Past Chair - Law Alliance New Zealand Limited Partner in Ward Adams Bryan-Lamb, Invercargill
Debbie began her involvement with LANZ in 2008 and was elected to the Board in October 2010. Debbie assisted as Treasurer and became the first female Chair of LANZ in 2017. Having completed her term on the Board in 2019, Debbie continues to assist the Board in an administrative capacity.
Debbie is Chair of Lighthouse Inc. (previously known as Stopping Violence Southland), Chair of the Southland Community Law Centre and also assists on the Governance Board of the Disabilities Resource Centre Southland.
Debbie is an experienced litigator and specialises in family law with a particular interest in division of relationship property matters. Debbie also assists clients in general practice areas including conveyancing, employment, immigration, wills/trusts, elderly/retirement village and small business advice. Debbie is an approved AMINZ (Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of NZ Incorporation) FDR Mediator and Provider, an Associate FDR (Family Dispute Resolution) member and an accredited member of the New Zealand Law Society's Panel of Mediators as a Family Specialist. Debbie has a Post Graduate Diploma in Child Advocacy and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Dispute Resolution).
Kristy was a member of the LANZ Executive from October 2014, was elected Chair in 2019, and her term on the Executive came to an end in 2021.
Kristy graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1985.
She joined the firm Weston Ward & Lascelles in 1986 and became a Partner in 1991.
Kristy has practiced as a litigator for many years and has a wide range of experience in all areas of law. Her specialty is in Family Law. She has been appointed by the Court to represent children and young people in the Family Court, the High Court, and Youth Court.
Kristy is married to Nigel and they have three daughters.
Mark lives in Masterton with his wife Maria. They have three adult children (two of whom live in Australia and one in Wellington.) Mark and Maria also have two grandchildren (regrettably in Australia) and a further additional grandchild is expected in Australia in the New Year. Mark completed his law degree through Victoria University of Wellington in the 1970s and following a stint for several years in both the Housing Corporation and as District Solicitor of the Department of Lands and Survey in Hamilton, Mark, and another practitioner and set up a firm in Hamilton in 1981.
In 1989 Mark and his family headed south again and joined Keith McClure (many of you will know that Keith's wife Adrienne is Marks's wife Maria's sister) and others at Wollerman Cooke and McClure (now WCM LEGAL) in Carterton, Wairarapa where he is still in practice. WCM LEGAL is one of the founding firms of LANZ. The firm has four offices, Wellington, Greytown, Carterton, and Masterton, and is heavily reliant on technology to link them all together. Mark was privileged to be the inaugural recipient of the Te Toko Koru award which he says was quite a humbling experience given the caliber of LANZ membership and the time that many other members freely spend promoting and supporting LANZ. Joining the board enabled Mark to contribute something to LANZ and recognizes the work done by others from which his firm has benefited.
His interests in LANZ included assisting and participating in the further development and utilization of the Practice Managers group. In his view, Practice Managers are a priceless resource to our member firms and we should be doing everything we can to identify and develop initiatives for that group that will give an immediate flow-on effect to our member firm's bottom line.
In addition, as a former member of the IT committee some years ago, (the committee recommended Infinity Law to members) he believes the additional use of technology will assist member firms, one example being LANZ-wide compliance audit of AML requirements. Mark joined the board to contribute more to LANZ and was the Chairman for LANZ from 2021 to 2022.
Claudia was elected to the Executive of LANZ in October 2012.
Prior to establishing Firmsy Claudia is the Managing Director of New Plymouth Law Firm, Dennis King Law.
With degrees in law and social science Claudia has experience in a broad range of commercial law matters and her expertise includes Commercial & Corporate, Tax Law, Trusts & Estate Planning, Intellectual Property, Employment Law, and Retirement Villages Law.
The LANZ initiatives that Claudia is particularly interested in are the Induction Course for Junior Lawyers (known to some as the LANZ Boot-Camp) aimed at helping young Lawyers kick start their careers, and the sharing of knowledge between member Firms through the LANZ website. Claudia aims to bring colour and flair to all that she does and believes a youthful perspective is beneficial for the effective governance of LANZ.
Claudia is married to Brent Youngson and they enjoy being surrounded by their animals on their lifestyle block.
David was part of the original LANZ leadership team and worked closely with Allan Gallagher, LANZ's founder, in the formulation and implementation of all things LANZ as from December 2008.
He went on to be the first LANZ member to be appointed by Gallagher to the LANZ Board on incorporation and did not retire from the Board, and even then only by way of rotation, until October 2014 by which time he had also been LANZ's second Chairman for a term of two years.
During his tenure, David was heavily involved in the setting up of many key LANZ initiatives, including the very important banking package that we all continue to enjoy today.
David heads the commercial/property team at Weston Ward & Lascelles (an old Canterbury firm established in Christchurch in 1993).
Weston Ward & Lascelles was a founding LANZ member firm and continues to support all of LANZ's initatives.
Clayton was until 2022 a director of Cargill Stent Clarke, and was a member of the LANZ Executive from October 2015 to 2018.
Clayton has lived and practiced law in the Taupo District since 1985. A graduate of Victoria University, he currently practices in the Commercial/Property/Trust Law areas having some years previously been a Litigator.
Clayton has wide experience in governance matters, was Mayor of the Taupo District from 2001-2007 and is currently Chair of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust and Trustee/Patron of a number of other organisations.
Married to Sue, they have two sons and still love the lifestyle and opportunities the Central Plateau has to offer.
Brent joined the Law Alliance NZ firm, Kannangara Thomson as a partner in 2015, after 26 years with a larger Christchurch firm.
In 2017 Brent joined the Executive of Law Alliance NZ and acted as Treasurer until leaving the Executive in early 2022.
He lives in North Canterbury about 40km outside of Christchurch, with his wife, Fleur, also a lawyer in her own practice. They have four children between them, three older boys living in Christchurch, Dublin in Ireland, and Wellington, and together, they have a daughter, Keisha, aged 13.
Brent completed his law degree in two stints at Canterbury University. He completed his first and second years of Law in 1983 and 1984 before spending two years living and working in the UK, returning to complete the degree at Canterbury in 1987 and 1988.
He joined Harmans in 1989 and joined the partnership of that firm in 1994 and was a member of that partnership until resigning from the firm in March 2015 to join Kannangara Thomson.
Brent was co-opted onto the board of Law Alliance NZ in 2017 before being elected for an initial three-year term at the AGM in Sydney in 2018. He is the current treasurer of Law Alliance New Zealand.
He has had numerous board positions in the past on three not for profits, several private company directorships, and two school boards, on a number of occasions as chair. In addition to the obvious ‘buying power of the Law Alliance NZ group of firms in obtaining favorable deals with suppliers, the point of difference for Law Alliance NZ member firms for Brent is the collegiality and informal support networks that exist within the group. This was never better displayed than during the aftermath of the recent Covid-19 pandemic when some groups of firms in the same general region scheduled regular support group calls and shared ideas and information which would be less likely to occur but for the relationship of trust which exists because of the relationships built at conferences.
His areas of legal practice are varied and include all aspects of residential and commercial property law as well as a significant interest in asset protection, estate planning, and succession law.