About Us

Christchurch Lawyers

Say hello to the many faces of Harmans Lawyers, and find out how we can help you.


Our team is made up of individuals from all manner of backgrounds, with a huge variety of skills and areas of expertise, who share a common desire to provide our clients with exceptional legal services and advice.

Whether you're dealing with one of our vastly experienced Partners, or one of our highly efficient Administration and Support team, you’ll find us friendly, easy going and down to earth. We take the time to explain complex legal terms in ‘plain English’, working with our clients to ensure they have the knowledge and advice needed to make informed decisions.

Alan Prescott

Partner LLB

Alan has been a partner of Harmans since 1984 and leads a commercial and residential property team specialising in building industry, property and business law including franchising.

Amy Hyland

Partner LLB

Amy leads a team that specialises in property, commercial law, private client and asset protection matters.

Brian Burke

Partner LLM (Hons), BA

Brian is a partner at Harmans and jointly leads our litigation and disputes resolution team.  With over 25 years’ experience in the field of civil litigation and dispute resolution he is able to provide clients with excellent advice and representation. 

Chris Simpson

Partner LLB

Chris joined us in 1987, initially as a commercial lawyer. After a break from Harmans, he returned to the firm to work in a number of capacities.

Colin Abernethy

Partner LLB (Hons), BA

Colin is a member of our family law team and now has over 11 years’ experience in the area of family law.  He has particular expertise in the protection of assets prior to and during a relationship and the division of assets upon separation including personally owned assets, companies and trusts together with all care of children disputes and domestic violence matters.

Graeme Riach

Partner LLB

Graeme became a partner of Harmans in 1999 and is currently the Managing Partner of the firm. He has practised in litigation since 1988 and heads the dispute resolution team specialising in civil and commercial litigation and with a significant practice and reputation in employment law. 

Jeremy Daley

Partner LLB

Jeremy joined Harmans in 1985, becoming a partner in 1990.  He was elected Chairman of Partners in 2018.  He leads the Harmans Family Law Team and specialises in the resolution of relationship property claims.  This increasingly involves consideration and challenging family trusts and complex company structures.  In addition he provides relationship property advice in relation to:

Jerome Toomey

Partner LLB

Jerome has amassed 9 years practising experience as a lawyer (both here in Christchurch and in the UK) and another 5 years in the finance industry where he has built a significant knowledge base coupled with a large network of contacts and working relationships. He has a wealth of knowledge about financial and other commercial transactions and has a real interest in property law. Jerome also has expertise with trusts and wills.

Mark Sherry

Partner LLB (Hons), BCom

Mark has practised law since 1995, and became a partner at Harmans in 2002. He leads a large commercial and property team, specialising in franchising, hospitality, rural law, property matters and asset protection.

Mary Crimp

Partner LLM, BA

Mary specialises in civil and commercial litigation, insolvency and debt recovery, insurance litigation, estate litigation, PPPR Act applications and employment disputes.   She is particularly interested in the fields of insolvency and commercial litigation and regularly acts for receivers and liquidators, large corporate and finance clients. 

Seaton Read

Partner LLB (Hons)

Seaton became a partner at Harmans in 1976. After an initial grounding in litigation he concentrated on establishing a commercial and conveyancing client base.

Julie Knowles

Practice Manager, AT, BBus (Accounting)

Having started her career at Harmans in May 1997, Julie has come full circle after leaving to gain accounting/management experience at Moana Pacific Fisheries, Auckland and Espotting.com, London.

Kath Fox

Consultant LLB

Kath has been with the firm since 1993 and was a partner for a number of years. Kath is now a consultant in the commercial team where she specialises in banking and finance.

Catherine Gilvray

Senior Associate, LLB, BA (Film and Media Studies)

Catherine, preferred name Taff, graduated from Otago University in 2003 with an LLB and BA (Film and Media Studies) and first joined Harmans in January 2004 as a graduate solicitor. 

Jessica Marshall

Senior Associate LLB, BA

Jessica specialises in property and commercial law including residential and commercial conveyancing, business acquisitions and disposals, franchising, hospitality, commercial leasing and commercial contracts.

Phillipa Shaw

Senior Associate LLB (Hons)

Phillipa leads the Senior’s Law team and also specialises in property, trusts and private client matters.

Fay Hughes

Associate LLB (Hons)

Fay is currently on parental leave.

Harriet Daley

Associate LLB

Harriet graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2010 and was admitted to the bar in the same year.  After 3 years working in our busy family law team, Harriet moved to the UK and worked for 2 years in Health Regulation Law and on a high profile Banking Litigation case.  Returning to NZ in 2015, Harriet practiced as a family lawyer in Lower Hutt, before re-joining the family law team at Harmans in January 2017. 

Rebecca Kettle

Associate LLB (Hons)

Rebecca joined our commercial and property team in January 2018. Rebecca graduated from the University of Otago in 2013 after completing her last semester at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. 

Tom Appleton

Associate LLB, BCom (Hons)

Tom commenced his career at Harmans in our commercial and property team in January 2015 after graduating from Canterbury University in 2012. Prior to joining Harmans Tom worked at the Christchurch District Court and enjoyed a stint overseas travelling around Europe.  

Mikayla Hughes

Lawyer LLB, BA

Mikayla graduated from the University of Canterbury at the end of 2017 with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts. Mikayla is currently gaining experience in our litigation and disputes resolution team.

Charlie Robson

Law Clerk LLB

Charlie joined our family team in November 2018, after completing an LLB at the University of Canterbury.

Lewis Gibson

Law Clerk

Lewis joined the Harmans team in June 2019 after completing an LLB and BA (History) at the University of Canterbury in 2018. 

Judith Rutherford

Office Manager

Judith joined the Harmans team in March 2008, with experience as an office manager at a smaller local firm. Judith is responsible for human resources, IT liaison and general office administration.

Fiona Dickson

Personal Assistant

Fiona joined Harmans in 2013, rejoining the workforce after bringing up her family.

Harriet McIntosh

Personal Assistant

Harriet joined Harmans in December 2016 as a Personal Assistant in the Family Team. Harriet has just returned from living and travelling overseas for the past 3 years.

Lisa Scott

Personal Assistant

Lisa supports a team specialising in commercial and residential property conveyancing and has been with Harmans since 2007.

Ry Van Keulen

Personal Assistant

Ry joined Harmans in June 2015 as a personal assistant in one of our commercial teams. 

Shelly Taylor

Personal Assistant

Shelly joined Harmans in July 2018.  Shelly supports one of our busy conveyancing teams.

Stephanie Waterhouse

Personal Assistant

Stephanie joined Harmans in 2007 after working at the Public Trust for quite a number of years. Stephanie supports a team specialising in commercial and residential property conveyancing.

Anne Winter

Trust Accountant

Cherie Kennelly


Helen Caldwell

Trust Administration Assistant

Michelle Bassett

Credit Controller

Lesley Smith


Vicki Krom-Innes

Trust Accountant

Vicki Nicholls

Finance/Administration Assistant

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