New Zealand Law Society - Speakers


Keynote speaker: Melanie Reid (Newsroom’s Investigations Editor)

Peter Ellis: The creche case & me

Melanie Reid is Newsroom's Investigations editor and a long time multi award winning investigative journalist who has covered many of NZ’s biggest legal cases. Melanie has devoted much of her long career fighting against injustice and holding power to account. She has covered many of NZ’s highest profile cases, including Bain, Ellis, Lundy, and more recently the expose on the Hastings uplift, millions of caged eggs being sold as free range and the little boy presumed drowned in Gore.

Anthony Hughes-Johnson KC (Barrister)

Settlement Agreements in Litigation Disputes: The must know issues.  

Anthony Hughes-Johnson KC has been in practice as a barrister since 1988 and since that time has handled a wide range of litigation matters. He has wide experience in civil litigation. This has included involvement in resource management and local government litigation and a broad practice centred on commercial litigation. In 1995 Mr Hughes-Johnson was appointed by the Government as counsel to assist the commission of inquiry into the collapse of a viewing platform at Cave Creek. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998. Mr Hughes-Johnson is a past-president of the Canterbury District Law Society and advises on professional conduct matters. In 2012 Mr Hughes-Johnson was appointed an arbitration Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc. He is involved in alternative dispute resolution including acting as counsel in mediations. Mr Hughes-Johnson is a qualified commissioner (chair) in resource management matters and has been appointed by a number of local authorities to hear and determine substantial planning matters.

Dr Sarah Ferguson (Breathe Repeat)

Smarter Sleep

Photo of Sarah Dunning

Dr. Sarah Ferguson is the Executive Director of Breathe Repeat. She holds a PhD in Computational Optics from the University of Georgia as well as two BSc (Cum Laude) in Physics. Her passion is for learning and understanding how things work, and this especially applies to wellness in relation to peak performance. She spent many years working with the best and the brightest in her field and can speak first-hand to the symbiosis between personal and professional flourishing.  Currently, Sarah works closely with businesses and schools delivering wellness programmes, and works one-on-one with private clients. She founded Breathe Repeat to formally offer research-based mindfulness programmes that benefit the business and the individual at the same time. 

Mary Ollivier (Commissioner for Utilities Disputes)

Utilities disputes: Outages, slow new connections, leaks, bill shock, solar. Flickering lights can lead to full-blown fights.

Mary is the Commissioner: Toihau at Utilities Disputes: Tautohetohe Whaipainga; an independent, NFP company that operates Govt. approved schemes to resolve disputes between utilities companies and their customers... Mary is a lawyer who has previously been involved in complaints handling and regulation at New Zealand Law Society |Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa.

Mike Brownlie (PRLaw)

Update on Criminal Law

Mike is a member of the family and litigation teams at PRLaw. Mike’s practice focuses on Crown and associated prosecutions and family law.

Sarah Saunderson-Warner (Barrister)

Update on Criminal Law

Sarah Saunderson-Warner is a Barrister who specialises in criminal law and practices in Dunedin. Sarah has practiced criminal law for more than 20 years and has a wide range of experience in all aspects of criminal law.

Tony Sycamore (Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers)

Successfully Navigating Complaints: strategies, tips and suggestions for surviving complaints


Tony is a director of Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers based in Dunedin. Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers is a boutique commercial law firm practising mainly between Dunedin and Queenstown. Tony has significant experience in commercial transactions and has also served for nine years on the Otago Standards Committee, with the last few years as Convenor.

Geoff Bevan (Gallaway Cook Allan)

Employment law: Getting the problem sorted (and ensuring it stays sorted)

Admitted in 2000, Geoff Bevan has specialised in employment law for most of his career. He initially worked at Chapman Tripp in Auckland for 12 years before moving to Gallaway Cook Allan in late 2012. Geoff has acted for a range of public and private sector employers, and continues to work for clients across New Zealand. He also practices in the areas of human rights and health and safety.

