United.
Associate at Alex Lee Lawyers
Maricel completed her Bachelor of Laws at the AUT University in 2018. Maricel is amongst the first to be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority. She has been practicing as an Immigration Adviser for almost 14 years now.
A successful migrant herself, she is active in the immigration circles in New Zealand. She served as one of the Board of Directors of the New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment (NZAMI), from 2008-2010. NZAMI is the professional association for New Zealand migration advisors. Maricel was also chosen to be part of the 2009 and 2013 Immigration Advisers Authority Reference Group, consisting of selected advisers world-wide to give their views and insights of the immigration advise industry. She obtained her Certificate of Proficiency in Immigration Law & Practice from the Massey University of New Zealand in 2007. She finished her Graduate Certificate in Immigration Advice conjoint from the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic – University of Waikato in December 2012, making her part of the first batch of advisers to gain a formal qualification in New Zealand Immigration Advice.
Marciel’s other qualifications are in Public Relations, Communications, Management, and Entrepreneurship from Santa Isabel College, University of the Philippines and Asian Institute of Management.
Prior to migrating to New Zealand, she founded and served as the Managing Director of Projectionals Communications, a marketing and advertising agency in the Philippines, where she spearheaded the brand management for well-known brands such as Casio, Canon, Calvin Klein, Mitsubishi, G Shock Apple and other local brands in the Philippines. In New Zealand, she has mentored small to medium businesses launched their products and services to the market.
Member of Parliament
Marja emigrated from the Netherlands to New Zealand in 1989, and became an international flight attendant for Air New Zealand in 1996. She joined the Flight Attendant and Related Services Association (FARSA) as a delegate and was elected as president of FARSA in 2009, serving four terms. She graduated with a law degree in 2014 after studying part-time as a foundation student of the Auckland University of Technology Law School. In February 2017, Lubeck was admitted to the bar as barrister and solicitor of the High Court.
During her time as president of FARSA she was involved in an operational merger arrangement with New Zealand’s largest private sector union, E tū, resulting in the FARSA membership endorsing an amalgamation in November 2016. Lubeck served as the lead advocate in negotiations for the major airlines servicing the New Zealand market and was part of the High Performance Engagement (HPE) Leadership Team at Air New Zealand where organised labour and management engage in a consensus-based workplace democracy programme.
In 2018, Lubeck introduced the Prohibition of Conversion Therapy Bill into the member’s ballot to ban conversion therapy.
Solicitor at Tamaki Legal
Meerah is a Sri-Lankan Tamil solicitor based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She graduated from the University of Auckland in 2020 with her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Hons). In 2020, Meerah was admitted to the bar and began her legal career advocating for Maori rights at Tamaki Legal.
At Tamaki Legal, Meerah takes on the role of managing multiple files under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 under the High Court. She also assists with the Housing Inquiry with the Waitangi Tribunal and is a part of the Criminal Team. Outside of work, Meerah spends her time teaching children about morals, ethics and values, while also engaging in hobbies such as singing and playing the piano.
Dr Michelle Zang
Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Michelle Q Zang holds the Bachelor of Laws (Fudan University, Shanghai, 2004), Master of Laws in European Legal Studies (Distinction, Durham University, UK, 2006) and PhD in EU Law and WTO Law (Durham University, UK, 2010).
Dr Zang specialises, publishes and teaches in international economic law and European law. Before joining Victoria University of Wellington, she completed post-doctorate research respectively as Emile Noël Fellow at Jean Monnet Center, NYU Law School (2010 – 2011) and at PluriCourts- Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo (2014 – 2018). She also worked for the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO (2011) and King & Wood Mallesons, Beijing (2012 – 2013).
Dr Zang has particular interest in World Trade Organisation, International Trade, Import and Export.
Senior Legal Adviser at the Human Rights Commission.
Nicky is proud to claim a tricultural heritage – of Filipino and British descent and born and raised in Thailand – Nicky immigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand with her family in 1998. Nicky is a lawyer with expertise in large scale inquiries and criminal, public, and human rights law, holding previous roles as a Crown Prosecutor, and with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
She has also worked in London for the Government Legal Department specialising in immigration and asylum litigation, and with the Undercover Policing Inquiry investigating undercover policing practices in England and Wales.
