About LawSpot

LawSpot is a free online legal Q&A service.

Our purpose is to make the law more accessible to all New Zealanders. We do this by getting you, the user, to post up your question about New Zealand law on our website. A lawyer volunteer will then answer your question, free of charge, and LawSpot publishes the answer in a searchable Q&A database - how’s that for accessible?

But it’s early days yet…LawSpot is currently being piloted in the Wellington region.

LawSpot was founded in partnership with Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley. LawSpot is now partnering with law firms and lawyers, some of whom publish answers. Please see our partnerships page for details of LawSpot's partners.

We’d still love to hear from anyone interested in being involved, so contact recruitment@lawspot.org.nz if you want to know more about joining the LawSpot team.

LawSpot Founders

Maya Shino

Maya Shino Co-Founder

Co-founder Maya was a solicitor at top New Zealand corporate law firm, Russell McVeagh. She has just left Wellington and moved to Stanford to join her fiance, Bowen, and to scope out international collaborative opportunities for LawSpot. Maya is very fond of, but highly allergic to, cats.

Bowen Pan

Bowen Pan Co-Founder

Co-founder Bowen is a serial technology entrepreneur (no, it’s not some kind of breakfast food). He is also the former head of Treat Me product and marketing at Trade Me. Bowen is about to embark upon a MBA at Stanford University. He likes karaoke – a little too much, some would say.

Geoffrey Roberts

Geoffrey Roberts Foundation Partner

Geoffrey is the General Manager of Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley. A non-lawyer surrounded by lawyers all day, Geoffrey understands the importance of reminding lawyers to communicate in a way that other humans can understand. Geoffrey is also the co-convener of the Coalition of Community Law Centres Aotearoa – a support body for Community Law Centres.

Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley

Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley provides community legal services to meet unmet legal needs.

We provide initial legal information and advice to individuals, whānau, and community groups. We are also committed to informing and educating our community about legal rights and responsibilities. To do this, we produce a range of plain-English legal publications. We provide legal education on different topics and in different formats. And we are an active voice on law reform issues.

By partnering with LawSpot, we hope to make clear legal assistance easily available online to those who need it and who feel at home online.

Our Patron

Margaret Wilson

Hon Margaret Wilson DCNZM

LawSpot is thrilled to have Margaret Wilson as its patron. Margaret has had an extensive career in public service and is a former Attorney-General and Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. She is a Professor of Law and the founding Dean of Law at the University of Waikato. Margaret believes strongly in advocating for social justice and would like to see New Zealand law made more accessible and understandable. She thoroughly enjoys reading thriller novels.

Executive Team

Nick Mereu

Nick Mereu CEO

Nick is a lawyer who spends his days resolving finance industry disputes out of court. He is rumoured to sleep with a copy of the Community Law Manual under his pillow and carries an arsenal of facts about pandas to share during opportune lulls in conversation.

Elizabeth Chan

Elizabeth Chan Head of Lawyer Liasion

Lizzie is perfect for the lawyer liaison role, as she has several years of experience working closely with volunteers and community organisations. She gets her energy from a serious addiction to chocolate, and from her passion for empowering people to help themselves. Lizzie is a judge’s clerk at the Supreme Court and is a former National President of UN Youth New Zealand.

Paul Bartrum

Paul Bartrum Head of Technology

Paul is LawSpot’s web developer ninja. He works in the Development Team at Trade Me, and recently helped set up the Treat Me daily deals site and the Treat Me Now mobile app. Paul eats dessert first. And second. And third. He has a thing for jaffa cakes (don’t ask).

Cheryl Sun

Cheryl Sun Head of Product

Cheryl is a web designer and developer. And a lawyer too! She is currently studying towards a Masters in Law from the University of Edinburgh. As LawSpot’s Head of Design, Cheryl is responsible for keeping the site looking super swish and easy to use. You wouldn’t pick it, but Cheryl is also a World of Warcraft enthusiast.

Janet Dick

Janet Dick Head of Fundraising

Janet is an Assistant Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office. As Head of Fundraising here at LawSpot, it's her job to get charitable organisations as convinced as she is that LawSpot is a vital resource that deserves funding. Janet is a quiz night enthusiast, but definitely isn't a fan of lemonade popsicles.

MC de la Paillone

MC de la Paillone Head of Community Outreach

Marie-Charlotte (MC) is the Head of Community Outreach at LawSpot. MC has joined the LawSpot team after completing her International Public Law Masters degree, which she studied for in New Zealand, Vietnam, and her native France. Outside of work, MC is a mad keen fisherwoman and has a cheese fetish.

Anton Jackson-Smith Head of Product

Rosie Orsman

Rosie Orsman Head of Marketing

Rosie is the Head of Marketing at LawSpot and has just completed her Bachelor of Commerce. Rosie divides her time between her LawSpot marketing efforts, marketing for a software company, and her (slightly over the top) obsession with New York City.

Laura Blumenthal

Laura Blumenthal Head of Question Vetting

As Head of Question Vetting, Laura is the enthusiasm behind our perfectly answered questions. She has just completed her law degree and now works as a law clerk at DLA Phillips Fox.

Jen Howes

Jen Howes Head of Partnerships

As Head of Partnerships, it is Jen's responsibility to establish and maintain relationships with law firms and other organisations in New Zealand. Jen finished her law degree on exchange in San Diego, and is currently a law clerk in the employment team at Buddle Findlay. She is an avid baker and addicted to running (mainly so that she can eat as much cake as she wants).

Christine Anderson

Christine Anderson Head of Administration

By day, Christine is a law student at Victoria University, and by night, a legal secretary at Buddle Findlay. Inbetween times she can be found using her experience by assisting Lawspot as Head of Administration; and is fueled by an addiction to peanut butter and anything caffeinated.

Clodagh O'Connor-McKenna

Clodagh O'Connor-McKenna Head of Marketing

Clodagh is the Head of Marketing at LawSpot, responsible for making sure everyone know what fantastic work the organisation does. She would love spend her retirement in the Caribbean and spend her days watching test cricket and drinking gin and tonics.

Board of Trustees

James Whitaker Marketing Manager at Trade Me

Adam Thompson Customer Investment Services, Public Trust

James Every-Palmer Partner at Russell McVeagh

Dr Kathie Irwin Chief Māori Advisor at the New Zealand Families Commission

Vince Betham Finance/Business Development at Trade Me