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

A graduate in 1997, Adam’s focus has developed in the areas of intellectual property, property transactions, commercial, employment, franchising, civil litigation.

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.

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.

TIMOTHY MATSIS
TIMOTHY MATSISSENIOR ASSOCIATE
LLM(Hons), BCA, LLB Victoria University of Wellington
P. 06 370 0879

After graduating in 1998, Tim began his career as a tax consultant before branching out into corporate/commercial law and then general practice. He joined the firm in 2018 after 13 years teaching law and business courses in the deep south.

DEAN O LEARY
DEAN O LEARYSENIOR ASSOCIATE
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.

JEREMY MCGEOWN
JEREMY MCGEOWNASSOCIATE
LLb(Hons), GDipSci, BA
P. 06 370 0872

Jeremy has recently joined Gawith Burridge in 2020. After graduating in 2010, he started his career at Chapman Tripp. Before moving to Carterton with his wife and young daughter, he worked in-house roles at Weta Workshop and NZ Post. Jeremy is a generalist, with experience in property, employment, IP and commercial law. He is currently finishing his Masters degree in law.

NICKI THOMAS
NICKI THOMASSOLICITOR
LLB and BA (Criminology), Victoria University of Wellington
P. 06 370 0885

Nicki joined Gawith Burridge in October 2019. She graduated from Victoria University with an LLB and BA (Criminology). She lives with her young family in rural Martinborough, where they run farming and agricultural businesses. Nicki works in all areas of general practice with a focus on elder law.

TAYLOR HOUSTON
TAYLOR HOUSTONSOLICITOR
LLB and BSc (Genetics), University of Otago
P. 06 370 0875

After clerking at Gawith Burridge for two summers Taylor joins us again in May 2020. Taylor grew up on a farm in the Wairarapa and then completed his university studies in the deep south. Taylor has now moved back up and is looking forward to working in all areas of general practice.

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.

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

Carla joined Gawith Burridge in 2022 after taking a break from practice to raise her young family. Since graduating in 2011, Carla practiced in Wellington and Whangarei both in general practice and civil litigation. Carla also has two years’ experience as a Restorative Justice Facilitator and continues to have an interest in alternative dispute resolution. Carla enjoys all areas of general practice with a special focus on estate planning and elder law.

JASMIN RORRISON
JASMIN RORRISONSOLICITOR
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. Jazz enjoys all aspects of general practice with a special interest in advocacy. Jazz lives on a farm in the South Wairarapa, enjoys public speaking and is a keen runner.

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

Marta graduated from Otago University in 2004 with a law and history degree. 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 is now based in Martinborough with her husband and young family and studying to finally qualify as a solicitor.

BEX DEWES
BEX DEWESREGISTERED 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, she relocated to Blenheim, where she currently resides. She now practices as a Registered Legal Executive and re-joined us remotely in January 2022.

Bex enjoys the challenge of a variety of property and commercial work and will be involved in residential, rural and commercial transactions. She also has a background in trusts, wills and estate administration and will be available to assist our Estate Administration and Elder Law Team from time to time.

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
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 WOODSLEGAL EXECUTIVE
P. 06 370 0182

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.

SHANELLE CHECKLEY
SHANELLE CHECKLEYLEGAL EXECUTIVE
P. 06 370 0894

Shanelle completed her NZ Legal Executive Diploma in 2014 while working for a small firm in Carterton. After taking a break to start a family, she has joined Gawith Burridge to assist the Estates Administration and Elder Law Team.
Shanelle enjoys getting to know clients, and outside of work she has a keen interest in fitness and local coffee.

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

Bronwyn Brewster PA to Debbie van Zyl, Dean O’Leary, Leah Kershaw and Bex Dewes ♦ Alice Henderson Data Integrity Officer ♦ Vanessa Garrity PA to Michelle Williams, Tim Matsis, Taylor Houston and Marta Wojcikowski ♦ Vivienne Miller Data Integrity Officer ♦ Jillian Davenport Scanner & PA Support ♦ Nicky Byrne Accounts ♦ Lynn Beveridge PA to Kylie Moore & Estate Team ♦ Raewyn Butler Accounts ♦ Jasmine Hawthorn PA to Adam Parker, Jeremy McGeown, Jasmin Rorrison, Lisa Searle and Ann Woods ♦ Lisa Ellis AML Compliance Officer ♦ Sue Rickey Practice Manager ♦ Sophia Thompson Receptionist ♦ Jacqui Spooner Legal Typist ♦ Jill Olds Accounts