Rapunga Whakaaro | Philosophy
We have agreed a rāpunga 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’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 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.
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.
Sarah is most in her element when she is advocating for her clients and, while she loves spending time in the courtroom, she is always considering ways to achieve the best outcome for her clients with as little stress on them as possible.
Sarah has a broad range of experience in litigation including insolvency; RMA (including prosecutions); construction (leaky buildings); employment; and medico legal. She has worked for what was the Teachers Council and, from 2016 until 2022, at the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, as a medico-legal lawyer acting mainly for nurses in relation to disciplinary and Coronial matters.
When not at work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her partner and 2 children, trying to keep up with them on a mountain bike or leading the way on a horse. Sarah also enjoys walks with their dog Roxie and experiencing all Wellington has to offer in relation to its many attractions.
Bethany values a practical approach to dispute resolution and works collaboratively with her clients to resolve disputes smoothly and effectively.
Bethany started her career at a large national law firm where she assisted clients with a wide range of civil, commercial, and public law disputes. She has experience in general civil litigation including defamation, professional disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, coronial inquests, and building and construction disputes including earthquake claims. Bethany has a particular interest in health and medical law.
In her spare time, Bethany enjoys spending time with her dog Bella, gardening, and the occasional trip back to Canterbury to spend time with her family.
Daniel Cook – Senior Associate
Daniel is a foreign qualified lawyer, having attained a Bachelor of History from the University of Southampton and Bachelor of Laws from Nottingham Law School. He joins Darroch Forrest after nine years with the London office of a global commercial firm.
An experienced civil litigator, Daniel has undertaken multiple secondments to financial institutions and advised clients on a broad range of issues. These varied from general commercial disputes to financial crime, regulatory investigations, cybersecurity, and data privacy.
Daniel will be advising insurance clients on various claims, particularly in relation to construction and professional negligence. He is also involved in our regulatory investigations work.
Daniel’s time outside of work is mostly spent with his wife and two young children. Weather and children permitting, he likes to get outside for the odd game of tennis or punt on the golf course.
Arthur studied Law and Philosophy at Victoria University, and has a background in Property, Estates, Trusts, and Commercial matters.
He assists clients on a wide range of issues but has a particular interest in professional indemnity, trusts, and commercial disputes. He enjoys being across the detail but also taking a practical approach to resolving disputes.
Outside of work, Arthur’s time is mostly spent running around after his two young children and wishing he had time to fit in a game of squash.
Madeleine has joined the team at Darroch Forrest after working for a boutique construction and insurance law firm in Wellington for two years. She gained a wide range of experience in dealing with disputes and is working well alongside the team on various claims as she broadens her experience further.
In her spare time, Madeleine enjoys getting out in the sunshine and going for runs along the waterfront. She is an avid music listener and occasional music player. She is also very partial to a Netflix limited series.
Mikaela graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Theology with First Class Honours in 2021. These two disciplines developed in her a strong desire to support people in crisis, which she has enjoyed doing in a legal capacity since joining the team. Although she works across a wide range of areas, Mikaela has a particular affinity for assisting our clients in employment and construction disputes.
Out of office, Mikaela can be found scouting out bargains at a local op-shop, attempting to catch a wave or two on the longboard, or soaking up any available sun – be it here in Wellington or at home in the Far North.
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 enjoys spending time with family, loves a good psychological crime book and doing things that keep her active. She balances all this activity with a past time she likes to call “The Lazy Sunday” – its self-explanatory!
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.
Bella is the youngest and smallest of our canine staff. Under Tui’s mentorship she has been learning about office security and the art of the office nap. Bella’s other talents include document destruction and sitting for treats.
Outside of the office, Bella enjoys walks in the Karori hills, watching the ducks in the botanic gardens, and checking out Wellington’s dog friendly cafes and restaurants.
04 974 8905
Roxie is the newest member of our canine staff.
Due to disgracing herself on her first day she is currently being performance managed to ensure there are no more accidents and she works well with the rest of the canine team. Luckily, her strong people skills have kept her in the role and, with guidance from her canine and human colleagues, she will no doubt be a great addition to the team.
When not at work, Roxie likes to spend most of her time sleeping or wandering the hills close to home or with other like minded dogs at Boomrock.