Specialists and Experts

Find out more about those specialists and experts working with us
Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith

LLB (Hons) | FCIArb | FAMINZ (Arb)

Nicole Smith is a Barrister practising in New Zealand. She is also a solicitor (admitted in England and Wales) acting as a consultant to Keystone Law (UK). She specialises in arbitration and dispute resolution, sitting as an arbitrator and also acting as an advocate. She has experience in all fields of commercial disputes including disputes involving medico-legal issues, shareholders, small and medium enterprises, fraud, leases and post-settlement revenues.

She has a particular expertise in the energy industry and has acted for a number of energy companies on supply disputes and disputes relating to operational issues.

She regularly presents on arbitration issues in New Zealand and internationally. She is a member of the AMINZ Council, a Fellow of AMINZ and also of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Darren Rawlins

Darren Rawlins

AAMINZ

Darren spent over 20 years as a litigator in London and now works as a mediator and independent reviewer based in Auckland.

With wide-ranging experience including with medico-legal, property, commercial, employment and insurance matters (to name just a few), Darren has the experience and expertise to be effective across a number of industries and businesses.

Darren has strong inter-personal skills and is known for making positive change happen even in the most difficult of cases.

Anita Killeen

Anita Killeen

LLB | AAMINZ 

Anita is a Barrister, Independent Director, and Commercial Mediator based at Quay Chambers in Auckland with over 25 years’ legal experience.

Anita has specialist expertise in financial crime and fraud, commercial and criminal litigation, compliance and regulation, and governance and decision-making. She is an experienced governance professional and qualified lawyer who offers directorship, ministerial review and tribunal experience, together with strong legal, advocacy, financial and analytical skills capability.

In addition to her legal and governance experience, Anita has had over 13 years’ mediation experience. Anita first trained in mediation at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2010, and has engaged in further mediation training in New Zealand through the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ (AMINZ) and the Resolution Institute. She is an accredited mediator and an Associate Member of AMINZ. She is a member of the AMINZ Panel of Mediators and the AMINZ Panel of Family Law Mediators.

She is the former Chief Prosecutor of the Serious Fraud Office and has particular expertise in resolving financial and commercial disputes and also has experience in mediating ACC, medico-legal, employment, property, land acquisition, engineering, trusts and estates, family and relationship property, fire and emergency, insurance and rent disputes. In addition to private mediation work, Anita serves on a variety of mediation panels for the following organisations; AMINZ, Waka Kotahi’s Land Acquisition Resolution Panel, Water Service Reform Mediation Panel, the Independent Complaints Review Authority, the Commission for Financial Capability, New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre, Financial Services Complaints Ltd and Netsafe.

Anet Kate

Anet Kate

LLB (Hons) | MCR | FRI

Anet is a legally trained, Mediator, Supervisor (mediators, RJ facilitators, lawyers), conflict management coach, and former University Lecturer.

Having mediated over 400 and reviewed about 200 ACC cases since 2007, Anet is highly experienced in ACC dispute resolution work. She has also assisted people to resolve their varied conflicts in many other areas, including, family, relationship property, employment, testamentary disputes (wills & succession), elder, civil, partnership, contract, building, commercial, EQC, Leaky Homes, tribal, inter-cultural and community groups issues for over 29 years, and prefers to foster opportunities for enhanced communication & empowerment in all mediations.

 

 

Lisa Ormandy

Lisa Ormandy

LLB | BA |AAMINZ

Lisa is enrolled as a Solicitor and Barrister in both New Zealand and Western Australia. She has extensive experience in dispute resolution in all its forms having worked as a civil litigator for several years, as well as a corporate and commercial lawyer.  Lisa returned home to New Zealand in February 2017 and has been working in the ACC jurisdiction as an independent reviewer, mediator, and/or conciliator since then.

Lisa has a passion for alternative dispute resolution and solution-generating processes. She believes in assisting and encouraging parties to engage collaboratively early on in a dispute to avoid any lengthy delays. Lisa approaches each matter with compassion, recognising that being in a dispute can be stressful and overwhelming at times, and she always ensures the process is fair and balanced and easily understood by the parties.

Lisa is an associate member of AAMINZ and a member of the Resolution Institute.

Tom Powell

Tom Powell

 LLB

Tom is a senior legal practitioner with experience and expertise in public law, inquisitorial proceedings and litigation. He has led the legal and investigation functions at high profile public inquiries in the UK and in New Zealand, as well as representing parties at inquests and conducting complex litigation on matters of public interest. Tom is passionate about working on matters that have meaningful social impacts and outcomes and enjoys working with colleagues who are similarly motivated.

Tom is an excellent communicator and is able to explain concepts in ways that are understandable to a broad range of people, ensuring his work is accessible. He is also committed to working in trauma-informed ways which enables vulnerable people to engage in safe and culturally appropriate ways.

Irene McLachlan

Irene McLachlan

LLB (Hons) | AAMINZ | Dip Midwifery | Cert Gen Nursing (UK)

Irene trained and worked as a General Nurse and Midwife before re-training as a lawyer.

