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 - a registered Legal Executive - having been admitted as an Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives in 1992. Joy has been employed in "the law" since 1976, initially as a secretary, then Senior Secretary followed by a period as Office Manager and then, more recently, as a fully qualified Legal Executive. She has extensive experience in a wide range of conveyancing and property law matters.

Trish Bentinck-Stokes started life in a law office in the mid 1980s as a legal executive and after completing her study and earning her Legal Executive Certificate, embarked on a LL.B degree out of Auckland University.   Trish continued working full-time in a medium-sized law firm whilst studying part-time.  For approximately 17 years, Trish carried out the mortgagee-sale and lending work for a well-established Building Society.  Trish has for the last four years has been a general sole practitioner  and is conversant with all aspects of residential conveyancing; wills; estate administration; family trusts; enduring powers of attorney. Trish is based at our Botany Junction office.

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.

Dick Bury

Dick Bury is a registered 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.

Paul Muller is of Tongan heritage. After graduating with Commerce and LLB degrees in 1998, Paul had three years legal practice in the Supreme Court of Tonga. On returning to New Zealand and over the last 12 years, Paul had a number of management roles in both the public and not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Paul was a self-employed community development consultant working with a range of organisations in the health and social services sector. After three years in such roles, Paul returned to legal practice in 2010 and has since had two years with a South Auckland Law firm specialising in employment and family law advice.

Paul is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees for De La Salle College ( he has served on the board for the past five years). Paul has previously served as a Board member of the City of Manukau Education Trust, Otara Community Law Centre and Chairman of the Pacific Islands Advisory Committee to the Manukau City Council. Paul's legal practice with Swayne McDonald includes acting for employers and for employees in connection with personal grievances, employment issues arising for small to medium sized businesses, along with a substantial family law case load.

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.


Donna Jensen

Donna Jensen is a very experienced Registered Legal Executive based at our Botany Junction office. Donna commenced her legal career in the early 1990's, initally 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 PA support to her colleague - Botany Junction based senior lawyer Trish. 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 Maureen Richards (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 who provides reception services and general office administration.