Duncan Cotterill announces two new partners, increasing partnership to 48


Aotearoa New Zealand law firm Duncan Cotterill has announced the promotions to partnership of Senior Associates Lisa Small and Alysha Hinton*, along with further promotions across the business effective 1 April. Lisa McKeown has also been promoted to Special Counsel.

Jonathan Scragg, Chair of Duncan Cotterill, said the appointments reflected the firm’s continued focus on expansion to meet the tremendous demand for legal services, while bringing the next generation of lawyers into its senior leadership.

The latest promotions take Duncan Cotterill’s total partnership numbers to 48, making it the second-largest New Zealand law firm by size of partnership.

“Rather than growth for growth’s sake, our goal is to continue to increase the quality and depth of our advice and support the personal development of our people by recognising their specialist skills. Alysha, Lisa Small and Lisa McKeown have all worked incredibly hard, making strong contributions to the community as well as the firm, supporting our younger lawyers with mentoring and leadership,” Jonathan said.

Lisa Small is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer in the Auckland commercial team, advising a broad range of clients across a variety of business and private client matters including trusts, assets protection and estate planning. Lisa also has significant experience from both a legal and governance perspective in the not-for-profit sector. She is a board member of the Auckland YWCA and a member of the Auckland District Law Society Trust Law Committee.

“The last couple of years have presented numerous challenges for businesses as they face financial and other pressures arising from the Covid pandemic. I’ve enjoyed working with clients to help them through those challenges, as they look for different opportunities and assistance with restructuring, financial and corporate governance, or to exit existing arrangements. I’m excited to be joining the partners at Duncan Cotterill and continuing to work closely with clients to help them achieve their goals and to grow in the future,” she said.

Alysha Hinton is a property lawyer in the Wellington commercial team. Alysha’s diverse practice covers a full range of commercial advice with specific expertise in property, construction, finance, trusts and estate planning. Alysha was also recently recognised as a NZ Lawyer “Rising Star” in 2022 in recognition of her commitment to clients and her increasing profile as a trusted advisor in the business community.

“It’s an honour to receive the vote of confidence from the Duncan Cotterill partnership, which acknowledges the huge need for senior-level advice in the current environment. The property sector continues to navigate extremely challenging conditions, but by supporting the development and growth of our teams across the organisation, I feel Duncan Cotterill is in an even stronger position to help our clients and people thrive in an ever-changing world,” she said.

New Special Counsel Lisa McKeown is an experienced litigator, specialising in trust and estate claims and contentious relationship property matters. She is also experienced in other family law, employment, professional disciplinary and medico-legal matters. Lisa is also actively involved in the Wellington legal community and volunteers as a mentor to junior lawyers.

Their appointments follow the arrival partner Ron Arieli on the Auckland commercial team in February and the opening of Duncan Cotterill’s Queenstown office last year.

“I’m also incredibly proud of the wider group of lawyers recognised with promotion. We now have more than 300 people operating from our offices in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown. The firm is in very good heart and has a strong future ahead because of the quality of our people,” said Jonathan.

Duncan Cotterill promotions effective 1 April:

  • To Partner: Lisa Small (Commercial, Auckland) and Alysha Hinton (Commercial, Wellington).
  • To Special Counsel: Lisa McKeown (Litigation, Wellington).
  • To Associate: Sarah Britz (Litigation, Auckland), Charlotte Kerr (Litigation, Auckland), Jessica Wei (Commercial, Auckland), Chelcie Kite (Commercial, Wellington), Sean Brennan (Litigation, Nelson), Kirsty Allan (Litigation, Wellington), Janelle Wilson (Family, Christchurch), Scott Walker (Commercial, Christchurch) and Isabella Gorringe (Commercial, Christchurch).
  • To Senior Solicitor: Caitlin Sargison (Employment, Auckland), Alexandra Bennett (Litigation, Auckland), Jessie Malcolm (IP, Wellington), Emma Kittelty (Litigation, Nelson), Jess Hope (Commercial, Christchurch) and George Mander (Litigation, Christchurch).
  • To Senior Registered Legal Executive: Ashleigh Rush (Commercial, Nelson).

* Law Society approval pending.

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