Nicky’s drive comes from engaging with people of diverse backgrounds and those in vulnerable communities, in the hope of increasing participation of traditionally marginalised groups in public life. Nicky is currently working at the Human Rights Commission as a Senior Legal Adviser.
Senior Human Rights Advisor at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Nid is a senior human rights advisor at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. He is of Thai-Chinese heritage, was born in Hawai’i, and has spent most of his youth growing up between Thailand and Aotearoa New Zealand where he is now a proud father of one.
Nid has over a decade of experience working in various law and policy roles throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. He is deeply committed to the promotion and protection of rights of marginalised peoples, whether it be in the courtroom or at grassroots level.
Associate at Glaister Ennor
Paul is an associate in the litigation and disputes resolution team at Glaister Ennor, advising clients on a diverse range of civil and commercial disputes. He acts for corporates, institutions, business owners and individuals from a variety of industries.
With more than 8 years’ experience, Peter is committed to delivering value and results for his clients. He is a strong client advocate, guiding you through complex decisions and anticipating any issues or risks which may arise. He is an expert in resolving disputes concerning; contracts, debt recovery and enforcement, general civil matters, insolvency and landlord/tenants disputes. His focus is on achieving the best outcome for his clients, which may come through negotiation, mediation or through the courts.
Paul is experienced in alternative dispute resolution and has also appeared before a number of courts and specialist tribunals including the Tenancy Tribunal, District Court and High Court.
Sole Practitioner at Liu Legal Wellington
Penny travelled to New Zealand to study at the age of 14, from Mainland China. She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Law in 2006 and was admitted to the bar in 2008.
She is a wide-ranging lawyer and her areas of specialty include everything from purchase and sale of businesses, franchising, licencing, commercial leasing and shareholders’ agreements to wealth protection, trusts, relationship property agreements, estate planning and immigration.
A skilful participant in different worlds, Penny advises clients overseas, in New Zealand and in a number of different communities all while fully belonging to and participating in each one.
Penny is the only lawyer in Wellington who speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin fluently.
Director of Carson Fox Legal
Peter specialises in commercial and commercial property law. He has extensive experience in advising start-up companies through to multinational enterprises on a wide range of commercial matters, and a specialist interest in assisting manufacturers and distributors.
Peter’s areas of expertise also include property developments, sale and purchase of commercial properties and commercial property leasing.
Peter was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 2003 and the New York Bar in 2010. He holds Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Laws (First Class Honours) degrees from the University of Auckland, and an Master of Laws
from Cornell University (New York).
Peter is fluent in both Mandarin and English.
Solicitor at Henderson Reeves
Pierre is a solicitor in Henderson Reeves’ Commercial and Property team. Pierre graduated from the University of Otago with degrees in Law and Economics.
Pierre has a wide range of experience, including advising on the sale and purchase of large businesses, to assisting first home buyers with their first purchase. Prior to joining He
nderson Reeves he worked for one of New Zealand’s leading corporate law firms.
Outside of work you will find Pierre tramping, at the movies, or enjoying a good book.
Raj Pardeep Singh
Founder Principal of Legal Associates
In 1999, Raj graduated from the University of Delhi with a Bachelor of Law. While in India he practised as an Advocate at the High Court of Delhi, and is a member of the Bar Council of Delhi. In New Zealand, he completed his Course of proficiency from the University of Auckland and New Zealand Law Society. He was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand.
Raj is Founder Principal of Legal Associates Barristers & Solicitors. His passion for law led him to establish Legal Associates in 2014 together with his wife and co-founder Ashima Singh. At Legal Associates, Raj specialises in all areas of Immigration Law, Immigration & Protection Tribunals, Judicial reviews at High Court, Ombudsman Office at Parliament, Immigration Minister Appeals and further deals in Criminal & Employment law and seeks to provide legal services to the ethnic communities and the general public. He provides counselling and guidance to immigrants and is an active supporter of the Indian community as a sponsor for Indian events.
Prior to establishing Legal Associates, Raj was a Barrister and Solicitor at Auckland city law firm for 4 years and worked as Duty Solicitor for the Auckland, Whangarei and Dargaville District Courts.
Ramya began her legal career in 2012 with a sole Barrister in Albany, Auckland. She subsequently moved to a boutique Immigration Law firm and practiced in the area for over five years before starting with McVeagh Fleming.
Ramya specialises in Immigration Law. Being an immigrant herself, Ramya appreciates the significance of these matters for not just the individuals involved but also their families, friends and employers. She prides herself on being able to provide her clients with realistic expectations and being transparent throughout the process.
Ramya enjoys travelling and visiting new parts of the world each year. She is a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’, and outside of work she can be found at various eateries throughout Auckland City.
Ramya speaks both Tamil and English.
Principal at Shieff Angland
Formerly a partner, Raymond recently rejoined Shieff Angland after a second term as a Labour MP. As chair of the Justice Committee (one of the busiest in Parliament), he contributed to the reform of key New Zealand laws including the Trusts Bill, Privacy Bill, Arbitration Bill, Courts Matters Bill and the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill. Working closely with Shieff Angland partners, he sponsored a member’s bill in Parliament, the Insolvency (Private Administration of Personal Bankruptcy) Amendment Bill, seeking to bring New Zealand into line with Australia and the United Kingdom.
Raymond is the founding trustee of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Charitable Trust, a Kiwi-driven initiative designed to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. The first of its kind in any Western country, NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand.
He is an honorary professor of law at his alma mater, China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He has published nine books, including The Power of the Rule of Law – Navigating established common law cases《法之力》(Beijing 2019), a book designed for Chinese judges, lawyers and businesspeople.
Associate at Hesketh Henry
Richard Chen is an Associate at Hesketh Henry. Richard practices property law, advising clients on the acquisition and disposal of significant commercial property portfolios, as well as a broad range of property matters such as land development, property financing, due diligence and leasing. Richard also specialises in residential property transactions, including “off the plans” agreements and occupation right agreements. Richard is currently a member of the Auckland District Law Society Property Law Committee.
Outside of legal practice, Richard is an award winning violinist, having performed as a soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, Bay of Plenty Symphonia and the Yellow River Symphony Orchestra after winning the NZ Sentinel Secondary Performers Competition and being appointed Concertmaster of the Auckland Youth Orchestra for five years.
Robert Hong Hu
Director and Founder of Hong Hu Lawyers
Prior to immigrating to New Zealand, Robert worked in global pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lily, Pfizer and Kirin as a senior pharmaceutical manager. He has more than 25 years’ customer service and management experience and financially savvy. Robert also holds Postgraduate Diplomas in Medical Science and English Literacy which were completed in China before he immigrated to New Zealand.
Robert is the first and only notary public lawyer from mainland China practicing in New Zealand. He was appointed as the guest law professor in several law schools in China and was awarded a senior fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Notaries.
Robert is currently the Chief Executive of Hubei Chambers of Commerce of New Zealand Incorporated and Chairman of Hubei International Cooperation NZ (Auckland) Workstation. In January 2016 and 2017, Robert Hu was selected as only one of the two overseas delegate of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Wuhan, a city with a population of 11 million. He was further selected as one of the 12 overseas delegate of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Hubei Province at the same time.
Robert was the only Chinese lawyer from New Zealand who joined the NZ-China FTA business delegation which was led by the then Prime Minister, Helen Clark, when the Free Trade Agreement was signed in Beijing on 7 April 2008.
Outside of work, Robert enjoys the company of family and friends and spend weekends away. He is an avid soccer and badminton player, skier and enjoys adventure sports, Chinese Martial Arts, sky-tower bungy-jumping, deep sea diving, rock climbing and marathon races. He is a fit, energetic person with big sense of humour.
Dr Ruiping Ye
Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Ye holds law degrees from both China and New Zealand. She was qualified to practise law in China and is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. Before moving to New Zealand, Dr Ye was an in-house lawyer at a state-owned assets investment corporation in China.
