Our people are the heart of Gawith Burridge.

Their combination of extensive experience, enthusiasm and passion shines through.

Their wide-ranging expertise and comprehensive knowledge of local Wairarapa needs are what sets our firm apart.

Come and meet them.

 DEBBIE VAN ZYL
DEBBIE VAN ZYLSENIOR PARTNER
B. Proc (S.A.) (Admitted S.A 1995, NZ 2003)
P. 06 370 0896

Areas of practice: Commercial and farm conveyancing, subdivisions, commercial & business structures, trusts, wills, estates, asset planning. Debbie is active in the community and is a past President of the Rotary Club of Masterton South.

ADAM PARKER
ADAM PARKERPARTNER
LLB Victoria University of Wellington, BSc (Admitted 1997)
P. 06 370 0873

Adam graduated from Victoria University’s Law School in 1997 and is proud to be one of Gawith Burridge’s four partners in Wairarapa. His focus has developed into: farm succession implementation and planning, farm transactions, and lifestyle blocks; commercial transactions including the sale and purchase of businesses, commercial leasing and subdivision; and asset protection. Adam is also on the Board of Wairarapa Building Society. Mountain biking and motocross with his teenage son take up most weekends, otherwise he is getting out and around the Wairarapa taking advantage of all it has to offer.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS
MICHELLE WILLIAMSPARTNER
P. 06 370 0877

Michelle started her legal career initially as a legal secretary, then as a legal executive. In 2000 she took the plunge and commenced a law degree. Michelle was admitted to the bar in 2007 and is now a partner at Gawith Burridge, operating out of the Masterton and Martinborough offices.

The areas of law Michelle loves are property, relationship property matters, estate and succession planning, elder law, wills and enduring powers of attorney but most of all she loves getting to know her clients, always up for a chat and making sure her advice is delivered in a manner that we all understand. It has been said she make clients comfortable and they love her honest, down to earth, uncomplicated approach. And humour. What’s life without a laugh?

Michelle is currently the Chair of the Aratoi Patrons Trust which fuels her other loves: arts and culture, and being involved with the Wairarapa community.

KYLIE MOORE
KYLIE MOOREPARTNER
LLB, Queensland University of Technology
P. 06 370 0899

Kylie joined Gawith Burridge in August 2017.
Attracted to law since starting as a legal secretary in 1993, she commenced her law studies in 2003 whilst also undertaking a five year articled clerkship with a large law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Kylie then took a career break to focus on her young family and returned to New Zealand. She was admitted to the bar under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition scheme in 2017.
Kylie continues to have a special interest in estate administration but enjoys all areas of general practice.

DEAN O LEARY
DEAN O LEARYPARTNER
LLB & BA, Victoria University of Wellington
P. 06 370 0883

Dean has practised as a solicitor since 1997. Dean has previously practised for national law firms in New Zealand together with overseas stints in Australia and the UK. During his years of practise Dean has developed a wide range of experience with particular expertise in employment and relationship property matters. Dean enjoys working with clients to achieve fair and reasonable outcomes where his focus is on the resolution of matters in a cost effective manner.

LEAH KERSHAW
LEAH KERSHAWSENIOR ASSOCIATE
LLB, University of Otago
P. 06 377 1200

Leah joined us in September 2015 after returning from 2 ½ years in London. She has a law degree from the University of Otago and was admitted to the bar in 2008. Leah practiced law in Wellington for 5 years, initially in all areas of general practice and then with a focus on property and construction law . Leah now works in all areas of general practice.

CARLA EGLINTON
CARLA EGLINTONASSOCIATE
LLB, BCA, Victoria University of Wellington
P. 06 370 0874

Carla and her husband, Hamish, joined Gawith Burridge in 2022 having moved their young family to the Wairarapa to be closer to family. Carla has been practising since 2011 and finds immense satisfaction in guiding clients through what can often be a difficult time. Carla also enjoys working with clients to ensure that their assets are protected, and their wishes are clear. Carla enjoys taking time with her clients to understand who they are and what is important to them in order to provide the best advice possible.

NICKI THOMAS
NICKI THOMASSENIOR SOLICITOR
P. 06 370 0885

Nicki has an LLB and BA (Criminology) from Victoria University of Wellington and joined Gawith Burridge as a solicitor in October 2019. Nicki works in the tricky area of estate planning (wills) and estate administration. She enjoys assisting clients with sound legal advice and guidance in what can be stressful and emotional circumstances and has a focus on finding resolution for her clients if matters become contentious.

Nicki lives with her young family in rural Martinborough, where they run farming, accommodation and agricultural businesses. She works from both the Masterton and Martinborough offices of Gawith Burridge.

HAMISH EGLINTON
HAMISH EGLINTONSOLICITOR
LLB, BA, Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University
P. 06 370 0880

Hamish joined Gawith Burridge in 2022. Born and bred in the Wairarapa, Hamish has moved back home with his young family. After graduating in 2011, he started his career as in-house counsel at Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and has held other roles with the Weathertight Homes Tribunal and Department of Conservation. Hamish works in all areas of general practice.

JASMIN SMITH
JASMIN SMITHSOLICITOR
LLB, BA, Victoria University of Wellington
P. 06 377 1202

Jasmin (known as Jazz) joined the firm in 2020 after completing her LLB/BA at Victoria University and was admitted to the bar in 2021. Jazz works in all areas of general practice with a special interest in Trusts. Jazz is a real people person and is passionate about helping to make the “too hard basket” tasks as simple as possible.

