Tony-Bleasdale

Tony Bleasdale

Managing Director (APAC)
BigHand

Managing Director – APAC
BigHand

Tony Bleasdale has a long history in the legal sector, working for leading law firms, a range of vendors, now leading BigHand as Managing Director, APAC.
He is passionate about driving innovation at law firms through knowledge management and process improvement through technology and working with firms to break down the barriers to achieve their objectives.

Sophie Braggins

Sophie Braggins

Chief Executive Officer
Govett Quilliam

Sophie Braggins

Chief Executive Officer
Govett Quilliam

Sophie comes from a strategic business and people background, with experience in human resource management and organisational change in the United Arab Emirates, people and marketing at TVNZ, and as Managing Director of an accounting and business strategy firm. 

She holds senior governance roles including Chair of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and Trustee for Taranaki Women’s Refuge.

Sophie's current role is CEO of the largest specialist law firm in Taranaki, Govett Quilliam.  She has a focus on the strategic vision and capability of the firm and is responsible for implementing progressive and innovative strategies. 

Outside of the office she likes to travel with her husband and two children and enjoys the disciplines of ocean swimming, boxing and running.  

Sophie is a strong advocate for inspiring and engaging with people to ensure innovation becomes a cultural mind-set.

Craig Columbus

Craig Columbus

Independent Director
(Former CIO, Russell McVeagh)

Craig Columbus

Independent Director
(Former CIO, Russell McVeagh)

Craig Columbus, formerly CIO at Russell McVeagh, is a security researcher, company director and digital strategist, with years of international business experience.  Named to the NZ CIO 100 in 2017 and 2018 and a member of the NZTech Tech Leaders Executive, Craig and is actively involved in the New Zealand technology community, contributing as an author, trainer, public speaker, and industry advisor.  Craig is passionate about using technology in positive ways to build strong companies and a stronger society.  Craig's areas of specialty include corporate strategy, digital enablement, privacy, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

Sasha Daniels

Sasha Daniels

Lead Legal Business Partner of Technology, Competition and Regulation
Spark New Zealand

Sasha Daniels

Lead Legal Business Partner of Technology, Competition and Regulation
Spark New Zealand

Lead legal business partner at Spark New Zealand. A direct report to the Spark (executive) General Counsel, I lead the team of lawyers who  advise on technology, value management, property, competition and regulation.  I advise on deals with major national and international suppliers of network assets and services, software and hardware and mobile handsets, as well as a number of joint ventures, M&A and regulatory processes. Previously led Spark’s competition and regulatory practice.   

Commenced my legal career at top tier South African Law firms Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer (part of DLA) and ENS Africa where I built a corporate and commercial + competition and regulatory practice focused on technology clients.  

Also worked as IT project manager and business analyst prior to law.  

Recognition:  

  • Global Competition Review – named among the world’s leading in-house competition counsel 2018;  
  • NZ Law Awards - In-house Lawyer of the year 2017; 
  • Asia Pacific Counsel Awards - Competition Individual of the year at the 2017;  
  • GC Powerlist Australia New Zealand Teams – named individual;  
  • ILANZ - In-house Team of the Year 2017.     

Qualifications – LLB/LLM (1st class hons)  
Admitted - New Zealand and South Africa 

 

Gretchen-Fraser

Gretchen Fraser

Senior Associate
KensingtonSwan

Gretchen Fraser

Senior Associate
KensingtonSwan

Gretchen is a senior associate in our corporate and commercial team. She has a broad business background, having worked both in private practice and in-house across a variety of industries, particularly in the technology and telecoms sectors. 

As well as providing general commercial and regulatory advice, Gretchen has experience drafting, negotiating and advising on a wide range of commercial contracts such as technology supply and support, commercialisation of technology, master services agreements, distribution and reseller agreements, software licences, professional services agreements, SLAs, sponsorships, RFPs, software as a service, outsourcing and NDAs.  

She has extensive experience in creating user-friendly contractual templates for clients, and takes a pragmatic approach to her advice. 

Gretchen has worked at leading law firms, both in New Zealand and internationally, and also has entrepreneurial experience running her own businesses outside of the legal industry. 

William Fussey

William Fussey

Barrister
Catherine Stewart Barrister

William Fussey

Barrister
Catherine Stewart Barrister

William is an employment lawyer for Catherine Stewart Barrister and is a keen and committed advocate for clients. He has previously worked for a top tier firm as an employment, health and safety and privacy lawyer. He holds a Master’s degree in law, specialising in privacy.  