Kimberly Jarvis (Webb Farry Lawyers)

The gap between separation and division – interim distribution and maintenance

Kimberly Jarvis joined Webb Farry as an Associate in their Litigation and Dispute Resolution team in 2019 before joining the partnership in 2020. Since admission to the bar in 2008, she has specialised in commercial litigation, employment law and complex relationship property and international family law disputes. Kimberly has appeared in a wide range of Courts and Tribunals around the country up to and including Supreme Court level.


Dale Lloyd (Lloyd Troon Law)

The gap between separation and division – interim distribution and maintenance

Dale Lloyd has been practising law for over 25 years in the Central Otago region. Her practice has specialises in dispute resolution, mediation and litigation in the areas of family law with a focus on relationship property and employment. Dale continues to be appointed by the Court in Family Court and Youth Court matters. Recently Dale has been a member of the Family Law Advisory Panel and is currently the convenor of the Youth Justice Committee.

Richard Little (Eagles Eagles & Redpath)

Recent and upcoming changes to the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 

Richard Little is a Partner with Eagles Eagles & Redpath in Invercargill. Richard holds a double degree from Otago University in law and with a Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology. Mental Health law has always held a special interest for Richard and is an area he has been involved with since his admission to the bar in 2010. In 2020 Richard undertook the role of District Inspector for Mental Health in Southland dealing with the rights of mental health patients under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.

Alison Douglass (Barrister)

Capacity Law & practise: How to become a Court appointed lawyer for the ‘Subject Person’

Alison Douglass is a Dunedin based barrister who specialises in health and disability law. She regularly appears for people with impaired capacity and their families in the Family Court under the PPPR Act and Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act. Alison has appeared as counsel in the appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, in a range of cases involving capacity law. Together with a psychiatrist and an ethicist, Alison is a co-author to the Capacity Toolkit, and the book, Assessment of Mental Capacity: A New Zealand Guide for Doctors and Lawyers.

Dave Bennie (Focus Technology Group)

Are you and your business the next IT scam victim or headline?

Dave Bennie is a Director and Owner of Focus Technology Group, one of the South Island’s largest independently owned and operated IT Companies. Dave is a highly experienced IT professional with a career spanning over 20 years in the Education, SME and Corporate sectors. Dave’s IT career started in education which soon sparked his interest in security as working in an environment where the large number of users attempting to “break the system” was a constant challenge. Internationally Dave is representative on the Global Advisory committee for a leading Software platform used by thousands of Managed Service Providers worldwide. His expertise, in protecting clients from cybercrime and ransomware-related incidents has been honed over many years of experience.

Len Andersen KC (Barrister)

Forensic Science and the Obama Report

Len Andersen KC is a Dunedin practitioner with wide experience in all forms of litigation. He teaches advocacy at Otago University and for several years taught a course in aspects of forensic law. He is a former president of Otago District Law Society and is currently president of the Criminal Bar Association of New Zealand.

Keri Kereru (KMK Law)

Mihi/Pepeha Te Reo Māori

Ko Taupiri te Maunga
Ko Waikato te Awa
Ko Waikato te Iwi
Ko Ngāti Wairere rāua ko
Ngāti Raukawa ngā Hapu

Keri Kereru is a sole practitioner of KMK LAW. She practices primarly in Family Law, Lawyer for Child, Youth Advocate, Mediation and is a Cultural Report Writer.


Craig Macalister (FINDEX)

GST update on land and land transactions

photo of Craig Macalister

Craig is Tax Principal of the FINDEX Tax Team. Craig joined Crowe Horwath from his role as Tax Director of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA). This role dealt with all aspects of New Zealand taxation and involved leading the Institute’s direction and input on Government tax policy. Prior to this Craig was KPMG New Zealand’s National Tax Director, working in both the Wellington and Auckland offices. Prior to that, Craig held senior positions with Inland Revenue in Investigations and Tax Policy. Craig is also very experienced with assisting people with tax debt issues and tax disputes with Inland Revenue. Craig is a co-author of the Staples Tax Guide and GST in New Zealand.





Lawyer Listing for Bots