Learn more about our exciting line-up of speakers for LawFest 

As well as all new topics and speakers, this year LawFest has introduced working sessions for practical and interactive discussions with specific focus areas for each role in the legal profession. The plenary and working sessions promise to be stimulating and thought-provoking, and include legal technology experts, practitioners and leading innovation thought leaders from New Zealand and abroad.

Sir Ray Avery

Sir Ray Avery GNZM is a successful Scientist, Author, inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and start up Investor.

Ray is an internationally recognised charismatic and entertaining public speaker who challenges everyone to “Dream Big” and develop game changing disruptive thinking strategies.

A former street kid Ray went on to become an internationally recognised scientist and entrepreneur and Knight of the realm.

A founding member of the Auckland University School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and former Technical Director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals who, over the past thirty years, has made a major contribution in the development of New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical and Medical device Industry.

Warrick McLean

Warrick McLean is CEO and Principal of Coleman Greig Lawyers, the largest Commercial Law Firm based outside of Sydney CBD. An energetic and passionate leader, Warrick is a keen advocate for the Western Sydney region with over twenty years of professional services management experience in both the legal and accounting sectors.

Warrick works extensively with the Principals and wider Coleman Greig team to facilitate and implement the firm’s strategic direction. His background and expertise in human resources, finance, business development and IT enable him to provide the necessary support and guidance required for the strategic growth of the firm.

Richard Menzies

As an early member of the Uber New Zealand team, Richard was initially responsible for launching Uber in Wellington.

He now heads up the New Zealand market as General Manager, responsible for regional expansion, product launches and growth of a marketplace that currently links over 4000 drivers to hundreds of thousands of riders.

Mai Chen

Mai is a thought leader, a direction setter and a futures thinker.

She is one of NZ’s top constitutional and administrative law experts, specialising in central and local Government policy and legislation, especially as it applies to business, and litigating major public law cases.

Richard Greenaway

Richard is an experienced senior executive, with extensive expertise across the professional and financial services industries, both within New Zealand and Australia.He joined Anderson Lloyd as Chief Executive in 2012, while his experience in financial services includes senior positions within retail banking, business banking, property finance and human resources.

Joanna Lim

Joanna specialises in financial markets regulatory compliance work, with a special interest in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (Act).

She is working on Simpson Grierson’s compliance with the Act, in particular the risk assessment and aspects of the AML/CFT programme.

In addition, Joanna has assisted phase 1 entities with all aspects of compliance, including the drafting of risk assessments and AML/CFT programmes, and with the administration of those programmes.

She also advises on whether new activities and entrants to the New Zealand market are within the ambit of the Act.

Claudia King

Not capable of accepting the “this is the way we’ve always done it” attitude, Claudia is the Lady-gaga of the New Zealand Legal Industry, challenging the norm and bringing fresh ideas to add efficiency and flair to a traditional profession. With a passion for embracing new technology to make life easier, Claudia is as keen as Marmite to help Kiwis do things faster, smarter, and better. With a vision for the future, Claudia promotes using technology to enhance earning potential, increase business opportunities and free up valuable time.

Laura O’Gorman

Laura O’Gorman has been a partner for 11 years in Buddle Findlay’s litigation and insolvency teams. She has broad experience in commercial litigation with specialist expertise in Fair Trading and Commerce Act issues, international disputes, contract and insolvency matters, and judicial review. She appears regularly in the High Court and Court of Appeal and is recognised as a leading individual in dispute resolution by the Chambers Global and Legal 500 directories.

Judge David Harvey

David Harvey was appointed a District Court Judge in 1988. Prior to that he was in practice as a litigator for 18 years. He was involved in information technology initiatives for the New Zealand Courts since 1990.
In addition to his judicial duties, Judge Harvey taught and continues to teach Law and Information Technology at the Faculty of Law, Auckland University and has done so since 2000. Judge Harvey left the Bench in July 2016 to take up a position as the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Information Communications Technology Law at the Law Faculty of Auckland University.

Craig Columbus

Craig Columbus is Chief Information Officer at Russell McVeagh. Craig is actively involved in the NZ technology community, contributing as an author, public speaker and member of conference advisory panels. Craig is a Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and is passionate about leveraging technology to build strong companies and improve our world. Areas of specialty include privacy, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Jean Yang

Jean leads the legal side of development at legal AI venture, McCarthy Finch. Originally a solicitor at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Jean now works on the intersection of law, technology and UX. Jean is passionate about reimagining the legal industry through innovation, culture change and improving access to justice.

Jean has a Bcom and LLB from the University of Auckland and is also an executive member of Legal Tech New Zealand.

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor is the Principal Legal Advisor at Tasman District Council and a Business Development Manager at lexvoco. Sarah has worked as a lawyer since 1998 in NZ, England, and Singapore and in 2016 she was awarded a scholarship by the In-house Lawyers’ Association to undertake research into flexible working in the legal profession.

Caroline Ferguson

Caroline Ferguson is the Business Transformation Manager at Simpson Grierson.

Previously a finance lawyer, Caroline transitioned into innovation and technology roles while at global law firm Allen & Overy in London.

Caroline is passionate about how law firms can create environments that help their people develop the skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape and deliver excellent client service and value.

Thomas Bloy

Thomas is a legal tech innovator and co-founder of CataLex (legal software company) and Evolution Lawyers (virtual law firm). He is a litigator and transactional lawyer, specialising in company, commercial, insolvency, and property law. His articles on law and legal technology have been published in the New Zealand Law Journal and LawTalk, with his piece on pseudolaw being cited in the Canadian courts.

Terri Mottershead

As the Director for the Centre of Legal Innovation (Australia, New Zealand and Asia) at the College of Law, Terri works internationally with leaders of law firms, legal associations, law schools, and lawyers, supporting their transition to, and building a pipeline of exceptional talent for, new law. She has been a thought leader and innovator in legal strategic talent management and development for more than 20 years.

Steven Moe

Steven Moe is in the corporate and commercial team at Parry Field Lawyers in Christchurch. He studied at Canterbury University and worked for a national firm in Wellington for 3 years before he left New Zealand to work for 11 years at international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in Tokyo (4 years), London (3 years) and Sydney (4 years).

Stephen Mullins

Stephen is the General Manager New Zealand for lexvoco, a business dedicated to helping in-house lawyers. His background includes working as a barrister in New Zealand, in top tier law firms in New Zealand, Scotland, England and Australia and as General Counsel in Australia.

Lloyd Gallagher

Lloyd is actively involved around the world in Alternative Dispute Resolution where he acts as Arbitrator and Mediator. With a strong IT background, Lloyd works with law practitioners’ and policy makers to develop solutions that focus on access to justice and technology security.

Josh McBride

Josh specialises in complex commercial litigation. He was admitted to the bar in 1998 and has worked at leading litigation practices in Auckland, Sydney and London. His areas of practice include contract interpretation, shareholder/partner disputes, trade mark infringement, consumer law, joint ventures and partnerships, construction law, insolvency, fraud, administrative law, and professional negligence.

Jane Parker

Jane leads the technology team at MinterElIisonRuddWatts, and sits on the board of the firm’s joint venture, McCarthy Finch, investigating how legal services can be provided using artificial intelligence. Jane specialises in commercial projects and commercial law with a particular focus on technology,
procurement, public sector contracting and governance.