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The team

We are a team of diversified specialists, who understand people and their immediate and long term needs.

Our partners at Thomas Dewar come with a wealth of experience, each having practiced for over 20 years in the legal industry.

Specialising in litigation, all four partners bring different fields of expertise to Thomas Dewar. From representing clients in civil litigation to criminal law, insolvency to family law, and across all levels: various Tribunals, the Family Court and District Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

We focus on building our team by developing young lawyers under the mentorship of our partners - passing on their vast range of knowledge and skill sets. This results in a strong, tight-knit firm, ready to provide you with great legal advice.

Partners

Gerard Dewar

LLB

Gerard heads the civil litigation team at Thomas Dewar.  Gerard has been working in litigation since 1979.  His fields of expertise include insurance law, insolvency, employment law, contractual disputes, banking, debt management and recovery, and education issues.  Gerard appears regularly in the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court, and in a number of tribunals.

Gerard is regularly retained in a wide range of commercial litigation, leading a team of lawyers who undertake assignments for both large corporate entities and individuals.

Gerard serves as Chairman of the Wellington Rugby Union Disciplinary Committee and is on the Board of Te Omanga Hospice.  He also advises a significant number of local charities.

[email protected]

Louise Sziranyi

LLB

Louise leads the criminal law team at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts and has extensive experience in the field, having commenced practice as a litigation lawyer in 1984.  Louise specialises in criminal law and youth advocacy, and also acts for clients in family and civil law matters from time to time.

Louise was appointed a District Inspector for Mental Health under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 in June 2014 and a District Inspector under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 in September 2016.  Louise was also appointed a District Inspector under the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017 in January 2018.

Louise is the managing partner of the firm, and oversees the day-to-day running of Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts’ busy litigation practice.

[email protected]

Gerard Letts

BSc LLB

Gerard heads the family law team at Thomas Dewar and has specialised in civil and family litigation since commencing practice in 1993.  

As well as supervising the firm's family lawyers, Gerard's practice comprises relationship property and trust property division, estate litigation and Court appointments as Counsel for Child in care of children, child protection and estate proceedings and as Counsel for Subject Person in PPPR proceedings. 

Gerard has been involved in various community organisations and is currently the Law Society appointee to the Board of the Personal Advocacy Trust (PAT).

[email protected]

Daniel Vincent

BA LLB (Hons)

Daniel specialises in ACC and medico-legal work whilst also supervising the Family Law practice of the firm's Wellington Office. He has experience in Care of Children Act cases, Child Youth and Family matters and the resolution of Relationship Property disputes.

Prior to joining Thomas Dewar in 2002, Daniel worked for Bell Gully where he dealt with ACC appeals at both District and High Court levels, in addition to a variety of civil and public law matters in the High Court. Daniel also spent 18 months in the UK, where he handled prosecution and regulatory matters for a County Council, together with civil claims including a large compensation claim under Public Works legislation that was decided in the Court of Appeal (UK).

[email protected]

Clare Stanley

LLB (Hons)

Clare oversees the firm’s property and local government teams, and is also a criminal and civil litigator.  She regularly appears in the District and High Courts, including jury trials and appeals.  Clare’s local government work sees her assisting local authorities on a variety of matters, including rating issues, property and development, infrastructure matters and dog prosecutions.  

Clare heads our property team, undertaking conveyancing and subdivisions, and providing general property advice.  She is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and the Property Law Section of the NZ Law Society.  Clare joined Thomas Dewar in 1998.

[email protected]

Matt Freeman

BSc (Hons) LLB

Matt has experience in all areas of litigation and specialises in civil litigation, relationship property and trust litigation. He also advises clients in those areas in order to assist them to avoid litigation.  Matt is the first point of contact for all construction law matters and advises and represents a large number of clients in leaky building and construction contract litigation. Matt has been with Thomas Dewar since 2006.

[email protected]

Consultants

Greg Thomas

BA LLB

Greg has 40 years' experience in all Courts as a litigator and in general legal practice. He is able to give practical advice on disputes, negotiation, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. His fields of expertise include estate litigation, contractual disputes, and relationship property and trust litigation.

Greg was a partner at Thomas Dewar from 1995 to 2013. Greg retired from the partnership and became a consultant partner on 1 January 2014.

Greg has been involved in various community organisations and is presently Chair of E Tu Awakairangi Hutt Public Art Trust.

[email protected]

Senior Associates

Craig Foster

BA LLB

Craig specialises in family law, wills and estates, all aspects of elder law (including Powers of Attorney and applications under the PPPR Act), and criminal law.  Craig is also appointed by the Family Court to act as Lawyer for Child in Family Court proceedings.  Craig has regularly appeared in the Family Court and District Court since he joined Thomas Dewar in 2007, and also in the High Court.  Craig is a member of the Family Law Section and the Trusts and Estates Committee of the Law Society.  Craig volunteers at the Community Law Centre and Citizens Advice Bureau in Lower Hutt.

