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
Chris Bell
Helen Sharpe - CSLaw
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.

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

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

P068259156

M021901735

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

Heidi Sixtus

P06 825 9232

Hi, I'm Heidi.
I'm the General Manager.

Heidi joined CS Law in 2021, with a background in Corporate Farming & Commercial Business Management and Administration for the last 25 years.

In the role of General Manager, Heidi forms part of the Senior Leadership Team, with the responsibility for the implementation of the company strategy and direction, as well as managing the day to day operations of the Practice.

Heidi lives in Feilding. Away from the office Heidi holds governance roles, enjoys spending time with family and friends and walking.

Michelle McGrath

BBS/ Master of Tax

P06 366 0178

M021 498 130

Hi, I'm Michelle.
I'm the Accountant.

I joined CS Law in March 2021 as our in house Accountant.

Michelle holds a BBS from Massey University and a Master of Tax from Melbourne University. She looks after all accounting matters for CS Law.

Michelle has previously worked in several accounting practices and spent a number of years working for an international oil company both in NZ and Australia.

A keen traveller, Michelle’s other interests include sport, learning Spanish and gardening.

Frances Shaw

LL.B (Hons)

P06 366 0026

Hi, I'm Frances.
I'm an Associate 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.

Rebecca Stoop

LLB (Hons)

P06 825 9220

M021469875

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

Rebecca joined CS Law in 2022. She is a member of the litigation team and acts for clients engaged in criminal, civil and family disputes.

Rebecca has worked in litigation since her admission to the bar in 2015. She has a wide range of experience and appears regularly in the District Court, High Court and Family Court.

Rebecca acts for a variety of clients, including clients charged with criminal offences. She is also able to assist with Family Court matters, including proceedings relating to the care of children, family violence and relationship property. She also has experience in civil litigation, and is able to assist with a range of civil matters, including estate litigation, insurance matters and general civil claims.

Rebecca is a registered legal aid provider for civil, criminal and family matters, and is able to act for clients who require legal aid. She is also a member of a Law Society Standards Committee (which considers complaints against lawyers).

Renée Bayer

LLB (Hons) / BA

P06 366 0175

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

Renée joined the litigation team at CS Law in 2022. She is an experienced advocate across the criminal, civil and family jurisdictions.

After completing her studies at the University of Auckland, she spent two years as a Judges’ Clerk at the District Court, followed by four years working as a Solicitor at a litigation firm in Lower Hutt.

Renée appears regularly in the District Court acting for clients facing a variety of criminal charges. She also appears in the appellate Courts (including the High Court and Court of Appeal) for the purposes of criminal appeals. She is experienced in drafting limited license for clients who have been suspended as a result of excess demerit points and as a result of a conviction for a driving offence.

Renée has experience in the District and High Courts acting for both Plaintiffs and Defendants in the context of civil claims. One of her areas of interest in the civil context is elder law, where she has experience advocating for clients in the context of undue influence. She also has experience advising and representing clients in the employment context.

Renée also appears regularly in the Family Court and is able to assist with family matters, including parenting disputes and family violence matters (for both Applicants and Respondents).

Renée is a lead provider for criminal, civil and family legal aid.

Chris Bell

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.

Connie Hyslop

LLB/BA

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

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.

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.

Riana Smith

LLB/BA

P067776014

Hi, I'm Riana.
I'm a Solicitor 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.

Finn Seelen-Smith

LLB

P06 825 9106

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

Finn joined CS Law in July 2021 having moved to Palmerston North after graduating with an LLB from Canterbury University of Christchurch.

Finn was admitted to the Bar in September 2021.

Riley Boyle

P068259154

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

Matt Watson

P063660176

Hi, I'm Matt.
I'm a Law Clerk and I specialise in Commercial

Heather Hutchison

P06 368 9239

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

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

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 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 Commercial, Conveyancing and Property.

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.

Julia Turnbull

P06 366 0172

M021498653

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

I was raised in the Horowhenua and have recently returned to the region to join our commercial team. I am an Affiliate member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives and have
worked in law firms most of my working life.

Outside work I love a good read or podcast; spending time with family and friends, being active and enjoying the outdoors – especially exploring the great walking tracks New Zealand has to offer.

Joseph Chagger

LLB/MusB

P06 825 9230

M0211915583

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

Gillian Parsonson

P06 366 0174

Hi, I'm Gillian.
I'm a Legal Assistant 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 Assistant.

Roshani Tate

P06 366 0178

Hi, I'm Roshani.
I'm a Legal Assistant and I specialise in Estates

Roshani joined CS Law in July 2019.

Roshani was born in Fiji and migrated to New Zealand in 1987. I am a kiwi now being here for 34 years.

In my spare time I enjoy yoga, catching up with friends and spending time with my children in the big smoke.

Samantha Thomson

P04 831 1598

Hi, I'm Samantha.
I'm a Legal Assistant and I specialise in Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Sam joined CS Law in 2022 after being a stay at home mother to her son.

Sam has previously worked as a legal secretary for the Crown Solicitor’s office.

In her spare time, Sam enjoys watching her son play sport and reading or watching a good series in her downtime.

Donna Madgwick

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Donna.
I'm a Team Coordinator and I specialise in Commercial and Rural.

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.

Janice Wagstaff

P06 3660179

Hi, I'm Janice.
I'm a Team Coordinator and I specialise in 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.

Meredith Hooker

BA (Hons)

P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Meredith.
I'm the Levin Office Receptionist.

Meredith joined CS Law in 2021 after previously working for two English Premier League football clubs. Born in the UK, she moved to New Zealand in 2019 after graduating from Buckinghamshire New University with a BA (Hons) in Sports Business & Marketing.

Meredith lives in Paraparaumu with her partner Michael and their dog Molly. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting and watching sport.

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.