Dr Ye is a Chinese law expert with a teaching and research focus on the Chinese legal system and legal issues concerning Chinese people in New Zealand. Her research has been published in many legal and Chinese studies forums, including in international journals and a monograph. She has discussed Chinese law and legal culture in Judges’ forums and has acted as expert witness on Chinese business culture and law. Her research often takes a comparative approach, reflecting her bi-jural background and utilising the strength of expertise in the Chinese legal system (and to a certain extent, the Civil Law tradition and the Socialist legal system) and familiarity with the Common law system.
Dr Ye is fluent in both Chinese (Mandarin) and English.
Associate at Dentons Kensington Swan
Prior to joining Dentons Kensington Swan, Saiya worked for HSBC and Meredith Connell. Saiya is an Associate in the Auckland Corporate and Commercial team. She has a broad range of experience in corporate and commercial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and commercial contracting. She has advised on sale and purchase agreements, due diligence, share issues, shareholders’ agreements and supply and distribution agreements, as well as general corporate compliance and consumer law issues.
Saiya also has particular experience in advising on public private partnerships (PPPs) and the commercial aspects of major infrastructure projects.
Saiya has worked with domestic and international clients across various industries, including the retail, banking, construction, manufacturing, healthcare and media industries.
Samantha completed her Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Politics & International Relations) at the University of Auckland and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 2021.
Her experience to date is largely in insurance, having worked in insurance underwriting agencies, Dual New Zealand Limited and Delta Property Insurance Limited, as an underwriting assistant for over four years.
While at Stace Hammond, Samantha has been involved in legal research, drafting Court documents and correspondence, and assisting in case preparation. She has also assisted in tax advice preparation and entity registrations. Samantha works predominantly in the following practice areas; Litigation, Insolvency, Debt recovery, Tax, Commercial and Social media law.
Associate at Langton Hudson Butcher
Sarah graduated from the Auckland University of technology with a Bachelor of Laws(Hons).
She has a background in litigation with a focus on New Zealand immigration, international human rights law, and employment law. Sarah has represented clients in the Employment Relations Authority. She has experience advising clients on how complex immigration issues intersect with employment law. Sarah has a keen interest in researching equal pay, pay equity, and health and safety issues.
Sarah speaks Korean fluently. Outside of work, Sarah is a poet, musician, and a powerlifter. She is a member of New Zealand Asian Lawyers, Auckland Young Lawyers, and Auckland District Law Society Newly Suited Committee
Barrister at Public Law Chambers
Setareh is an expert in public and administrative law. Setareh was a senior practitioner at two leading national law firms, Dentons Kensington Swan and Simpson Grierson prior to becoming a member of the well-established chambers Southern Cross Chambers. She has since moved to Kate Sheppard Chambers, a new concept being a chambers set up and for women to support women in law – a virtual chambers.
In 2019 Setareh was elected to the NZ Bar Association Council and appointed the Chair of the NZBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, Setareh is on the NZ Law Society the Executive for the Property Law Section and on the panel of experts forming the Property Law Reform Panel. She is also on two Auckland District Law Society Committees: Resource Management and Civil Litigation.
Her goal, outside of her practice, is to see the diversity of the NZ population represented throughout the legal system: from senior partners in firms, barristers to QCs, and Judges.
Outside of the law she is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy having adventures in the NZ Wilderness with family and friends.
Partner at Forest Harrison
Prior to co-founding Forest Harrison, Stella has worked for a number of prominent law firms in Auckland, including one of the top law firms in the country. Stella has a great deal of experience in working on large-scale commercial transactions; with particular emphasis on due diligence and conveyancing. She has been responsible for all legal aspects of the leasing of several large shopping complexes. She has established a strong reputation for efficient service tailored to the client’s needs.
Stella has conducted two seminars in Hong Kong for a well-known bank in Hong Kong on migration, investment and property in New Zealand. She has also had articles published in Chinese newspapers.
Stella has served on the Executive Board of the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association for over 10 years. Stella was appointed as board member of the Auckland Conservation Board by the Minister of Conservation in September 2011 and finished her term as of June 2014. She is the Chair of the Board and a trustee of the CNSST Foundation (formerly Chinese New Settlers Services Trust). Stella was also the founding Vice-Chair of the Chinese Conservation Education Trust, which was established in 2002 with the support of the Department of Conservation. She served as Chair Person from 2004 to 2006.
