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.

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 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.


Ata Esera 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 Pacific Law limited 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.

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 Donna Jensen is 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.