Who we are

Get to know us

With lawyers and legal executives across both offices, we are equipped with a wide range of legal knowledge and experience.

We welcome everyone into our offices, whether you're coming straight from the office, school drop off or the farm — step inside so we can get started and get you sorted right away.

Contact Us

P06 368 9239

Levin

28 Queen Street
Levin, New Zealand, 5510

Wellington

Level 3, Solnet House, 70 The Terrace,
Wellington, 6011

Meet the People

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Doug Rowan - CSLaw
Steve Leadbetter
Ashley
Janice - CSLaw

Doug Rowan

LLB/BA

P06 366 0171

Hi, I'm Doug.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Commercial, Estates, General Law, Relationship Property, Rural and Trusts.

Doug joined CS Law in 1996 after graduating from Victoria University with an LLB, BA and a BA (Philosophy). Doug is the first Director of CS Law after Cullinane Steele incorporated having become a partner in 2003.

Doug practices in the areas of commercial and property law, trusts, wills, estates and relationship property specialising in business transactions, commercial lending and advice on asset protection and business structures. Having grown up on a dairy farm Doug has a particular interest in rural transactions.

Doug is married to Hannah and has two teenage daughters. He is the Chair of Te Hinaki Education Trust and is passionate about improving educational outcomes for all children in Horowhenua.

He values the role Christian faith has in his life and in his spare time he is a keen Cricket and Rugby fan, enjoys a good bike ride and relaxing with a book or the paper!

Hannah Wood

LLM/BSc

P06 366 0173

Hi, I'm Hannah.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Commercial, Conveyancing, General Law, Property, Property Developments, Rural and Trusts.

Hannah joined CS Law in 2012 after graduation from Victoria University of Wellington, graduating in law and science, majoring in chemistry. As a student she enjoyed traveling overseas and has spent time living in a foreign country.

Hannah’s area of practice includes commercial law and general law. She is also the team leader of the Trust Management Team and the Conveyancing Team.

Daniel Vincent

LLB(hons)/BA

P06 366 0179

Hi, I'm Daniel.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Family Law, Litigation and Relationship Property.

Daniel specialises in complex family litigation, often involving international and cross border issues.

He appears regularly in appellate jurisdictions, most recently in respect of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction but also on relationship property and trust matters.

In addition to his private practice, he also maintains a busy Lawyer for Child practice.

He has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and is an experienced advocate in both appellate and trial contexts.

Having led the family team at Thomas Dewar Sziranyi Letts in Wellington for a number of years, he has recently joined CS Law where he leads the Disputes Resolution Team.

Peter McKenzie-Bridle

LLB/BA

P068259156

M021901735

Hi, I'm Peter.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Employment Law, Family Law and Litigation.

Peter specialises in resolving disputes that arise in a variety of relationships such as between people who are separating, and between employers and employees. Peter’s diverse background working in different environments such as IT, social work, and law helps him remain grounded and focused on negotiating the realistic solutions to complex problems.

Where a matter cannot be resolved by agreement through negotiation, Peter is also experienced in presenting cases in court and has appeared in the Family Court, Employment Court, High Court, and a variety of other forums.

Peter is married to Kate and they live in Wellington. They have 3 adult children, 2 cats and a dog. When he’s not at work, you may find Peter surfing the waves at Lyall Bay, spending time with his family, or at St Michael’s Anglican Church in Kelburn.

Frances Shaw

LL.B (Hons)

P06 366 0026

Hi, I'm Frances.
I'm an Associate and I specialise in Estates, General Law and Trusts.

Frances joined CS Law in November 2017 after previously working at National Australia Bank, Russell McVeagh, Westpac and in the family business.

Frances graduated LL.B (Hons) from the University of Auckland.

Frances has come back to live in Palmerston North after twenty years living in Singapore and the UK and has two adult daughters.

In her spare time she enjoys gardening, dog-walking and the gym.

Hi, I'm Chris.
I'm an Associate and I specialise in Dispute Resolution, Family Law, Litigation and Relationship Property.

Chris joined CS Law in 2022. He is a member of the litigation team and is experienced in representing clients engaged in Family Court disputes, including relationship property, care of children, family violence and estate claims. He is able to assist clients with general civil, insolvency and ACC matters.

