SBM Legal founding partner leaves, firm promotes two to partner

by Sol Dolor 01 Nov 2019

SBM Legal co-founding partner Don Mackinnon has left the firm to become a barrister sole.

Mackinnon stepped down as partner at the end of October. Name partners Kathryn Beck and Penny Swarbrick continue to lead the firm. Mackinnon, who has been with SBM Legal since its founding in 2008, will continue to provide services to the firm’s client on an as-needed basis, the firm said.

Beck wished Mackinnon well on the next phase of his career. “Part of his legacy will be that many of the values and characteristics he has fostered in our firm will continue to shape the next phase of its development,” Beck said.

“My decision represents an opportunity to reshape my priorities to focus on areas of law I’m most attracted to, such as investigations and bargaining, as well as providing additional time for my increasing commitments in sports governance,” Mackinnon said.

Swarbrick said that the firm will continue to provide the same level of service it has to clients, with a focus on the depth and breadth of its people expertise.

The departure comes as SBM has also elevated Matthew McGoldrick and Anthony Russell, who have been promoted to partner from senior associate and principal, respectively.

McGoldrick, who has been with the firm since 2013, regularly represents both employers and employees in mediation and before various authorities and courts. His extensive experience includes acting on restructuring and redundancy, disciplinary, termination of employment, and health and safety matters.

Russell has held senior employment law positions at two leading firms and has also worked with unions and acted as a prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office. He also previously lectured in law at the University of Waikato and at Auckland University of Technology.

Don Mackinnon

Anthony Russell, Penny Swarbrick, Kathryn Beck, Bridget Smith, and Matthew McGoldrick