Rapunga Whakaaro | Philosophy
We have agreed a rapunga whakaaro.
Our starting point is He Tāngata (the people).
We measure success by reference to mastery, autonomy, and purpose.
We recognise that lawyers are in a privileged position. We give back and participate in our community.
Alistair Darroch – Partner
Alistair’s strength is in the strategy he brings to dispute resolution. He has a determination (some could say stubbornness) which is balanced with his ability to enjoy the people he works with – whether they be clients, colleagues and adversaries.
Alistair has spent 12 years as a Partner in a national practice. He can be found as Counsel in many reported cases. In addition many of his best results have been achieved outside of the Courtroom – in mediations and negotiations which have achieved great outcomes for his clients.
Alistair has expertise in civil litigation, including all aspects of alternative dispute resolution. His specific areas include:
- Complaints and claims against professionals
- Statutory Liability (and in particular health and safety) prosecutions
- Commercial litigation
Lauren Castle – Partner
Lauren is an experienced advocate, whose strengths are in her ability to relate to clients from all sorts of backgrounds, and to quickly identify the key issues in a dispute. She specialises in health and safety, employment and general civil litigation and has appeared in a wide variety of Courts, tribunals and forums. She enjoys the challenges of both complicated commercial cases and the fast paced requirements of dealing with employment disputes. As an insurance lawyer, Lauren provides pragmatic advice to clients on policy issues, and sensible action on claims working their way through Court.
Lauren has spent time working both in a leading Barristers Chambers and in a major national law firm.
When not in the office, Lauren can be found attempting never ending renovations on an old Wellington bungalow and spending time with her family and beloved Labrador, Tui. She is also actively involved in one of Wellington’s oldest rugby clubs (Poneke), and relishes the challenges of volunteering at grass roots level.
04 974 9222
021 572 969
Ben Sanders – Partner
Ben is an experienced insurance lawyer and civil litigator having worked in NZ and London for over 10 years. He enjoys the challenges presented in all kinds of disputes. This includes acting for professionals, local body authorities and utility providers. He has been involved in litigation in the Court system up to the Supreme Court and in international arbitrations.
Ben knows his way around most types of insurance policies and often provides practical advice on complex indemnity issues. He has acted for insurers in coverage disputes under many policies: property; construction; professional indemnity; trade credit; warranty and indemnity; political risk; and even kidnap and ransom.
He has a deep knowledge of the insurance industry and the unique challenges it faces having been the AGCS’ NZ Claims Manager and seconded to Zurich Insurance as part of its response to the Canterbury earthquakes. He also knows the London market.
Outside of the office, Ben will be found with friends and family on mountain bike tracks around the country (which he does with reasonable skill) or sliding down the side of a mountain on skis (not as skillful but he keeps working at improving) or exploring the sea with dive tanks on – generally being surrounded by nature.
04 974 6682
022 459 1751
Ellie Wilson – Special Counsel
Ellie is at her best when advocating for her clients. She views the legal process as a “team effort” and particularly enjoys working with clients to achieve the best outcomes possible.
Ellie has particular interest and experience in medico-legal issues, including competency, disciplinary and privacy processes. She has appeared in a range of jurisdictions from Tribunal level to the Court of Appeal – and through this work has a sound understanding of the complex statutory and regulatory framework of the criminal and ACC legislation.
When not working, Ellie maintains her fitness by running around after her two young boys and Samson – her boisterous Labrador. She is also renovating a ramshackle old house, and still tries to find time to make the most of Wellington’s excellent array of eateries (her other area of expertise).
She has recently relocated back to the Hutt and is enjoying the train journey. Ellie also enjoys mountain biking (although not very well), playing indoor football (even less well).
04 974 8667
021 304 453
Zoe Caughey – Associate
Zoe values the speedy, efficient resolution of disputes and specialises in insurance law. She spent several years representing Christchurch homeowners in the fallout of the 2010/2011 earthquakes and has experience in general civil litigation including employment, defamation, and leaky building disputes.
In her spare time, Zoe enjoys spending time with dogs (she prefers hers, but any dogs will do!), playing board games, and passionately advocating that craft beer tasting is equally as valid a hobby as wine tasting.
04 974 8959
Bridget Sinclair – Associate
Bridget is drawn to the people-focused aspects of law and enjoys helping people in what can be a difficult time of their lives. She is an active member of the Wellington legal community and a passionate advocate for improving workplace experiences for young lawyers and workplaces as a whole.
Bridget started her career in a large national firm where she worked in employment and health law issues. She has experience in providing pragmatic legal advice with a focus on efficient and effective dispute resolution.
Outside of work, Bridget enjoys a weekend getaway to her hometown of Palmerston North (we don’t choose where we’re born), catching up with the latest true crime podcasts, and attempting to personally fund the Wellington coffee and cheese scone scene.
04 909 7029
Sara Lomaloma – Solicitor
Sara was drawn to a career in the law from her interest in politics and social justice.
Sara completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Otago, before beginning her legal career in 2018. Sara has worked for a variety of private and public clients with a national firm, primarily in employment and health & safety. During this time Sara was seconded to a government agency where she provided a broad range of advice.
In her spare time, Sara enjoys spending time with friends, swimming, running and reading. She is also a loyal patron of her local fruit and vegetable market and is proficient in many cliché weekend activities such as yoga and brunch.
04 909 7028
Rosie Thomson – Solicitor
Rosie has recently joined the team after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, majoring in Psychology, English and Theatre. She is drawn to the people focused aspects of law and is already building strong relationships with the team and clients.
Outside of work, Rosie enjoys spending time with friends at an array of Wellington cafes and heading back to her hometown of Wanaka for some fresh Southern air.
04 595 6553
Chanelle Leef – Office Manager
Chanelle is our office manager. Her days are filled with the many challenges that come with keeping the office running smoothly, and all its inhabitants happy.
Away from the office Chanelle spends quality time with family and doing things that keep her active. She enjoys boxing/fight conditioning classes (she’d never hurt a fly though!) and the occasional bike ride/casual jog along the Hutt River. She balances all this activity with a past time she likes to call “The Lazy Sunday” – its self-explanatory!
04 974 8905
021 059 4954
Harry Reid – Law Clerk
Harry is the newest addition to the Darroch Forrest whanau having recently completed his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. These studies have instilled in him an interest not only in the law but in the systems and processes which shape it, so he is now keen to help implement it in practice.
In his spare time, Harry enjoys cooking, attempting to keep his growing indoor plant collection alive, and supporting local LGBTQ events. Sometimes he heads over the hill to the Wairarapa when the wine calls him home.
Tui is one of our canine staff members. She brings joy to the office with her friendly personality and protective nature. Her calm manner allows her to focus on her main task of napping. She enjoys regular walks to Oriental Bay and up Mt Victoria as welcome relief from her stressful days assisting the lawyers.
Samson, one of our canine part timers, has recently joined the workforce and is fast becoming an integral part of the office. His particular expertise involves consumption of all things edible, but he also has considerable experience in swimming, walks, fetch, and belly rubs.
The resident gentle giant, Samson is a great big teddy bear who loves attention. Feel free to say hi… but be warned once you start patting him he may not let you stop.
04 974 8905