[email protected]

Gavin Cairns

LLB, NCBS, TEP

Gavin joined TDSL in 2018 and has over 18 years’ experience as a lawyer specialising in all aspects of elder and property law including trusts, wills, enduring powers of attorney, estates and PPPR matters.  As a member of the firm’s property team, Gavin also handles general property law matters, conveyancing and subdivisions.  In addition to private legal practice, Gavin has extensive trustee industry experience having worked as legal counsel for Public Trust and having managed the Private Wealth legal unit at Trustees Executors Limited.  Gavin is a member of the Property Law Section and also the UK-based Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

[email protected]

Associate

Matthew Anderson

LLB

Matt specialises in civil, criminal defence and family law litigation, and also has experience in employment and property law.  Matt appears regularly in the District Court, Family Court and High Court on a wide range of matters including contract enforcement, relationship property, guardianship disputes and criminal matters.  Matt is a registered legal aid provider for civil, criminal and family disputes.  He also provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre and Citizens Advice Bureau.  Matt graduated from Victoria University in 2005, commenced practice in 2006 and joined Thomas Dewar in 2010.

[email protected]

Senior Solicitors

Rebecca Stoop

LLB (Hons)

Rebecca provides legal advice and representation in the areas of civil, criminal and family law. Rebecca has appeared in the District, Family and High Courts on a variety of different matters, and is a registered legal aid provider for criminal, civil and family law. Rebecca also provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre, the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau and the Newtown Citizens Advice Bureau. Rebecca graduated from Otago University where she obtained an LLB(Hons). She was admitted to the bar in 2015, and began working at Thomas Dewar in 2016.

[email protected]

Rosie Purchas

LLB

Rosie works in the areas of family law, trust law, estate law and health law.  She joined Thomas Dewar in 2015 and has a wealth of experience having worked Miriam Menzies & Co in Upper Hutt, Bell Gully in Wellington, Freshfields in London, and as an in-house solicitor with the AMP Society.  Prior experience includes work involving the Misuse of Drugs Act, ACC Reviews, Fair Trading Act compliance, employment law, commercial trusts, superannuation, employee benefits schemes, and insurance law in New Zealand and the EEC (prior to Brexit). 

[email protected]

Staff Solicitors

Renée Bayer

LLB (HONS) BA

Renée works in the fields of criminal, civil and family law and provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre and the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau. Renée is a registered legal aid provider for criminal matters and is a supervised provider for civil and family matters.  Renée graduated from the University of Auckland where she studied law, politics and English. She joined Thomas Dewar in 2018.

[email protected]

Tejal Panchal

LLB BA

Tejal works in the fields of family, civil and criminal law litigation and provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre and the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau.  Tejal graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where she studied law, criminology and psychology. Tejal began working at Thomas Dewar in 2018.

[email protected]

Natasha Ferguson

LLB BCOM

Natasha works in the fields of family, civil and criminal law litigation.  Natasha graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where she studied law and commerce. Before coming to Thomas Dewar Natasha was a Deputy Registrar at Wellington District Court for 2 years. Natasha began working at Thomas Dewar in 2019.

[email protected]

Chris Bell

LLB

Chris works in the fields of family, civil and criminal law litigation.  Chris graduated from Otago University where he studied law and classics. Before coming to Thomas Dewar Chris was a Deputy Registrar at the Wellington District Court. Chris began working at Thomas Dewar in 2019. [email protected]

Harriet Willis

LLB BA

Harriet works in the fields of family, civil and criminal law litigation.  Harriet graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where she studied law and development studies and provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre.  Harriet began working for Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in 2019. [email protected]

Family Administrator

Robyn Walker

Robyn is the firm's Family Team Administrator and started with Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in 2019.  Robyn assists with the management of family law work within the firm and is the first point of contact and support for new clients.  She also provides direct secretarial support to a number of the family lawyers.  Robyn has worked in the legal profession for over 20 years as a legal secretary and administrator. [email protected]

Civil & Criminal Administrator

Janne Fulcher

Janne is the firm’s Civil/Criminal Team Administrator and has been with Thomas Dewar since 2005.  Janne works directly with Gerard Dewar and Louise Sziranyi, providing PA support for them in their busy practices and assists new and existing clients with their initial enquiries relating to civil and criminal matters.  Janne has spent most of her life living and working in the Hutt Valley.

[email protected]

Firm Management & Accounts

Veronika Duthie-Jung

AT Dip Bus

Veronika is the firm’s accounts manager, having started with Thomas Dewar in 2010. Veronika is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a background in banking.  Veronika's role at Thomas Dewar involves overseeing the firm’s trust account, operating the firm’s office accounts and liaising with our various external providers regarding financial matters. 

[email protected]

Jamie Dawson

BA

Jamie is a part-time accounts assistant at Thomas Dewar and operates the day-to-day trust account transactions. 

[email protected]
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+64 (04) 570 0442

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+64 (04) 570 0442

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