After graduating from the University of Otago Chris spent time as a Registrar at the Wellington District Court before spending 3 years working as a solicitor at a Lower Hutt litigation firm.

Chris is a registered legal aid provider in civil and family cases.

Imogen Hensman

LLB (Hons)

P04 830 0928

Hi, I'm Imogen.
I'm an Associate and I specialise in Criminal, Dispute Resolution, Family Law and Litigation.

Imogen joined CS Law in mid-2023. She is a member of the litigation team and is able to assist clients with general civil, criminal, and family disputes.

After graduating from the University of Auckland in 2019, Imogen worked as a Judge’s Clerk at the Supreme Court for two years, and then spent a year and a half at a small Wellington firm specialising in criminal defence law. Imogen is experienced in presenting cases in court and has appeared in the District Court, Family Court, Special Circumstances Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Imogen is married to Thomas and they live in Porirua. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, surfing, skiing, doing youth work, and being involved in her local church and community.

Riana Smith

LLB/BA

P067776014

Hi, I'm Riana.
I'm an Associate and I specialise in Commercial, General Law and Rural.

Riana graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2020 obtaining an LLB and BA, majoring in International Relations and Political Science. During this time she also volunteered in UN Youth New Zealand and the Wellington Community Justice Project as a member of the Students Rights team.

Having grown up in Palmerston North, Riana is excited to be back and working in Levin. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports and seeing what new legal drama or crime documentary has landed on Netflix.

Connie Hyslop

LLB/BA

P04 831 1598

Hi, I'm Connie.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Family Law and Relationship Property.

Connie graduated from the University of Otago in 2018 with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and Japanese. Connie joined CS Law as a student intern over the summer of 2015, returning each year before starting full-time employment in 2019. She was admitted to the bar in June 2019.

Connie is a member of the litigation team and practices in family law, with a focus on relationship property, PPPR, care of children, and family violence proceedings. Connie aims to get the best results for her clients while helping them navigate and understand the Family Court process.

Sarah Steer

LLB/BA

P06 366 0002

Hi, I'm Sarah.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Estates

Sarah joined CS Law in 2020 and works in the Estates Team.

Sarah graduated from Victoria University with a LLB and a BA majoring in English Literature and History. After working in the Community Law sector Sarah accompanied her husband to North Carolina where she worked in Intellectual Property before starting a family. Sarah later spent time in Singapore before returning to New Zealand with her family to live in Palmerston North.

During her time in Palmerston North Sarah has been involved with her four children’s kindergarten and school communities and has enjoyed teaching music to young children and being involved in her church community. In her spare time Sarah can often be found watching her children play sport, gardening or reading a good book.

Nick Platje

LLB/ BA

P04 832 4472

Hi, I'm Nick.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Employment Law, Family Law and Litigation & Dispute Resolution.

After two years at a small Wellington firm specialising in Employment Law, Nick joined CS Law in mid-2022 to expand his practice into Family Law. Family and Employment play a central part of all of our lives and can involve complex and contentious relationships that requires careful and considered advice to navigate. Nick is focused on ensuring that his clients receive effective and efficient advice that help resolve problems in the most important and inherently personal areas of our lives.

Nick has experience assisting both employers and employees at every stage of the employment relationship and level of the employment jurisdiction, at mediation services, the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court, and the Human Rights Review Tribunal. In his practice Nick has dealt with a wide array of issues including personal grievances, privacy concerns, restraints of trade, health and safety, and contentious exits.

Nick also brings his focus on relationships into his practice of Family Law and can help you in disputes relating to care of children, relationship property, family violence, and more.

Joseph Chagger

LLB/MusB

P06 825 9230

M0211915583

Hi, I'm Joseph.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Property and Trusts.

Joseph rejoined CS Law in 2022 after a brief stint away in Dunedin, having previously worked for CS Law as a Solicitor, graduating from the University of Otago with an LL.B and a MusB. He is excited to be back in Levin and in the office as a member of the Property and Trusts team, mainly focusing on trust management, however he can assist on other property matters as required. Joseph regularly assists with various tasks across several teams within the office.

In his spare time Joseph is an avid rugby fan and enjoys playing guitar, cooking and watching crime documentaries. He also enjoys travelling around the Horowhenua and Manawatu regions and across New Zealand for concerts from any band from the 1980s or earlier

Riley Boyle

LLB

P068259154

Hi, I'm Riley.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Conveyancing and Property.

Riley first joined CS Law in November 2019 as a Law Clerk during the summer holidays of University, and has since been working full-time at CS Law after finishing her LLB at Victoria University of Wellington in 2021.

Riley grew up in the Manawatu region and enjoys spending time with friends and family, listening to podcasts and playing board games in her spare time.

Steve Leadbetter

LLB (Hons) / BCA

P06 366 0178

Hi, I'm Steve.
I'm Solicitor and I specialise in Immigration and Property.

Steve graduated from Victoria University in Wellington in 2007 with an LLB (Hons) and a BCA in Accounting and Commercial Law. He has worked in community and private practice settings, specialising in Immigration Law.

Steve enjoys supporting employers and individuals in all areas of immigration, such as supporting employers to grow their businesses and remain compliant while hiring migrant staff, helping to bring overseas family members to New Zealand, and supporting international students to find a pathway to residence.

He has also gained experience preparing appeals and making special visa requests when Immigration New Zealand has declined a visa application.

When not studying Steve enjoys spending time with family, playing games or going for a jog along the beach.

Ashley Chrystall

LLB and BA

P06 366 0172

Hi, I'm Ashley.
I'm Solicitor and I specialise in Commercial

Ashley joined CS Law in 2023 and works in the Commercial Team.

Ashley graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2023 obtaining an LLB and BA, majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. During this time she also volunteered at the Workers’ Rights Advocacy Service and the Wellington Community Justice Project as a member of the Law Reform team.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys painting, hiking, camping, and spending time with family and friends.

Alex Johnson

P04 830 0906

Hi, I'm Alex.
I'm a Law Clerk and I specialise in Dispute Resolution, Employment Law and Litigation.

Alex joined CS Law in 2023 and works in our Litigation Team.

Alex graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations. During his studies, Alex worked as a community youth worker for young people in Wellington and Porirua.
In his spare time, Alex is an avid hockey player and enjoys a round of golf.

Helen Sharpe

P06 366 0177

Hi, I'm Helen.
I'm a Registered Legal Executive and I specialise in Estates

Helen is an integral part of our Estate Administration Team and attends to all aspects of this area of law. She is also proficient in residential property transactions and can assist you with any enquiries you may have.

Helen began her legal career in 1988 as a Legal Secretary in a Wellington law firm. Helen also studied to become a Legal Executive for which she qualified in 1999. In April 2012 Helen joined the team at CS Law.

Helen is a Fellow member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives and an Associate member of the New Zealand Law Society.

In her spare time Helen enjoys spending time with family and friends and working on her property.

Gillian Parsonson

P06 366 0174

Hi, I'm Gillian.
I'm a Legal Executive and I specialise in Conveyancing and Property.

Gillian joined CS Law in January 2014 and she has been involved in many aspects of law over the past 17 + years.

Gillian is an integral part of the conveyancing team as a Legal Executive.

Kirsty Beatson

Dip.LegalExec

P06 399 2051

Hi, I'm Kirsty.
I'm Registered Legal Executive and I specialise in Commercial and Rural.

Raised in Levin, Kirsty spent 12 years in Wellington before returning home. Starting off with a career in sport administration, Kirsty worked for Wellington Rugby on a variety of events including the Rugby World Cup 2011 and the Sevens. When she returned home she took up a position with the District Court in Levin and case managed files in both the criminal and family jurisdictions for several years.

Now qualified as a Registered Legal Executive, Kirsty is part of the Commercial Team at CS Law. She aims to make the process as smooth as possible for all clients, especially first home buyers with KiwiSaver and Housing New Zealand Home Start Grants.

In her spare time Kirsty likes to spend time with family and friends and also enjoys a good book.

Heather Hutchison

Dip.LegalExec

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Heather.
I'm a Registered Legal Executive and I specialise in Estates

Heather joined CS Law in September 2020 after spending 18 years working in various administration roles in the Real Estate industry in Auckland and Levin. Heather completed her Legal Executive Diploma in 2023 and has experience in property and estates. Currently Heather is working as a Registered Legal Executive in our Estates Team.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two children and relaxing with family and friends.

Janice Wagstaff

P06 3660179

Hi, I'm Janice.
I'm a Legal Assistant in the Estates Team.

