06 758 7101

our people

Karen Venables

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Property & Commercial Law Expert, Co-Director & Business Owner

Karen is a highly knowledgeable, quick-witted and personable lawyer. She believes in putting people first. Karen founded Legal Solutions to ensure a truly customer-focussed and modern experience for her clients. She is highly experienced in understanding the legal challenges that business owners face, and is passionate about empowering business owners to be great leaders. Karen is an enthusiastic alumnus of the Global Women Breakthrough Leaders Programme.

Karen is actively involved in the community, including as a Trustee of the Mellowpuff Charitable Trust. She assists Fitzroy Surf Club and various not-for-profits with their legal work where she can.

Outside of work, Karen enjoys spending time with her partner Tom and their young children, Emilee and Samuel. She also enjoys hitting the beach, swimming, trekking and spending time with good friends.

Karen Venables, Property lawyer, Commercial Lawyer
Cara Gelston, Family lawyer & Employment Lawyer

Cara Gelston

Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons), Bachelor of Arts

Family & Employment Law Expert, Co-Director & Business Owner

Cara brings a pragmatic and empathetic approach to Family and Trust law. Cara is passionate about helping people with the best legal advice and solutions. She is a genuine people person who prides herself on finding good solutions to difficult situations.

Helping others really motivates Cara, and in addition to being on the Central School Board of Trustees, she is also a Trustee for Taranaki Women’s Refuge.

For fun, Cara likes to eat great food, read great books, drink great wine and go for long walks with friends. Cara also enjoys going on bike rides with her boys, Cam and Dylan, and doing early morning bootcamps. She shares a love of travelling with her husband Tim and would ideally like to live in both NZ and UK one day in the distant future.

Kathryn Price

Registered Legal Executive

Family Law, Trusts, Relationship Property

Kathryn is a Registered Legal Executive, who has over 14 years’ experience working in the justice sector. She brings to our team, a friendly and approachable manner with an invaluable knowledge of Court Processes and Family Law.

She enjoys the variety that her role provides, from Trust Administration, managing conveyancing for Relationship Property matters, Dissolutions and providing assistance to the Family Law team.

Kathryn understands how daunting the law can be, therefore it is important to her that the service she provides is tailored to the needs to her clients and that all aspects of her service are transparent and of exceptional quality.

Outside the walls of Legal Solutions, Kathryn is married to Ian and has two teenage children, Khiarn and Katana. In her spare time she loves to relax, whether it be with friends and family or spending time in her own company while listening to music and walking our beautiful foreshore.

Kathryn Price, Legal Executive
Ashleigh Gilmour, Legal Executive

Ashleigh Gilmour

Registered Legal Executive

Commercial & Property, Conveyancing, Subdivisions

Ashleigh is a friendly, efficient and flexible Registered Legal Executive in our Commercial team, specialising in conveyancing and subdivisions. Highly experienced, she has worked with Legal Solutions since the company’s beginnings and there aren’t many clients she doesn’t know.

Ashleigh and her husband Tim have a gorgeous young daughter Milla, who keeps them entertained and on their toes. When she can find time, Ashleigh enjoys sports, the great outdoors and socialising with friends and family.

Emma Hamilton

Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Bachelor of Arts

Family Law

Emma is an upbeat and dedicated lawyer who loves interacting with people and meeting those from all walks of life. Emma is fanatical about providing humanitarian-based legal solutions, which led her to specialise in Family Law. 

Emma is passionate about active living, health, food and travel. She loves a sunny weekend in New Plymouth, making the most of the walkways, beaches and enjoying delicious food and wine with family and friends. Emma is also a keen skier and enjoys adventures in the mountains with her partner and family.            

Emma Hamilton, Family Law Expert
Susan Brooke, Executive Assistant

Susan Brooke

Commercial & Property Executive Assistant

Susan, a talented multi-tasker and ray of sunshine, is a crucial member of the Commercial team working on everything from conveyancing to employment matters to business purchase. She has many years’ experience in corporate environments. Susan loves working with and assisting our clients, and enjoys the variety of work in our busy team.

Susan has two beautiful daughters, Millie and Pippa, who love to dance and dance competively. When not being a dance mum, she loves socialising, capturing great photographs and doing DIY projects at home, including baking with the girls. She’s always planning the next activity.            

Rachel Evans

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Employment, Commercial & Contract Law

Rachel, our employment law specialist, has an agile mind and passion for getting a fair outcome for all. She loves resolving conflict, and focuses on finding a fair and practical resolution in preference to going to court.

Rachel is also responsible for much of our commercial work, buying and selling businesses and advising on contracts. Prior to becoming a lawyer Rachel worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years where she enjoyed meeting lots of different people and hearing their stories.

Rachel grew up in rural Taranaki and comes from a very large extended family. She is an avid music lover and enjoys going to concerts, musicals, and even the odd opera. Rachel enjoys Taranaki’s unique lifestyle and loves planning interior design for her home and spending time with family and friends.            

Rachel Evans, Property lawyer & Employment Lawyer
Jessica Churchman, Family Lawyer, Employment Lawyer

Jessica Churchman

Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma of Teaching

Family & Employment Law

Jess is an experienced and compassionate lawyer, bringing her experience in litigation, family and employment law to the team at Legal Solutions. Jess is motivated to achieve great results for clients, making legal advice as uncomplicated and stress-free as possible. She is passionate about being upfront about fees and timeframes, and breaking legal jargon down into easy-to-understand, accessible information.

Also a qualified primary school teacher, Jess is passionate about supporting young people to achieve, and tries to be involved in any way she can with events that benefit children’s health and wellbeing.

