Nicola Tiffen


I lead Duncan Cotterill’s national immigration team across our five offices. I am a specialised immigration lawyer providing practical guidance to employers, business owners and HR professionals to support migrants with their visas in a seamless manner and obtaining immigration accreditation for employers. I also assist high net worth individuals on the immigration process.

With strengths in all areas of immigration law, I pride myself on the ability to provide an end to end service for my clients. From initial eligibility scoping, and visa applications, through to confirmed residency, I give tailored advice at every step of the process. My business clients benefit from Duncan Cotterill’s commercial expertise, leading to successful setup, structuring, and operating platforms of their New Zealand based companies.

My experience includes:

  • Acting for an international car manufacturer in transferring employees to New Zealand to support their New Zealand operations.
  • Acting for one of New Zealand’s largest employers to restructure their employer accreditation so as to allow all its legal entities to sponsor migrants.
  • Successfully assisting several New Zealand employers in transferring employees to overseas operations.
  • Successfully assisting employers in transferring employees’ visas to new legal entities.
  • Advising a multinational in the establishment and management of its New Zealand immigration policies and procedures.
  • Assisting an IT industry multinational, establishing its first base in New Zealand, with the transfer of senior and junior employees to establish the operation, right through to obtaining accreditation with the authorities to enable future transfer of staff.
  • Successfully advising a national employer in managing, and ultimately avoiding, prosecution over alleged immigration offences.
  • Successfully assisting employers and employees with border-closure exemption requests, resolving character issues and appeals to the Immigration & Protection Tribunal.

I am regularly called upon to give training and seminars to business leaders and employees alike. Prior to returning to New Zealand, I worked at a top law firm in London for over eight years, advising a range of international corporates, high net worth individuals, and leading sportspeople in respect of UK immigration.

I am recognised as a recommened lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory; and hold memberships with the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, the British New Zealand Business Association, the New Zealand Association For Migration and Investment, as well as various other immigration law networks.