Janice has worked at CS Law for 30+ years. She has worked in all the various departments during that time currently working as a Legal Assistant in the Estates Team.

Janice is married with two daughters. She loves spending time with family and friends, walking and reading in her spare time.

Kylie Jennings

P06 825 9227

Hi, I'm Kylie.
I'm a Legal Assistant in the Property Team.

Kylie joined CS Law in 2022 and is part of our Property Team.

Kylie enjoys keeping active at the gym and volunteering with Levin Riding for the Disabled. She has two sons and enjoys supporting their sporting achievements. Kylie is family focused, loves travel and giving back to the community.

Natasha Matenga

P06 366 0176

Hi, I'm Natasha.
I'm a Legal Assistant in the Commercial Team.

Tash started with CS Law in 2016 and has been our own firm "boomerang". Since 2016 Tash has had some time off birthing little CS Law babies. After taking a year off to be with her family, Tash started back with CS Law in 2023.

Her Mama role doesn't end with her four beautiful girls, you will find Tash supporting Doug Rowan and taking care of our commercial team, and the wider team in our Levin office.

Elise Alcock

P04 831 1598

Hi, I'm Elise.
I'm a Legal Assistant in the Litigation Team.

New to Wellington, Elise works as a Legal Assistant in our Litigation Team. Originally from London, Elise moved to New Zealand after graduating from the University of York with a BA in Art History. She has since worked in several administrative roles and recently moved here from Nelson.

When she’s not at work, you'll likely find her exploring new corners of the city, planning her next holiday, or unwinding with a well-deserved drink in hand.

Julia Turnbull

Dip.LegalExec

P06 825 9232

M021364710

Hi, I'm Julia.
I'm the Practice Manager.

Julia was raised in the Horowhenua region and has recently returned to the area after 20 years living around various parts of NZ and Australia, working mostly in law firms in support roles, and later as a Registered Legal Executive in rural, commercial and property. Today Julia manages CS Law’s day to day operations to ensure smooth running of the firm.

In her free time Julia enjoys getting outdoors for a hike, listening to podcasts and spending time with friends and family.

Donna Madgwick

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Donna.
I'm the Trust Account/Finance Manager.

Donna joined CS Law in January 2021, and is CS Law's Finance Manager/Trust Accountant. Donna is a Horowhenua local and brings a wealth of experience to CS Law including a strong administration background and superb organisational skills.

When Donna is not crunching numbers for the firm, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and loves a good run.

Haylee Williams

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Haylee.
I'm the Receptionist.

Haylee is the Receptionist in our Levin office. She takes good care of our clients and supports our team with everything administration related. She has previously worked in other administration and sales roles in the Real Estate industry, and is excited to learn the ins and outs of a legal environment.

Outside of work, Haylee enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, exploring new places, and trying new things.

Alicia Smith

P06 825 9231

Hi, I'm Alicia.
I'm the Office Junior.

Alicia began working at CS Law in May 2024. She works as our Office Junior in our busy Levin office; her role is supporting Reception and assisting with Legal Support overflow. She is excited to be joining the CS Law team and learn all about the legal world.

Outside of work, Alicia enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Our people and story

CS Law (formerly Cullinane Steele) have been looking after individuals, families and businesses for generations, delivering practical advice so you can make important decisions with confidence.

Our Litigators, Solicitors, Legal Executives and support staff have a wide range of experience and knowledge. We are equipped to handle your needs, with a portfolio of commercial business, property, litigation, family and rural clients, we are big on service and trade on our reputation. In 2021 CS Law established a litigation team enabling CS Law to offer a one-stop legal service to our clients. Our litigation team can deal with your criminal, family, relationship or Hague Convention cases.

2022 sees us open a second office in the Wellington CBD to allow us to service our Wellington based clients, and providing more choice for our Kapiti Coast clients, now having the choice to travel in either direction. CS Law prides itself on offering practical advice and effective solutions.

Talk to the experts and we will look after you.

Associations

As a member of NZ Law we are in touch with law firms all around the country, ensuring that we have the latest legal information at our fingertips.

Member firms practise in a wide range of legal disciplines ranging from business law, home buying and selling, immigration law and intellectual property to aviation law, viticulture and tourism. Cullinane Steele is able to utilise the services of NZ Law legal experts from across the country in order to solve your unique legal problem.