Outside work, Jess is busy running round after her young sons, Charlie and Archie, and spending quality time with her husband Joe. She enjoys being outdoors and exploring the beauty that Taranaki has to offer with her family and friends. In her free time, you can generally find her building sandcastles with her sons, or fishing at Oakura beach.

Amanda Bound

Registered Legal Executive

Commercial & Property, Conveyancing, Wills & Estate Administration

Amanda is an oasis of calm in a busy office. A highly experienced Registered Legal Executive, having worked in law since leaving school, she’s an expert in conveyancing, Wills, and estate planning.

Amanda is a woman for all seasons – she is a Justice of the Peace, a Marriage and Civil Union Celebrant, an advanced Reiki and Shamballa practitioner and performing dancer with Gypsophilia. Amanda brings all these outside interests into her daily life and ensures that she treats her clients with the respect and dignity they deserve.  

Amanda is happily married to Max, with two adult sons. She is currently learning to stand-up paddleboard.  In her spare time she loves to relax with a good book.

Phone: 067587101
Amanda Bound, Legal executive. Estates, Family Trusts & Wills
Fiona Nicholson, Business Coordinator

Fiona Nicholson

Diploma Financial Services

Business Coordinator, AML/CFT Compliance Officer

Fiona is a dedicated and passionate member of our team, providing financial and marketing solutions and unleashing her formidable process skills onto streamlining our practice management. With a diploma in Financial Services, Fiona’s background is in parallel sectors of the financial arena – predominantly, real estate and insurance. Bringing with her a vast array of transferrable skills, Fiona is ardent about customer satisfaction and has a zealous approach to her job.  

Fiona is our Compliance Officer for the AML/CFT Act 2009 ensuring Legal Solutions obligations are met under the legislation, which came into effect on 1st July 2018.

After cycling the length of New Zealand for awareness of rural mental health, Fiona’s time outside of work now consists of the exhilaration brought about by mountain biking. “I love it!” she says with excitement; “It takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me into situations that test me both mentally and physically”. Needless to say, she is continually up for a challenge both in her personal life and at work.

Phone: 06 7587106

Michyla Hart

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Family Law

Michyla is passionate about helping others. With this, and a bit of help from the movie Erin Brockovich, Michyla knew that becoming a lawyer was the role for her. After testing the waters in an in-house legal compliance role, she knew private practice was the exciting next step for her. Here at Legal Solutions, Michyla is excited to give clients the experience of a modern law environment. She prides herself on providing clients with efficient and understandable legal advice.

Outside of work, Michyla loves to spend time with family and friends. She is a DIY art and crafts kind-of-girl, with a love for scrapbooking. You will find her with her young son Kayden at the beach taking on the waves, or at the BMX park dropping into the bowl. He is just as adventurous as she is, so they make a good team in the weekends finding fun things to do.

Michyla Hart, Family Lawyer
Amanda Clinton-Gohdes, Legal Clerk

Amanda Clinton-Gohdes

Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons), Bachelor of Science

Commercial & Property Team, Conveyancing, Subdivisions

Amanda is a bright, friendly and industrious commercial lawyer. She enjoys working with people to navigate the law and helping to solve problems. Originally from Auckland, Amanda joined the Commercial and Property team at Legal Solutions after several years working in relationship management and policy roles within the tertiary sector. Amanda brings the wide range of skills learnt in those roles to her legal practice, and offers a practical and refreshing perspective.

Amanda is passionate about contributing to her community. She served on the Board of Professionelle Foundation in Auckland, regularly volunteers at Taranaki Retreat, and can be found in the kitchen at Parihaka Pa. She loves Taranaki and is always looking for more ways to be involved in the community.

In her spare time, Amanda likes to explore the outdoors, enjoy the lively Taranaki arts scene, cook for friends, and spend time with her husband Justin. Amanda is studying Te Reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and looks forward to continuing her learning of Te Reo Māori in years to come.

Maryanne Rossiter-Bennett

Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Diploma in Editing

Commercial & Property Executive Assistant

A positive and energetic person, Maryanne provides efficient support to Karen and our dedicated team of Property and Commercial lawyers. She enjoys working with clients and her talented team, and the range of interesting legal work.

Maryanne loves to travel and has gained a wealth of experience across a range of industries from IT to educational publishing to African safari adventures, having spent 10 years working and exploring around the world. She brings with her a wide range of transferrable skills and a love of new challenges.

Maryanne loves living in the friendly village of Oakura with her husband, Ross, and two young daughters, Sula and Siena. She loves exploring the outdoors, beach life, great food and wine with friends and family, live performance, Spanish and Maori culture, and is an enthusiastic member of the fabulous Ladies 80's Choir. Always keen to learn, Maryanne holds a BA in Psychology, a Diploma in Editing, and is studying for a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management. She has a boundless interest in people from all walks of life.

Maryanne Rossiter-Bennett, Executive Assisstant
Tabitha Petersen, Customer Service Coordinator

Tabitha Petersen

Family Law Executive Assistant

Tabitha’s bubbly nature and can-do attitude will make you feel right at home in our firm. While she is the first friendly face you will see at Legal Solutions, behind the scenes she is also balancing the role of Executive Assistant for our family team lawyers.

Tabitha came to us from working in the oil and gas industry. Prior to this she was immersed in the legal profession and has a vast array of experience in support roles within the industry making her the ideal person for her role at Legal Solutions.

Along with a passion for travel, water sports and spending time with family and friends, Tabitha enjoys running her small lifestyle block with her husband, Jay, and son, Alec.

Phone: 067587101