Jazz lives on a coastal Wairarapa farm with her husband and her labrador Ted. Now and then you will catch her helping out in her gumboots, she’s also a keen runner and a social butterfly.

MARTA WOJCIKOWSKI
MARTA WOJCIKOWSKISOLICITOR
LLB & BA, University of Otago
P. 06 370 0870

Marta graduated from Otago University in 2004 with an LLB and BA (History/German). Shortly after graduating, she went on her OE, which lasted almost 12 years. The majority of that time was spent in London where Marta worked in various roles and industries.

She returned to New Zealand in 2016, joined Gawith in 2017 where she rediscovered her interest in the law and was admitted to the bar in 2022. She lives in Martinborough with her husband and young family. Marta works in all areas of general practice.

GEORGIA OSMOND
GEORGIA OSMONDSolicitor
LLB(Hons)/BA (Anthropology and Ancient History)
P. 06 370 0875

Originally from Auckland, Georgia graduated from the University of Auckland in November 2020 with an LLB(Hons)/BA double majoring in Anthropology and Ancient History, and was admitted to the bar in May 2021. Georgia moved to the Wairarapa in January 2021 to work for a local law firm, and made the move to Gawith Burridge in February 2024. She works in all areas of general practice and has a particular interest in Trusts. Georgia strives to build strong relationships with her clients, with the aim of making the law accessible for all. Outside of work, Georgia is a massive NRL fan, an avid reader, and is currently focusing on honing her crochet skills (with varying degrees of success).

BEX DEWES
BEX DEWESSENIOR REGISTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE
P. 06 370 0869

Bex initially started with us in 2005 as a legal secretary before progressing as a legal executive. In 2015, Bex relocated to Blenheim, where she currently resides. Bex re-joined us remotely in January 2022 and practices as a Senior Registered Legal Executive.

Bex enjoys the challenge of a variety of property and commercial work and specialises in residential, rural and commercial transactions. Bex also has experience in Trusts, Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Bex’s strength is her “can do, will do, resolution orientated” attitude making sure the process for clients is as stress-free as possible.

When she is not in the office you will find her with her young family, fishing rod and coffee/wine in hand, in the Marlborough Sounds.

LISA SEARLE
LISA SEARLEREGISTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE (NZILE FELLOW)
P. 06 370 0898

Lisa obtained a Diploma in Legal Executive Studies in 2013 while working at Land Information New Zealand. She has worked as a Registered Legal Executive since 2014, specialising in residential property sales and purchases, refinancing and subdivisions. Lisa joined Gawith Burridge in November 2021. She lives in Carterton with her husband and two teenage sons and enjoys mountain biking with her family.

PING FANG
PING FANGREGISTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE
P. 06 370 0882

Ping finished her New Zealand Legal Executive Diploma in 2020 and joined the firm in early 2021. She is excited to start her legal career in the beautiful Wairarapa.

As a new addition to the Estate Administration team, she has a special interest in estate administration while enjoying all aspects of law. Ping is also fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

ANN WOODS
ANN WOODSREGISTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE
P. 06 657 0124

Ann was previously employed for 12 years as a Lending Consultant for Westpac in the Wairarapa. She then supported First Property Legal as a personal assistant for two and a half years, gaining extensive knowledge in all aspects of conveyancing. This keen interest in conveyancing prompted Ann to study part-time for a Diploma in Legal Executive studies.

She has now joined Gawith Burridge and has an interest in all property-related matters.

SUE RICKEY
SUE RICKEYPRACTICE MANAGER
P. 06 370 0881

Sue has spent most of her career in London involved in investment banking where she worked in various roles in the middle and back office. Her most recent role was Office Manager for Dry River Wines. She is now based in Martinborough with her husband and two girls and has a keen interest in fitness, particularly The Hubb in Masterton.

BRUCE WAGG
BRUCE WAGG
LLB University of Otago, Dip Bus Stud (ADR) Massey , Notary Public (Admitted 1979)
P. 06 370 0000

Bruce has retired from practising law but will work on a part-time basis on special projects and will provide mentoring and support, in-house, for staff.

GAWITH BURRIDGE SUPPORT STAFF TEAM
GAWITH BURRIDGE SUPPORT STAFF TEAM
Left to Right

Lisa Ellis AML Compliance Officer ♦ Sue Rickey Practice Manager ♦ Tayla Hearn Receptionist ♦ Nicky Byrne Accounts ♦ Jillian Davenport Deeds Clerk ♦ Bronwyn Brewster PA to Debbie van Zyl, Dean O’Leary, Hamish Eglinton, Leah Kershaw and Rebecca Dewes ♦ Vivienne Miller Data Integrity Officer ♦ Lynn Beveridge PA to Kylie Moore and Estate Team ♦ Summer Wallis Office Administrator ♦ Laura Uren PA to Michelle Williams and Ann Woods ♦ Jacqui Spooner Legal Typist ♦ Raewyn Butler Accounts ♦ Ava Rickey Office Administrator ♦ Morgan Turner Accounts

Coco
CocoHappiness Officer
Masterton Office
Lucy
LucyHappiness Officer
Martinborough Office