She has extensive experience in the ACC jurisdiction and has appeared before the District and High Court. Irene’s health background has been invaluable in assisting to resolve disputes and provides her with a unique perspective. Irene is particularly interested in resolving matters quickly to minimise the effects of disputes on all parties.

Jonathan Hanton

LLB (Hons) | BA

Having held a series of Ombudsman and Complaints Commissioner roles, Jonathan has broad adjudicative experience in a range of subject areas, including medico-legal, financial, and administrative law. Jonathan also has experience Chairing sports disciplinary proceedings

Ben Nettleton

Ben Nettleton

LLB | B.Com | AAMINZ 

Ben is an experienced barrister, arbitrator and mediator with a strong focus on alternative dispute resolution. Locally and internationally, Ben’s expertise in ADR has been honed through his work across diverse sectors and jurisdictions, making him adept at handling complex commercial, contractual, regulatory, rural, and employment disputes. With a practical and results-oriented approach.

 

Hannah Yiu

Hannah Yiu

BA/LLB (Hons) | LLM (Hons)

Hannah holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Auckland and a Master of Laws (Hons) from the University of Cambridge.   She started her career as a Judges’ Clerk of the Auckland High Court and then joined the Crown Solicitor’s office in Auckland, where she worked as an Intermediate Crown Prosecutor and general civil litigator in the medico-legal team.  She has also worked as a civil litigator in the disputes resolution team of a commercial law firm and a boutique litigation law firm.

Hannah is an experienced advocate and has appeared before the District Court, High Court, and Court of Appeal on a variety of civil and criminal matters.  She has a keen interest in medico-legal law, disputes resolution, and jurisprudence.

 

Adriaan Engelbrecht

Adriaan Engelbrecht

LLB | Dip. Labour Law

Admitted and practised as a solicitor in South Africa, Adriaan has gained more than 20 years experience in various spheres of the law. He was on the panel of solicitors of several of the major financial institutions and represented his clients in arbitration hearings at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration and in the High Court as it related to matters of commercial law, property law and labour law. Adriaan has experience as a chairperson and adjudicated on several disciplinary hearings on behalf of his clients. He is dedicated and diligent in his work and believes “Arbitration is an open, friendly and peaceful approach to seeking a just and desirable solution”.

EOIN LAWLESS

EOIN LAWLESS

BA, LLM(Hons) | Dip Bus Studies | PG Dip Bus Admin | ANZIIF (Fellow) | AAMINZ | ACILA

 After a lifetime in insurance claims (all commercial classes, including liability, financial lines, and marine) Eoin now conducts statutory reviews under the Accident Compensation Act and provides alternative dispute resolution services.

Eoin has worked in the ACC space since 2017. Prior to that, he worked as a lawyer, appearing in the District and High Courts, the Waitangi Tribunal, and assisting clients at mediations.

Eoin holds a practising certificate as a barrister and is also a Chartered Loss Adjuster. His experience and education make him uniquely qualified to help people resolve disputes.

Sandra gay

Sandra gay

BA | LLB

Sandra specialises in resolving disputes raised by ACC clients about decisions on cover for personal injuries, entitlements, and associated matters.  She has over ten years’ experience as an independent  ACC reviewer and in alternative dispute resolution. Sandra’s knowledge includes an in-depth understanding of the ACC legislation.

Sandra is a people person, and she appreciates that she is meeting clients at what is often a difficult time for them. She likes to put her clients at ease during review hearings and to make sure that they understand the hearing process. Sandra ensures that clients receive a  fair hearing, and she communicates the reasons for the outcome of the review clearly.

Sandra initially earned a degree in sociology before gaining her law degree in South Africa. There, Sandra worked in the state sector in criminal law before migrating to New Zealand with her family. In New Zealand, Sandra has worked in both the private and public sectors for over 25 years, including in management of personal injury claims, banking, and insurance.

 

JOHN BEECH

JOHN BEECH

LLB 

John has a strong sense of social justice and the role that the Accident Compensation Act has to play in the lives of individuals and the community.

He believes that his forty-plus years of experience as a hands-on litigator, arbitrator, and in recent years, adjudicator, will enable him to contribute to delivering fair and just outcomes intended by the Act.

 

Dorothy Alofivae

Dorothy Alofivae

LLB, BA

Dorothy specialises in Alternative Disputes Resolution. Previously practising as a lawyer, she now works as a Mediator across different areas, including FDR and ACC mediations. She also holds a warrant as a Disputes Tribunal Referee, and is also a Restorative Practitioner, facilitating Restorative Justice conferences and Restorative processes in different spaces. She is also an RJ assessor and does mediation coaching for the Resolution Institute. As a dispute resolution specialist, she enjoys using her skills and experience to be a ‘peacemaker’. In working with parties in conflict, she takes a people centered approach, ensuring parties feel heard, whilst respecting their ‘mana’ in what are often highly emotional and difficult circumstances.

