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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 six 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.

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Gerard Letts

LLB, BSc

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]

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

LLB, BSc (Hons)

Matt provides advice and representation in all civil litigation matters but has a particular focus on construction litigation, and property and trust litigation. He acts for a wide range of private, corporate, and institutional clients. Matt is a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (arbitration), and is available to be engaged as an arbitrator, on request.

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Consultants

Greg Thomas

LLB, BA

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 Associate

Craig Foster

LLB, BA

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]

Special Counsel

Jennifer Wademan

LLB, BCom, MIntSt (Distinction)

Jennifer rejoined TDSL in 2019 after five years working for a major law firm across New Zealand.

Jen works within our family law team, and specialises in international family law and conflicts of laws matters.  She has acted on the first international surrogacy cases for New Zealanders involving Georgia and the Ukraine, and regularly acts for clients on international adoption, international relationship property, child international relocation, international child maintenance and international spousal maintenance for clients from the UK,  Europe, Asia, and the Americas. 

In addition to her practice, Jen has published a number of articles in national and international academic and professional journals, and presented around the world at seminars and conferences.  

[email protected]

Associates

Matthew Crooymans

LLB BA (Hons)

Matthew works in the fields of family, criminal and civil law litigation and has appeared in the District Court and Family Court on numerous occasions. Matthew is a registered legal aid provider for family and criminal matters and is a supervised provider for civil matters. He is a member of the Wellington Family Courts’ Association. Matthew also provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre and the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau. Matthew graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where he studied law, English literature and media studies. Matthew began working at Thomas Dewar in 2016.

[email protected]

Joshua Pietras

LLB (HONS), BSc, LLM

Joshua provides legal advice and representation in the areas of civil/commercial litigation and criminal law. Joshua appears regularly in the District Court and High Court. Joshua is a registered legal aid provider for civil and criminal law matters. Joshua also provides volunteer advice at the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau and the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre. Joshua graduated from the University of Waikato where he studied law and science. He graduated from the Australian National University with a Master of Laws (specialising in International Law). He is also a member of the ADLS Civil Litigation Committee. Joshua began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in November 2020.

[email protected]

Senior Solicitors

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]

Arthur Easther

LLB, BA

Arthur provides legal advice in the areas of Trust Law, Elder Law, Succession and Estate Planning. As a member of the firm's property team, Arthur also handles residential conveyancing. Arthur attended Victoria University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy. Arthur began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in November 2020.

[email protected]

Renée Bayer

LLB (HONS) BA

Renée works in the fields of criminal, civil and family law. Renée is a registered legal aid provider for criminal and family matters. She appears regularly in the District, Family and High Courts on a range of matters.  Renée graduated from the University of Auckland in 2016 where she studied Law, Politics and English. She joined Thomas Dewar at the start of 2018 after spending time working as a Judges' Clerk at the District Court. Renée also provides volunteer advice through the Hutt Valley Community Law Centre and the Lower Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau.

[email protected]

Fenyi Manning

LLB (HONS) BA

Fenyi works in the fields of criminal, civil and family law. She appears regularly in the District and High Courts on a range of matters. Fenyi graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2018 where she studied Law. She joined Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in September 2020 after spending time working as a Crown Prosecutor and a Policy Advisor for the Ministry of Justice.

[email protected]

Staff Solicitors

Natasha Broughton

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]

Natalie Moore

LLB, BA

Natalie works in the field of family, civil, criminal and property law including estate administration.  Natalie graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where she studied law and international relations.  Before coming to Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in February 2020, Natalie was working for 2 years at The Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

[email protected]

Kayla Herbert

LLB

Kayla works in the family law area and advises clients on all family related matters. She regularly appears in the Family Court. Kayla is also a registered legal aid provider for family matters. Kayla graduated from the University of Waikato and began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in June 2020. Before commencing work at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts, Kayla worked for the Whangarei firm, Wills Westenra, for just over two years.

[email protected]

Nicole Donaldson

LLB

Nicole works in the fields of criminal, civil and family law. Nicole studied law at Victoria University of Wellington and University of Canterbury where she graduated. Nicole began working for Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in 2019 as a Law Clerk and as a Solicitor in June 2020

[email protected]

Brooke McCormack

LLB

Brooke works in the fields of family, criminal and civil law. Brooke graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington where she studied Law. Brooke began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in June 2020 as a Law Clerk.

[email protected]

Hannah Nelson

LLB, BA

Hannah works in the fields of family, criminal and civil law. Hannah graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington where she studied Law, International Relations and Political Science. Hannah began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in May 2020 as a Law Clerk.

[email protected]

Lucy Prestidge

LLB, BA

Lucy works in the fields of family, criminal and civil law. Lucy graduated from the University of Otago where she studied Law and Chinese (BA). Lucy began working at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in May 2020 as a Law Clerk.

[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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