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.

Brian Burke

Partner LLM (Hons), BA

Brian is a partner at Harmans and jointly leads our litigation and disputes resolution team.  With over 20 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 9 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 has been a partner at Harmans since 1990.  He leads the family law team and specialises in the division of matrimonial and de facto property, as well as custody access and guardianship issues.

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 and is the current Chair of Partners for the firm. After an initial grounding in litigation he concentrated on establishing a commercial and conveyancing client base.

Julie Knowles

Practice Manager, BBus (Accounting), AT

Julie joined the Harmans team in August 2005 and holds the position of Practice Manager. In this role Julie is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s operations, including  finance, personnel, systems, marketing, and the day-to-day efficiencies of the business.

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.

Amy Hyland

Senior Associate LLB

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

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.

Nalini Meyer

Senior Associate LLB, BA (Management, Geography)

Nalini is an experienced Lawyer whose practice focuses on Trust Law and particularly advising and assisting our clients with the administration and management of their trusts, succession planning and personal affairs. Nalini is part of (and has a strong background in) the Commercial and Residential Property Team and has advised numerous commercial, private and organisational clients over the years. 

Fay Hughes

Associate LLB (Hons)

Fay is a member of our successful family law team.  Fay graduated from Canterbury University in 2009 with a Law with honours degree and was admitted to the bar in 2010.  After graduating, Fay spent two years in the North Island practicing in the litigation and family team of a busy suburban firm.  She returned to Christchurch in 2012, where she spent two years in a large Christchurch law firm specialising in environment and family law before joining Harmans in June 2014. 

Phillipa Shaw

Associate, LLB (Hons)

Phillipa leads the Seniors Law Team and also specialises in property and private client matters. 

Emily Park

Senior Lawyer MA(Hons) Dip Law

Originally from the UK, Emily qualified as a solicitor there in 2002. She worked in London, gaining experience in Family and Criminal Law, before specialising in Employment Law. In 2005 Emily moved to New Zealand and spent a year at Harmans, working in the Property Law team. Over  the next 11 years Emily developed her expertise  in Property Law, Trust Law and Elder Law as well as re-qualifying as a  New Zealand lawyer and expanding her family. She is very happy to return to Harmans, this time in the Litigation team.

Harriet Daley

Senior Lawyer 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. 

Tom Appleton

Senior Lawyer 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.  

Edward Sharpe-Davidson

Lawyer LLB (Hons), BA

Edward is a solicitor in our litigation and dispute resolution team. 

Emilie Simpson

Lawyer LLB/BSc

Emilie began working for our busy Family Law team in March 2016 after finishing her Law and Psychology studies at the University of Otago. Emilie was admitted to the bar in October 2016 and is gaining experience as a solicitor in all areas of Family Law including separation, relationship property, care of children and domestic violence.  

Gina Dobson

Law Clerk

Gina joined our senior law team and private client team in 2017, having completed a BA (Hons) in English at the University of Canterbury in 2012 and a LLB at Victoria University in 2016. Prior to working at Harmans Gina lived in New York for a year and then worked as a research assistant, focusing on environmental law, while she completed her professionals in Wellington. 

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.

Alice Baverstock

Personal Assistant

Alice joined Harmans in December 2015 as a Personal Assistant.  Alice is originally from Scotland, Edinburgh and moved to Christchurch July 2014. 

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. 

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.

Melissa Chester

Summer Clerk

Anne Winter

Trust Accountant

Helen Caldwell

Trust Administration Assistant

Michelle Bassett

Credit Controller

Lesley Smith


Rebecca Kirner


Sarah Phipps

Administration Assistant

Vicki Krom-Innes

Trust Accountant

Vicki Nicholls

Administration Assistant

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