Our People

    Chris Ward - Partner

    L.L.B., FNZTA, Registered Trustee
    Chris Ward - PartnerChris has been practising law in our firm since 1971 and in that time has worked in almost every area of the law.  He now practises predominantly in the areas of property, commercial, trusts, liquor licensing, law of charities, gambling law, civil law, arbitration and dispute resolution, wills and rural law.

    Chris is a registered trustee and a Fellow of the New Zealand Trustees Association, and is a trustee of the ILT Foundation and many private trusts. 

    Chris has been involved since 1980 with law society administration in varying roles at a Regional and National level including 2 years as the Vice President (South Island) of the New Zealand Law Society.  He was for 14 years a member of the NZLS Land Titles Working Party on the electronic conversion of the land titles system and the creation of Landonline.

    Chris is married to Pauline, enjoys playing football, golf and tennis.

    Paul Adams - Partner

    Paul Adams - PartnerWhen not on the golf course, Paul practices in the areas of estate administration, trusts and wills, conveyancing, and advising the rural and business sectors. 

    Paul is also a long standing member of the firm, having commenced his legal career here in 1973 and joining the partnership in 1975.  Paul served on the Southland Branch of the New Zealand Law Society for nearly 20 years and is a current and long standing member of the Southland Masters Golf Team.  Paul is also a past President of the former Southland District Law Society.

    Paul is married to Diane, has 2 adult daughters and 2 grandsons and is proud to say that after 20 years he still holds the course record of 60 at Arrowtown Golf Club.

    Debbie Bryan-Lamb - Partner

    L.L.B., B.Com (Management), PGDip (Ch.Adv), AAMINZ (FDR), GDip (Bus Studies), Dispute Resolution 

    Debbie Bryan-Lamb - PartnerDebbie joined the firm in 2000, became an associate in 2003 and became the firm's first female partner in 2004. 

    Debbie is an approved AMINZ (Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of NZ Inc.) FDR Mediator and Provider, an Associate FDR Member and an accredited member of the NZ Law Society's Panel of Mediators as a Family Specialist.

    Debbie is an experienced litigator and specialises in family law, with a particular interest in division of relationship property matters. Debbie also assists clients in general practice areas including conveyancing, employment, immigration, trusts, wills, elderly care/retirement village and small business advice.

    Debbie is Chair of Law Alliance New Zealand Limited (LANZ) a national alliance of independent law firms, Chair of Stopping Violence Southland (Inc.)  and is also an Executive Member on the Governance Committee of Southland Community Law Centre.

    Debbie is married to Geoff and enjoys travelling, family and touring with friends on their motor bike.

    Karen Poff - Partner

    L.L.B., B.A. (Political Studies)
    Karen Poff - PartnerKaren started her legal career with Ward Adams Bryan-Lamb in 2001, becoming an associate in 2004 and subsequently a partner in 2008.  Karen practices in the areas of property, all types of conveyancing, business law including structuring your business operation and ownership effectively, commercial law including leases, business sale and purchases and all company related matters, wills, trusts and estates, succession planning and rural law.

    Karen is a director of charitable company Stadium Southland Limited  which is the management company responsible for Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland.

    Karen is married to Richard and is enjoying the challenge of combining raising a young family with successful legal practice.

    Sandy Gilmete - Associate

    L.L.B., B.A. (American History)
    Preview Fullsize ImageSandhiya Gilmete (Sandy) completed Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees at the University of Canterbury in 2006 and was admitted to the bar in 2007.

    Sandy worked as a Law Tutor and Law Facilitator for Pacific Island Students at the University of Canterbury before joining Ward Adams Bryan-Lamb in 2008.  She practices predominantly in the areas of conveyancing both rural and property, estate and succession planning, trusts and wills and immigration.

    In her spare time, Sandy enjoys cooking, entertaining, reading and spending time with family and friends.

    Andrew Ward - Associate

    L.L.B., B.A. (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
    Andrew Ward - Staff SolicitorAndrew graduated from the University of Otago in 2011 with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts. He has been a member of the firm since July 2011 and was admitted to the bar in November 2011.

    Andrew practices primarily in all property matters, litigation and disputes including employment law, trusts and wills and asset planning.

    In his spare time Andrew enjoys playing golf and football, keeping fit, travelling and spending time with friends.


    Nicola McLeish - Practice Manager

    NZILE Certificate, Dip Mngmt
    Nicola McLeish - Practice ManagerNicola has worked in the legal field with our firm since 1981.  In her position as practice manager, Nicola is involved in all aspects of the business management and is responsible for all office management duties and the oversight of all office administration matters.