William is interested in the privacy and employment law implications of the increasing prevalence of digital technology. He is experienced in advising on complex matters of workplace compliance (including Holidays Act issues), personal grievances such as unjustified dismissal and disadvantage, employment agreements, disciplinary matters and employee restructures, as well as issues relating to health and safety and privacy.  

William is also on the New Zealand Law Society Change Taskforce which is a Committee established by the Law Society to drive and guide systems and culture change within the legal community. 

 

Simon Lapthorne

Partner
Kiely Thompson Caisley

Simon Lapthorne

Partner
Kiely Thompson Caisley

Simon began working at the firm in 2015 and joined the partnership in May 2017. 

Simon has particular expertise in employee relations and dispute resolution, disciplinary investigations, performance management, restructuring and redundancies, restraints of trade and confidentiality. He also has significant litigation experience, including health and safety prosecutions. 

Simon heads the firm's immigration team. He is experienced in providing immigration advice to employers in relation to intra-company transfers and seconding employees from other countries to live and work in New Zealand. 

Simon has gained extensive in-house experience, while on secondment both at a large multinational employer, and a local authority, and he understands the commercial and employee relations issues faced by employers. 

Simon is solution focussed and provides pragmatic, commercial advice to multinationals, PLC's, SME's and individuals. 

Simon is also admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Trina Lincoln

Trina Lincoln

General Counsel for Construction
Housing New Zealand

Trina Lincoln

Associate General Counsel for Construction
Housing New Zealand

Trina Lincoln is the Associate General Counsel for Construction at Housing New Zealand.  Prior to joining Housing New Zealand, Trina was the Legal Commercial Manager for Hawkins Construction.  In her current role at Housing New Zealand, Trina supervises a team of legal executives who prepare construction contracts for the Asset Development Group.  Currently the team prepares about 200 contracts a month and this number is expected to increase.  Using technology helps the legal team at housing deliver what the client requires.  Trina is also an Associate of Arbitrators Institute of New Zealand and a member of the Society of Construction Law. 

Bruce McClintock

Bruce McClintock

CEO & Founder – Zeren
Chapman Tripp

Bruce McClintock

CEO & Founder - Zeren
Chapman Tripp

Bruce McClintock is the CEO and Founder of Zeren, Chapman Tripp’s legal innovation and technology business.  He is also a partner at Chapman Tripp, where he specialises in Technology Media and Telecommunications and infrastructure.  Bruce is New Zealand’s “Star Individual” for TMT (Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019).  He was the co-founder of the Artificial Intelligence Forum of New Zealand and is a Knowledge Advisor to the International Legal Technology Association (www.iltacon.org).

Rachel Paris

Founder
Blockchain Boutique

Rachel Paris

Founder
Blockchain Boutique

Rachel has 15 years' experience advising blue-chip financial institutions, private equity funds, trustees and corporates on a range of lending and capital markets transactions. She is Founder of The Blockchain Boutique a legal practice specialising in blockchain and crypto which will launch in 2018.

Rachel is a former partner at NZ law firm Bell Gully, with experience at leading London law firms Allen & Overy and Olswang.  She founded Bell Gully's FinTech team and has advised NZ's leading blockchain businesses on transactional and compliance-related matters. She is ranked by legal directories, including Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018 and The Legal 500, as a leading/recommended lawyer in both banking and finance and investment funds. 

Nigel Stevenson

Nigel Stevenson

Chief Information Officer
Kensington Swan

Nigel Stevenson

Chief Information Officer
Kensington Swan

Nigel Stevenson is the current CIO at Kensington Swan. He is passionate about technology and making a difference by promoting and delivering change. Nigel strives to be an influencer and visionary, leading his team to modernise the legal profession. 

Nigel’s career began in avionic engineering shifting into the Technology space in 1997 having undertaken management, strategic planning, prior to his CIO role at Kensington Swan. His experience spans a number of sectors, including financial services, education, manufacturing and legal/professional services. 

Nigel completed an MBA in 2015, with distinction. He has also completed numerous technical qualifications over his career. These academic accomplishments compliment his technical and people skills. 

Catherine Stewart

Principal
Catherine Stewart Barrister

Catherine Stewart

Principal
Catherine Stewart Barrister

Specializing in all areas of employment law, Catherine has around 25 years’ experience as an employment and litigation lawyer. She joined the independent bar as a barrister sole in 2012, having held senior roles in employment law in law firms including at partnership level. She runs a busy practice with a team of three staff and advises and represents clients in the full range of employment law matters. Specializing in all areas of employment law, Catherine has around 25 years’ experience as an employment and litigation lawyer. She joined the independent bar as a barrister sole in 2012, having held senior roles in employment law in law firms including at partnership level. She runs a busy practice with a team of three staff and advises and represents clients in the full range of employment law matters. 

