The Team

Devon McDonald

Devon McDonald is the principal of Swayne McDonald. Devon holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from University of Otago. He was admitted to the Bar in 1976. He established the firm in 1981 with his then partner, Mark Swayne. Mark retired from legal practice in 2000. Devon's primary focus is on conveyancing, family trusts and relationship property matters although he has extensive experience in a wide variety of legal issues having been in practice since 1976.

Joy Hadley

Joy Hadley - is a highly experienced and Senior Registered Legal Executive - having been employed in "the law" since 1976, initially as a secretary, followed by a period as office manager and then since 1992 as a fully qualified Registered Legal Executive admitted as an Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives. Joy has extensive experience in a wide range of conveyancing and property law matters. Joy has recently been appointed as an Associate of the firm in recognition of her lengthy and a substantial contribution to the firm and her untiring and cheerful commitment to the needs of our clients.

Neil Horne

Neil Horne holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Otago. Neil practiced as a Barrister and Solicitor in Auckland for 25 years until 1997 when he retired from private practice and became employed by the Auckland District Law Society in the Society's "Professional Standards Team". Since 2000 Neil has been semi-retired and is now a consultant to the firm applying his extensive practical experience, knowledge of the law and attention to detail to a wide range of commercial and property related transactions.

Diane Harvey holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Waikato University and has been in legal practice since 1999. Diane has substantial general practice experience with a particular emphasis on property, commercial and corporate legal matters, business sales and purchases, estates, wills and family trusts. For a time she worked "in-house" as a lawyer for a well-known Australian corporate and then as a lawyer for a boutique corporate and commercial legal practice in the city. Diane's focus at Swayne McDonald is on small business, commercial & corporate matters, estates, wills, family trusts and property transactions.

Dick Bury

Dick Bury is a Legal Executive - having been a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives for many years. Dick has for the past 30 years specialized in deceased estate administration. His wealth of experience and wicked Irish sense of humor ease what can otherwise be a stressful process for the family of the deceased.

Johnson Paul

Johnson Paul graduated in India with a Bachelor of Laws degree ( LLB) in 1992. He practised law in India until 1998 when he and his wife emigrated to New Zealand. Since then he has practised as an immigration consultant on his own account and has also owned and operated a computer retail business. He has now completed his New Zealand law qualifications and has recently been admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. Johnson's particular areas of interest are Property, Immigration and Family Law. As well as speaking English, Johnson also speaks Malayalam and Hindi.

Carolina Tiumalu studied law and commerce at Otago University, graduated with LLB and B Com degrees and was admitted to the bar in 2003.
Over the past 10 years her legal career has included 18 months as a Deputy Registrar/Court Officer at the Family Court at Manukau and more than 7 years as a lawyer in South Auckland, dealing with a variety of general practice legal work but focusing primarily on family law. Prior to joining the family law team at Swayne McDonald, Carolina was employed as a lawyer with the Mangere Community Law Centre. She is a board member of a South Auckland women’s refuge and an executive council member of the Pacific Lawyers Association Incorporated. Carolina’s work with Swayne McDonald is focussed primarily on family law matters, and general legal practice.

Ataga'i Esera (Ata) graduated from Victoria University Wellington in 2005 with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree and then in 2010 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Since her admission to the Bar in 2010 Ata has worked briefly with a boutique law firm in Wellington dealing with Waitangi Tribunal claims, and then more recently with The Law Store, Porirua dealing exclusively with family law matters. Ata is fluent in conversational Samoan and Japanese (earlier in her career she was a teacher in Japan for 2 years). Ata has joined our family law team - she is a motivated, competent and dedicated family lawyer keen to serve the firms diverse range of family law clients.


Donna Jensen

Donna Jensen is our senior Registered Legal Executive based at our Botany Junction office. Donna commenced her legal career in the early 1990's, initially as a PA, and progressed to a full Legal Executive role, becoming a registered legal Executive in 1997. Donna's focus is on residential conveyancing - an area of legal practice in which she has substantial experience. In addition to dealing with her busy conveyancing practice Donna also provides support to her colleague - senior lawyer Diane Harvey. They make a great team !

The balance of the Swayne McDonald team comprises


Audrey Bridle (who is our Office Manager and trust account administrator) Annette Bearda, Jade Maihi, and Cherie Krishna all at our Manurewa office and Dianne Carrington (at our Botany Junction office) who provide secretarial services and support for the professional staff - and last (but certainly not least ! ) Toni Gahan and Megan Vendt who together provide reception services and general office administration.