She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese and enjoys working with clients in their own language.
Associate at K3 Legal
Susan currently works at K3 Legal Limited as a consultant, specialised in commercial and property law, family litigations (relationship property) and civil litigations. She is a legal professional with a unique background in relationship development across a diverse range of business and social sectors. Additionally, Susan is an effective communicator, and a link between western and eastern cultures; a clear and confident speaker in both Mandarin and English.
Susan is a business and community relations expert, help promoting the growing influence of the diverse communities and international trade in New Zealand. She is well regarded and trusted by external customers and stakeholders as an effective and reliable problem solver and strategic advisor.
With a strong interest in and extensive knowledge of NZ business, central and local government, and governance experience, Susan has established a positive high public profile within the diverse communities in Auckland through professional and political engagements in the last decade.
Principal Lawyer for Online Immigration
Sushan has a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws with First Class Honours from the University of Waikato, and is a member of the New Zealand Law Society.
Sushan is a first generation New Zealander. Her mother is from China and her father is from Cambodia (he arrived in NZ as a refugee escaping the Khmer Rouge regime). Sushan believes that their experiences in migrating to NZ and Sushan’s own experience in growing up in NZ with migrant parents has shaped her career.
Sushan has specialised in immigration law since graduating in 2011. She completed the requirements to practise on her own account in 2016 and haa been doing that since. Sushan runs a one-woman business called Online Immigration https://onlineimmigration.nz.
Senior Associate and Property Team Leader at Queen City Law.
Tina completed her LLB (Hons) degree at the University of Auckland and is a member of the Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) Property Disputes Committee.
Tina specialises in construction and litigation. She has been involved in commercial acquisitions, disputes, construction projects, residential and commercial conveyancing, negotiating tenders and construction contracts, construction contract disputes, and partaking in mediations while juggling litigation. She has developed expertise in construction issues and has presented papers on construction law at a number of New Zealand conferences and seminars. She contributes regularly to the Builders & Contractors Magazine which publishes quarterly.
Tina has also taken on employment cases (for employer and employee alike) and has attended to numerous mediations, judicial settlement conferences, Tribunals and Court appearances. She has also successfully appealed several criminal convictions in the High Court and is highly experienced in disputes resolutions.
Senior Associate at Tompkins Wake
Tina obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria.
Tina advises on a range of commercial contracts and regulatory compliance matters for local and international clients including in the areas of health, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, nutraceutical, privacy import & export control, food and beverage, and manufacturing. Before joining Tompkins Wake, Tina was legal counsel to a large government department and Crown entity advising on judicial and administrative review, health law and regulatory investigations. Tina has worked with a number of government agencies on high profile projects, including the Joint Border Management System between the New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
In 2022 Tina was names a ‘Rising Star’ by NZ | Lawyer. Tina speaks Mandarin and is studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Chinese.
Dr Zhixiong (Leo) Liao
Senior Lecturer and Director of International Relations (Law) at the University of Waikato
Dr Leo Zhixiong Liao graduated from Renmin University of China (RUC) with degrees of Bachelor of Economics, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Laws. He also completed his Bachelor of Laws, Master of Professional Studies (with First Class Honours in Translation), and Master of Laws (with First Class Honours in Commercial Law) at University of Auckland.
Dr Liao has practised as a lawyer in China, both in public sectors and in private law firms, since 1996, specialised in commercial law, overseas investment law and tax law, with some Hong Kong listed companies, Fortune-500 subsidiaries and local tax departments as his clients. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and practised commercial law and property law in Auckland law firms before joining the Te Piringa – Faculty of Law in January 2012. Dr Liao is also a member of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters, specialising in legal translation.
In addition to his legal practice experience, Dr Liao has also the experience as a lecturer in law, a Vice General Manager of a state-owned company, an Independent Non-Executive Director of a Hong Kong listed company, and Directors-in-chief of a government-funded Legal Service Centre and a local government office in charge of overseas investment in China.