Alicia Murray - President


Alicia is Special Counsel at DLA Piper. She is a commercial litigator, with a particular focus on regulatory litigation. Alicia has been on the AWLA committee for five years and is a passionate advocate for women lawyers. Although she acknowledges there have been many positive developments in recent years, there is still some way to go before there is true equality of opportunity for women in the legal field. Alicia is looking forward to 2018, and the work that AWLA can do to help move the gender diversity discussion forward and support women lawyers in Auckland.


Tracey Fitzgibbon (Ngapuhi) - Vice President

Tracey is a barrister in Auckland, specialising in criminal defence work. Prior to this she was with the Public Defence Service and Legal Counsel for the Office of the Chief Coroner. She was a police officer before obtaining her law degree and she ran her own private investigation company. Tracey’s past roles have been in male dominated areas and this has highlighted the barriers that can face women in the advancement of their chosen career. She has been involved in a number of committees in the past and is a current AWLA committee member who was involved in the 2017 mentoring programme.



Evelyn Bradley - Secretary


Evelyn works in the corporate commercial team at Webb Henderson and is passionate about gender equality and bringing women’s issues to the fore. She joined the AWLA committee in 2017, and this year stepped up into the role of Secretary. Evelyn will continue organising the AWLA’s mentoring committee this year, and is looking forward to starting some exciting new AWLA initiatives. A keen learner, in 2016 Evelyn completed with honours Harvard Business School’s certificate programme on the fundamentals of business as well as Harvard Business School’s certificate programme in finance. In addition to English, Evelyn is fluent in Dutch and has a sound understanding of Spanish.


Stephanie Aquilina - Treasurer


Stephanie joined Pidgeon Law as a law clerk in 2015. She recently completed her law degree at the University of Auckland. Her interests lie in property and international law. Stephanie’s background includes various roles in tourism, event organisation, and teaching, which saw her living with her family in France for a number of years. Stephanie joined the AWLA committee in 2016 and took up the administrator role. Stephanie brings experience in event organisation to the committee, coupled with her interest in the advancement and promotion of women’s interests in the legal community.


Anna Parker (nee King)


Anna is in the litigation team at Hesketh Henry. She has served on the AWLA committee for two years and is incredibly passionate about advancing women in law. Anna has assisted with many AWLA events, and she organised the first mentor evening of 2016. Mentoring is one of the core functions of AWLA, and along with the mentoring sub committee Anna has matched up many mentees with incredible mentors throughout the year. Anna also assisted in organising AWLA’s first quiz night which was a huge success and she hopes to make it an annual event.


Emma Smith

I joined Meredith Connell in February 2017 as a solicitor, working on Crown and regulatory prosecutions. Before coming to MC, I studied at Victoria University and then spent two years as a Judge’s Clerk at the Court of Appeal. I joined the AWLA committee for the first time this year, and look forward to contributing to all of the exciting and worthwhile initiatives that are in the pipeline for 2018.

Gabriella Garcia

Gabriella is a solicitor in the Litigation department at Bell Gully. She also tutors Law of Torts at Auckland Law School. As someone who is passionate about the advancement of women in law, and after thoroughly enjoying many AWLA events over several years as a member, Gabriella joined the AWLA committee in 2018 in order to be more closely involved with the work AWLA does.


Outside of the law, Gabriella is enthusiastic about the arts and is a member of the board of trustees of Eden Arts - Maungawhau Mt Eden Community Arts Trust, a charitable trust promoting the arts in the Mt Eden area. She also has a keen interest in health and science issues, having completed a Bachelor of Science before commencing her legal studies.

Kellie Arthur

Kellie has been a litigator at Chapman Tripp for the past seven years.She undertakes advocacy and advice work for a broad range of clients and has appeared in domestic and international commercial arbitrations, the High Court and District Courts.Before commencing her legal career, Kellie had nine years’ commercial experience working with New Zealand and international clients in London and Auckland.

This is her first year on the AWLA committee and she looks forward to working on initiatives for the advancement of Auckland women lawyers and advocating for gender equality in the legal profession.

Kellie also volunteers on a regular basis for SPCA Auckland, Eat My Lunch, and Good Bitches Baking.

Laura Carter

I am in AJ Park's litigation team, specialising in trade mark, patent, Fair Trading Act and copyright disputes.

2018 is my first year on the AWLA committee. I am interested in developing solutions within legal practice to ensure equality and women's success. I'm excited about the opportunity to meet and work with like minded women on initiatives that benefit the profession.

In my spare time I like to run, bake and read. 


Marina Povey - AUT representative

Marina is a 3rd-year student at AUT, completing an LLB and a BA with a Conflict Resolution major. This year she will be serving as a competitions officer for AUTLSS. She has previously served as treasurer for Te Aro Ture, AUT's Maori law student society. Marina is looking forward to representing AUT on the AWLA committee.

Melissa Fini

Melissa has had a varied career in law, practising in the commercial property and commercial law areas (at Russell McVeagh, then Anthony Harper). She has since taught commercial law related topics, and instructed on the legal executive programme and the law professionals course. More recently, Melissa was the CPD Manager at Auckland District Law Society Inc. She set up new technology-driven initiatives (such as the live streaming of seminars, interactive On Demand recordings and the semi-automated online CPD plan and record). Melissa is currently with Simpson Grierson in a professional support lawyer role.

Sarah Wilson


Sarah Wilson is a Senior Solicitor at Meredith Connell. Her practice covers both Crown and regulatory prosecutions, as well as civil litigation. This is Sarah’s second year on the AWLA committee, and she has also spent two years on the NZLS Auckland Young Lawyers’ committee.

Sarah’s main project for AWLA in 2017 was the establishment of a mooting competition for female law students from both Auckland University and AUT. She returns in 2018 to run an expanded moot this year, as well as to assist AWLA as part of the advocacy subcommittee.


Sarah Alawi

Sarah is an Associate at Gilbert/Walker, after having Judges’ Clerked at the High Court at Auckland. Sarah is new to the AWLA Committee and looks forward to working with the team on some exciting initiatives this year. She is particularly interested in the gender issues that are at play for women litigators, and is keen to look for more ways to get young women lawyers on their feet in court.

Sarah-Michelle Washer

Sarah-Michelle is a solicitor at Russell McVeagh in the Public, Regulatory and Competition team. She studied law and business management at the University of Waikato, graduating with first-class honours in both. Sarah-Michelle has served on multiple governance boards, participated in several national mooting competitions and completed separate academic exchanges in Denmark, China and South Korea. She is passionate about equality and diversity for girls and women globally and nationally and is eager for all women to benefit from opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential.

Sophie Thoreau

Sophie works in the IP/IT team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Sophie has considerable experience in intellectual property working with clients in New Zealand and internationally. Sophie enjoys working collaboratively with clients to provide sound legal advice tailored to their particular needs. She is a strong advocate for women reaching their potential and more. 2018 is Sophie’s first year on the AWLA Committee and she is looking forward to working on the initiatives being advanced this year. Sophie is particularly interested in the conversation being had around diversity, inclusion, flexibility and gender equality and what this means for women.

Tina Liu

Tina is an Associate at Tompkins Wake. Tina specialises in a wide range of cross-border transactions, including supply, reseller, agency and licensing arrangements for major export and trading clients. Tina also has particular expertise in regulatory compliance matters, including in the areas of health, pharmaceuticals, food labelling, consumer law, and international trade.


This is Tina’s first year on the AWLA Committee and she looks forward to contributing to the AWLA’s initiatives for 2018.