Who we are

Get to know us

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

Our office is also farmer-friendly, so feel free to just come in straight from the farm, leave your gumboots at the door and step inside so we can get started and get you sorted right away.

P06 368 9239

Meet the People

I’m interested in people who know about

Doug Rowan - CSLaw
Helen Sharpe - CSLaw
Rebecca Ellery-Winchcombe - CSLaw
Janice - CSLaw

Mélanie Gauthier

Licence de droit/master de droit fiscal/master de droit financier

Hi, I'm Mélanie.
I'm a Legal Assistant and I specialise in Trusts

Hi, I’m Mélanie.

I’m a legal assistant and I specialise in Trusts.

Mélanie joined CS Law in January 2021 after previously working at the Ministry of Justice in Auckland and in a business law firm in Paris.

Mélanie was born in France and graduated from Panthéon-Sorbonne university in France.

In her spare time Mélanie volunteers for environmental charities and enjoys yoga, sailing and climbing.

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.

Heather Hutchison

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Heather.
I'm a Legal Assistant and I specialise in Conveyancing

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.

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

Joseph Chagger

LLB/MusB

P06 366 0176

Hi, I'm Joseph.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Conveyancing and General Law.

Having grown up in Dunedin, Joseph moved to the Horowhenua and joined CS Law in 2020 after completing his studies at the University of Otago, graduating in law and music. During his studies, he also worked for a startup commercial lease management and lease accounting software company. Originally from England, he emigrated to New Zealand in 2001 and now calls New Zealand home. He was admitted in Wellington as a Barrister and Solicitor in March 2020.

Joseph enjoys practicing in several areas of law. He is mainly part of the Conveyancing team at CS Law, but also handles Commercial and General Law matters.

In his spare time, Joseph enjoys road trips, going to the beach, playing guitar, going to concerts, watching sports and video gaming. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends, and exploring the Horowhenua region

Riana Smith

LLB/BA

P067776014

Hi, I'm Riana.
I'm a Law Clerk and I specialise in Conveyancing and General Law.

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.

Riana intends to be admitted to the Bar in June

Donna Madgwick

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Donna.
I'm a Client Relationship Manager for the Property and Trusts Teams and I specialise in Conveyancing and Trusts.

Hi, I’m Donna.

I have just joined CS Law, with an extensive background in Office Administration.

Born and bred in the Horowhenua, I am married with two children. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exercising and keeping fit.

Daniel Vincent

LLB(hons)/BA

P06 366 0179

Hi, I'm Daniel.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Disputes Resolution, 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.

Doug Rowan

LLB/BA

P06 366 0171

Hi, I'm Doug.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Commercial, Estates, General Law, 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, Subdivisions 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.

Hannah is married to Sam and they enjoy renovating their house and spending time on their hobbies.

Frances Shaw

LL.B (Hons)

P06 366 0026

Hi, I'm Frances.
I'm a Lawyer and I specialise in Estates and General Law.

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.

Bridget Tyson

LLB/BA

Hi, I'm Bridget.
I'm a Lawyer and I specialise in Commercial, Conveyancing and General Law.

Bridget joined CS Law in February 2018 after previously working at The Treasury.

Bridget graduated LLB/BA from Victoria University.

In her spare time Bridget enjoys spending time with friends and family, riding her horses and working on her farm.

Bridget is currently on leave and will be back with us in 2021.

Samuel Wood

LLB

Hi, I'm Sam.
I'm a Lawyer and I specialise in Commercial, General Law and Property.

Sam joined CS Law in 2018 after working in local government, central government and a busy Family Law practice. Sam graduated LL.B from Otago University during which time he also volunteered in the local Red Cross Emergency Response Team.

In his spare time Sam enjoys gardening, model railroading, playing darts and video gaming. Sam was a volunteer rural firefighter for over five years, only stepping down due to health reasons in 2018. Notwithstanding his health concerns, Sam continued to practice law over 2018-2020 which is a testament to his perseverance and drive. Having gone through a significant health hurdle, Sam fully appreciates the importance of the work we do in assisting our clients prepare for their uncertain futures.

Connie Hyslop

LLB/BA

Hi, I'm Connie.
I'm a Lawyer and I specialise in Commercial, Conveyancing and General Law.

After finishing at Horowhenua College and starting her studies at the University of Otago, Connie joined CS Law as a student intern over the summer of 2015, returning in her summer breaks over the next two years. Connie took up a full-time position at CS Law at the start of 2019 and was admitted to the Bar in June.

Connie graduated from the University of Otago in 2018 obtaining an LLB and BA, majoring in both History and Japanese. She enjoyed involving herself in the Dunedin community including with Rotaract and other social based volunteering opportunities.

Born in Japan, Connie has enjoyed travelling back to meet with family friends and experience the culture first-hand. In her spare time, she also enjoys reading, concerts, delving into the latest crime documentaries and doing road-trips around the country.

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 an Associate member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives and the New Zealand Law Society.

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

Kirsty Beatson

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

Raised in Levin, Kirsty spent twelve 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 Conveyancing and Trust Management teams 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.

Rebecca Ellery-Winchcombe

P06 366 0170

Hi, I'm Rebecca.
I'm the Office Manager & Trust Accountant.

Rebecca joined the team at CS Law in 2001 after completing a certificate in Business Administration and Computing.

Rebecca started as a junior receptionist and with increasing responsibility has worked her way to being the Trust Accountant and Office Manager where she brings a wealth of knowledge of the business and its workings.

Rebecca lives locally on a life style block and has many animals, plays and coach’s roller derby, is a member of Levin Spinners and Weavers and a local Medieval Living History group.

Gillian Parsonson

P06 366 0174

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

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 Assistant.

Natasha Matenga

Hi, I'm Natasha.
I'm Client Relationship Manager - General Law Team and I specialise in General Law

Natasha has extensive knowledge in the administration sector with National Certificates in Computing and Business Administration. Currently she is the Client Relationship Manager to the General Law team.

With her free time she enjoys her family time with her husband and 2 beautiful girls.

Natasha is currently on leave and will be back in 2021

Janice Wagstaff

P06 3660179

Hi, I'm Janice.
I'm Client Relationship Manager for the Estates and Disputes Resolution Teams and I specialise in Dispute Resolution and Estates.

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

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

Our Story

100 years in the making

Our staff work in teams, giving you access to a range of specialised expertise relating to your needs.

1908

Our firm first began in 1906 and one of our founding lawyers was William Park.

This is the High Court order admitting William Park to the bar as a Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand.

CS Law - 1908

1961

Staff photo from 1961.

CS Law - 1961

1970

Amalgamation of local law firms.

In the 70s the firms of Park, Cullinane, Turnbull and Partners and that of Harper Thompson Steele amalgamated to create Cullinane, Turnbull, Steele and Partners. Little has changed in our name since the amalgamation we are still known as Cullinane Steele but have recently rebranded to shorten our name to CS Law.

CS Law - 1970

1988

Peter Butler retires from the Partnership of Cullinane Steele.

CS Law - 1988

2003

Doug Rowan becomes a partner of Culinane Steele.

CS Law - 2003

2006

Cullinane Steele celebrates 100 years of serving the communities legal needs.

CS Law - 2006

2005

Levin Lawyer Keith De Ridder becomes a District Court Judge.

CS Law - 2005

2015

CS Law wins employer of choice at Electra Business Awards.

CS Law - 2015

2018

CS Law welcomes Hannah Wood as Director and opens new premises upgrade

CS Law gets a new director, solicitor Hannah Wood, who has been with the firm 6 years. They also open their new client premises to the public as part of their much over due building refurbishment.

CS Law - 2018
Our Teams

With an established history and a solid reputation, CS Law has been serving the legal needs of clients in and around the Horowhenua District for over 100 years, providing legal advice and services to residents, business owners and institutions around Levin, including those living in Foxton, Shannon and Tokomaru.

Our Conveyancing Team work with you on property transactions, guiding you in each step of your property sale or purchase.

Our Estates Team help with administering all aspects of estates including succession planning.

Our Commercial and General Law Team can provide practical advice in all aspects of business transactions including commercial and rural property and advice on lending matters. As well as personal matters such as estate planning including wills and enduring powers of attorney.

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.