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 over 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.

2018 was a busy year as President of AWLA, but the events of the year have reinforced Alicia’s view that AWLA continues to be relevant and provide a useful service to its members, the profession and the broader community.



Kellie Arthur - Vice President

Kellie is a barrister specialising in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. She is a member of FortyEight Shortland Barristers. Kellie joined the independent bar in March 2018 after seven years in the litigation team at Chapman Tripp. Law is Kellie’s second career. Before studying law full time in her mid-thirties, Kellie spent nine years working in various marketing and marketing research roles in New Zealand and London.

Kellie looks forward to 2019 and the work that AWLA can do to support and advance the careers of Auckland women lawyers. In her spare time, Kellie tries to get to the ocean or mountains as often as possible. She also volunteers on a regular basis for the SPCA.


Stephanie Aquilina - Treasurer

Stephanie joined Pidgeon Law as a law clerk in 2015 while studying at Auckland University, and is currently practicing there as a solicitor. 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 role of Treasurer in 2017. 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.



Erica Burke

Erica is a solicitor in the family and relationship property team at McVeagh Fleming with experience in a range of matters including relationship property, parenting disputes and trust and estate litigation. She was admitted to the Bar in 2016 following an OE in 2015. She has attended many of AWLA’s events in the past and highly values the support and opportunities that the AWLA and its initiatives provide to women in this profession. Erica looks forward to supporting and being involved with the AWLA in 2019.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys travel, cooking and hikes with her dog. She volunteers for the SPCA and Good Bitches Baking and is a member of the NZ Animal Law Association.

Gabriella Garcia

Gabriella is a Solicitor at Bell Gully in the Litigation department. Gabriella joined the AWLA Committee in 2018 and has thoroughly enjoyed being a Committee Member, in particular her involvement in organising the AWLA Moot, the Book Club and a number of events throughout the year. Gabriella is passionate above the advancement of women in the law and excited to be a member of the Committee again in 2019 to continue the excellent work that it 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.


Jennifer Murdoch

Jen is a law student at AUT and works part-time at Webb Henderson. The law will be Jen’s second career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2012 and (after a brief stint of globe-trotting) came back to New Zealand where she worked as a talent agent. This role saw her work closely with some of New Zealand’s top celebrity chefs and actors on a variety of projects.

Now about to start her third year in 2019, Jen is excited to be a part of AWLA and is looking forward to participating in and supporting AWLA’s initiatives to help and engage women lawyers at any level.

Laura Carter

Laura is a senior associate at Hudson Gavin Martin, specialising in intellectual property advice and disputes. In 2019 Laura returns for her second year on the AWLA committee. She has enjoyed creating opportunities for women in the law to connect, and progress their issues. In 2019 she would like to focus on ensuring real progress on cultural change within the profession following on from the Bazley report, and work on solutions for smaller firms to enhance their practices and policies.

Marina Povey - AUT representative

Marina is a final-year student at AUT, completing an LLB and a BA with a Conflict Resolution major. In 2019, she will serve as the Vice President for Te Aro Ture, AUT's Maori law student society, following a term in 2017 as treasurer. She has also served on the AUT Law Students' Committee. This will be her second year on the AWLA committee and she looks forward to continuing to represent female law students on the committee.

Rachael Judge

Rachael is a senior solicitor in the employment law group at Simpson Grierson. Rachael is experienced in all aspects of employment law including advising on personal grievance claims, restructurings, disciplinary investigations, sexual harassment issues and conducting advocacy. Rachael has also been admitted to practice in New South Wales and she previously worked for a leading employment law team in Sydney.

Rachael is currently a member of the ADLS Employment Law Committee and is actively involved in organising events for employment practitioners through that committee. Rachael wishes to join the AWLA committee to represent Simpson Grierson and to contribute to the initiatives of the committee in 2019. Rachael is interested in the issues facing women lawyers and she wishes to assist in advancing opportunities for women in the law.

Rachael Machado - Uni of Auckland student rep

Rachael is in her fourth year of her BA/LLB conjoint, majoring in German and Politics. She is the secretary of the University of Auckland Women in Law organisation. This will be Rachael’s second year on the AWLA committee.

Rachel Carter

Rachel is in Russell McVeagh's general litigation team, specialising in employment law. She has been at Russell McVeagh since 2017, and prior to that studied at Otago University, where she undertook an LLB/BA (majoring in Politics). She is currently co-leading Russell McVeagh's Breakfast Club which provide a networking, discussion and support group for junior women in the firm and also provides a forum through which junior women can raise ideas for development opportunities. She is looking forward to joining the AWLA in 2019 to continue her work in and support for advancing women in the legal profession.

Sarah-Michelle Washer

Sarah-Michelle is a solicitor at Russell McVeagh in the public, regulatory and competition team, specialising in competition and consumer law. This is Sarah-Michelle's second year on the AWLA committee and she looks forward to working with the team on the initiatives being advanced this year. She is passionate about equality and diversity for women and is eager for all women to benefit from opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential.