Firm announces seven new appointments to strengthen national presence

by Sophie Schroder08 Dec 2014
Duncan Cotterill has expanded its partnership and added several associates to its national law practice in a move the CEO says strengthens a number of growth areas.
The firm has announced that recent lateral hire Mark Cathro is a new partner in the Christchurch office, effective 1 January 2015.
Cathro, who joined the firm in August from Lane Neave, has previously worked with top tier firms in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands.
As part of Duncan Cotterill’s national specialist corporate team, he advises on a wide range of corporate law and governance issues, including mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts, joint ventures, private equity, venture capital, securities, restructurings, and technology.
CEO Terry McLaughlin told NZ Lawyer that Cathro was appointed to expand the corporate team’s commercial capability in Christchurch.
“In particular he’s got good experience in the IT sector, which we see as a growth centre in Christchurch,” he says.
And Duncan Cotterill also named six new associates across its offices in the commercial and litigation practices.
In Christchurch, Stephen Caradus specialises in litigation and disputes resolution. He has appeared as counsel in high value claims at High Court and Appellate level with a particular interest in trust and testamentary litigation. 
Wellington has three new associates.
Laura Pelly has represented local authorities and industry professionals in a range of construction related disputes. She has also acted for liability and general insurers in both New Zealand and Ireland defending insured claims, in particular, professional indemnity claims and also fraudulent insurance claims relating to income protection/disability products.
Olivia Lund specialises in civil and commercial litigation and dispute resolution, with a focus on insurance and employment law. She has particular expertise in statutory liability claims, professional indemnity, and disciplinary matters.
Murray Whyte rejoined Duncan Cotterill in September after several years overseas and brings vast experience in corporate and commercial law. He spent six years with leading magic circle law firm Clifford Chance based in Europe. Murray has a general interest in M&A and a special interest in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
In Auckland, Bridget Cameron and Juliet Short are new commercial associates. 
Bridget advises on all aspects of commercial property law including leasing matters, subdivisions, commercial and residential property acquisitions, property developments and land related issues. Bridget is also interested in legal issues relating to earthquake strengthening of commercial buildings.
Juliet is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer, advising clients across a wide range of matters including business establishments and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and drafting and negotiating commercial contracts.  She also has a special interest in tax law.
“These are people who have come up through the firm and all have excellent career paths in front of them,” says CEO McLaughlin.
“Bridget and Juliet are really busy in the commercial area in Auckland and their skills align very well there. In Wellington, it’s been a good growth in that litigation team and together with Stephen in Christchurch it reflects the growth in litigation across the firm. It’s very much a national approach now, on the back of some large insurance clients – there’s a lot in the pipeline.”
Looking to the future, McLaughlin says the firm will continue to build on its strengths of agribusiness, IT and property and construction.
There is a good alignment between the skills in the firm and what it sees as being areas of growth over the next few years, he says.
“We’ve become more and more of a national firm and being seen in the market as a credible alternative. We’ll continue to capitalise on that.”
And the Duncan Cotterill Christchurch team is also preparing to make the move to its brand new offices on Victoria Street in mid-January.