Sheana Wheeldon

Sheana Wheeldon

BA | LLB (Hons) | FAIMZ (Med)

Sheana is a barrister and mediator with over 30 years’ experience in dispute resolution.

She spent 10 years as a partner in a major national law firm before beginning practice as a barrister and mediator in 2015. Her extensive experience in dispute resolution covers all spheres from lawyer-facilitated negotiated settlements to formal mediations, to proceedings at all levels of the courts.

As a mediator Sheana draws on her extensive experience to address the parties’ real interests and explore intelligent, pragmatic and creative settlement options. She is a good listener, works hard to facilitate mutual understanding, and finds it is usually possible to achieve an agreement.

She is passionate about mediation as a positive means of resolving disputes and has facilitated the resolution of disputes in many fields including intellectual property, contractual disputes and other commercial disputes. In the ACC area, she mediates ACC review applications for ICRA and in the sports arena she serves on the Mediation Panel of the Sports and Recreation Complaints Mediation Service.

Sheana is a Fellow (Mediation) of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ (AMINZ), a member of AMINZ’s Mediation Panel and IP List, and a Resolution Institute accredited mediator. She is also a member of the Panel of Experts who adjudicate domain name disputes for the New Zealand Domain Name Commission.

With strong interpersonal skills and a breadth of life and legal experience, Sheana brings expertise, positivity and clear thinking to dispute resolution.

 

Erynn Hughes

Erynn Hughes

LLB 

Erynn has 9 years experience as a lawyer in civil and regulatory litigation. She worked in private practice on claims involving animal and veterinary law, insurance, health and safety, ACC, public liability, professional indemnity, statutory liability (Fair Trading, Vet Act, Health & Safety at Work, Resource Management, Commerce) and worked through many leaky building and earthquake claims. She has appeared in the High Court, District Court, various Tribunals and has extensive alternative dispute resolution experience.

She is also a small business owner and can be found in the garden, on the water or on the netball court in her spare time.

She enjoys working in the medico-legal field and the variety of being an ACC reviewer. Her attention to detail, friendly and relaxed approach and sense of fairness helps put people at ease and ensures they are in good hands.

 

Yasmin Iosefa

Yasmin Iosefa

LLB

Yasmin has been working as an ACC reviewer since early 2017.

Prior to that, Yasmin enjoyed working as an in-house Legal and Contracts Advisor for a large tertiary institution and spent several years working in insurance-based roles, drafting construction contracts as part of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery effort and working as a Claims Executive, managing Australian Builders Warranty, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity claims. Yasmin discovered a passion for dispute resolution while working in a civil litigation practice in Auckland where she was largely focused on leaky building disputes.

Her insurance and litigation experience, coupled with her desire to strive for fairness and find pragmatic solutions which help parties to maintain ongoing positive relationships have served her well in her role as an ACC reviewer.

 

Ané Potgieter

Ané Potgieter

LLB 

Ané has been a solicitor for 8 years and is currently based in Auckland. Admitted as a solicitor in South Africa, Ané has spent many years in the litigation and dispute resolution arenas. During her tenure as a South African solicitor, she gained experience in various areas of law including insurance, medico-legal, construction, labour and general litigation.

Ané immigrated to New Zealand in 2018 and since then, gained experience in the property law sector. Ané is passionate about dispute resolution and believes her fair and open-minded approach to disputes ensures that the best outcome is achieved. She strives to approach each review as holistically as possible.

Bernardine Hannan

Bernardine Hannan

LLB 

Bernardine Hannan is legally trained and has had over 20 years’ experience as a barrister and solicitor working with the Crown, in private practice and in regulatory governance. She has extensive experience in adjudication, arbitration, and mediation.

After a first career in medical technology science graduating with a New Zealand Certificate of Science, Bernardine practised law in the Crown Solicitors office in Auckland, and after further training in alternate dispute resolution engaged in private arbitration predominately in the education and resource management sector. Bernardine has specialised in judicial arbitration, with over 18 years’ experience sitting in the Disputes and Tenancy Tribunals as well as terms on Government Regulatory Boards.

Bernardine is an experienced arbitrator who strives to ensure she delivers her services with competence, patience, understanding and flexibility. She understands the importance of taking all relevant factors into account while achieving sensible cost-effective solutions to what are often complex legal issues. Of equal importance in a successful arbitration to the hearing itself is a timely, well-reasoned, just, and enforceable decision.

Bernardine is currently located in Auckland.

Melissa Perkin

Melissa Perkin

LLB

Melissa Perkin’s earlier career includes legal roles with a law firm, the judiciary, legal regulator and as a barrister. More recently she led a voluntary member association providing support, advocacy, services and training for the legal community as well as working with external suppliers and stakeholders. Melissa led teams; devised strategies to successfully implement innovative products and services; delivered flagship events; and reported to expert committees, boards and governing Council, and up until very recently worked as an Executive Director at the New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre in Takapuna, Auckland.

With a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Auckland School of Law her key areas of expertise includes project management, people leadership and management, financial management, marketing and stakeholder engagement, just to name a few.

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