Catherine has successfully argued many high profiles cases, including the most recent redundancy case of the Employment Court (Stormont v Peddle Thorp), the leading case on stress in the workplace (Gilbert v Attorney General), and she has been appointed as counsel advising the Court in both the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in a case on unfair bargaining and freedom of association. 

Catherine is the Convenor of the Auckland District Law Society Inc Employment Law Committee, a committee which represents practitioners in regular meetings with Judges, members of the Employment Relations Authority, mediators, Government departments and other employment-related institutions such as trade unions. She is a regular writer and presenter on topical employment law issues and in her role as Convenor is regularly involved in drafting submissions to Parliament on employment related legislation.

Louise Taylor

Senior Associate
Simpson Grierson

Louise Taylor

Senior Associate
Simpson Grierson

Louise is a senior technology lawyer at Simpson Grierson. She has worked in private practice in both NZ and in the UK, advising customers and suppliers in the private and public sectors on a wide range of technology-related projects, contracts and compliance issues.

Louise is also a member of the AI Forum Executive Council, and the AI Forum’s Working Group focusing on increasing New Zealand’s AI talent pool.

Prior to joining Simpson Grierson in 2015, Louise was Senior Counsel in the highly-rated Technology team in the London office of international firm Taylor Wessing.  She has also worked in-house for BBC Future Media & Technology.

Louise has a particular interest in new and emerging technologies, and has written and spoken widely on AI, IoT, cloud/fog, quantum computing, fintech, fashion tech, and other technology trends.   

Sarah Thirlwall

Chief Digital Officer
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Sarah Thirlwall

Chief Digital Officer
MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Sarah is MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ Chief Digital Officer, joining the firm in May 2018. Sarah is responsible for advancing new technology that will further increase efficiencies while ensuring security of the firm’s IT environment. Previously Sarah was the Director, Strategic ICT Transformation Officer at Counties Manukau DHB and has many years’ experience managing large and complex IT environments and introducing new technologies.

Nick Valentine

Nick Valentine

Special Counsel
DLA Piper

Nick Valentine

Special Counsel
DLA Piper

Valentine is a highly regarded practitioner with extensive experience in technology, IP and telecommunications transactions.  

Nick advises public and private sector entities on large-scale business process and IT outsourcing and systems integration; software development and licensing; data protection and privacy; telecommunications services agreements and infrastructure rollouts; media rights and online content distribution; supply chain and logistics; and brand protection.  

Nick's clients value his commercial approach - combining technical excellence with an ability to make the complex simple and understand the strategic objectives of a deal.  

Jennie Vickers

CEO
New Zealand Defence Industry Association

Jennie Vickers

CEO
New Zealand Defence Industry Association 

Jennie Vickers is a consultant to Strategic Sourcing Limited and the CEO of the New Zealand Defence Industry Association. With over 25 years in senior business, in house counsel and law firm roles, Jennie was a wealth of experience as a buyer and seller of goods and services and the contracts which make them work. Jennie's tech sector experience includes spells as in-house counsel for global tech companies and accreditations as media at tech events across the world. Jennie has a view on tech, the law, contracts and business relationships which she is always happy to share.

Tony Wickstead

General Manager of Transformation and Delivery
Fonterra

Tony Wickstead

General Manager of Transformation and Delivery
Fonterra

Tony Wickstead is General Manager, Digital Transformation and Delivery for NZMP at Fonterra New Zealand, and has more than 15 years of management experience in technology, telecommunications, professional services and supply chain industries. 

An experienced Business, Technology leader and strategist Tony has delivered successful technology and business transformation in start-up and corporate businesses, such as leading the implementation of a world class Operations and emergency centre, as CIO of Auckland Airport or as COO with start -up Tomizone, growing this wireless internet technology business across Australia, China, India and NZ. 

Tony has also held senior Technology management roles within Kodak Australia, NCR Australia, Ernst and Young and NZ Post.  

A passionate New Zealander Tony has an unwavering focus on contributing to and improving NZ Inc., to leave the best possible sustainable legacy for our children. 

Tony holds an MBA, and Post Graduate Diplomas in Business Marketing and Operations from The University of Auckland.

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