People

Find out who we are.

Joanna Pidgeon, Partner

Joanna Pidgeon

Joanna Pidgeon is a commercial property and business law specialist and the founder of Pidgeon Law. She is results and solutions orientated and client focused in the advice she gives.

Joanna acts for many individuals and small, medium and large sized businesses. She has a particular interest in property and advises on projects including apartment buildings, terraced housing developments, hotel and resort developments, commercial, office and retail building. She handles all aspects of fee simple, unit title, leasehold and cross lease subdivisions, as well as dealing with cross lease issues. Joanna is experienced in leasing matters representing both landlords and tenants and advises on green leasing, together with building and body corporate management issues.

Joanna acts for developers in the acquisition of land, obtaining resource and building consents, construction, subdivision and on sale of completed developments. She is an expert in the Unit Titles Act 2010, and issues relating to the rules, administration and management of body corporates. She is experienced in sales on builder's terms, construction contracts and related finance issues, and in residential conveyancing. She often acts for financiers in property matters, including development projects, and in mortgagee sales.

Joanna often acts in the sale or acquisition of business and advises on commercial contracts. She provides structuring advice, and also advises on insolvency issues. Related to this is her practice in asset planning.

Joanna regularly presents at seminars and conferences on matters including Leasing, Unit Titles, Property Law Act and Residential Tenancies Act among other topics. She also regularly provides advice to other practitioners in these areas. Joanna accepts instructions as an expert witness in property matters.

Joanna is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Property Law Section Land Titles Committee and the New Zealand Law Society CLE Property Law Consultative Group.

Joanna was the President of Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) until 2019. She has formerly chaired the ADLS Property Disputes Committee and is still a member of their Property Law Committee, and the ADLS lease form drafting subcommittee. Joanna has spearheaded the ADLSI’s campaign for legislation change in the area of cross leases, and has submitted on Unit Title Reform on behalf of ADLS.

Joanna is a member of Auckland Women Lawyers Association. She was a member of the 2020 Conveyancing Workgroup. In 2011, Joanna was awarded a St Cuthbert’s College Old Girls’ Association Making Her Mark Leadership Award.

Joanna is the Deputy Chair and a Trustee of the Auckland City Mission, and chairs their Property Committee.  She was previously a trustee of the Selwyn Foundation for 8 years and is a former director of the New Zealand Mint.


Liza Fry-Irvine, Partner



Liza is a known expert in unit title and Body Corporate matters, and all aspects of the Unit Titles Act 2010. She acts for Bodies Corporate, Committees, Chairpersons, unit owners, and building managers.  Liza also works closely with Body Corporate Managers across New Zealand.

She advises on a wide range of unit title matters, including, governance, operational rules, remediations, section 74 schemes, building management agreements, repairs and maintenance, unit alterations and boundary changes, redevelopments and staged developments, ownership and utility interest reassessments, disputes and general compliance.

Liza is known as a unit title expert within New Zealand and Australia. She sits on the Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) Property Law Committee (and is a previous member of the Documents and Precedents Committee), is an Executive Board Member of Strata Community Association (NZ), is a member of the Body Corporate Chairperson Group, and a member of Australian College of Community Association Lawyers (ACCAL) ; she has spoken at two ACCAL annual conferences.

Liza wrote the ADLS model operational rules and regularly presents seminars on unit title topics to ADLS and New Zealand Law Society members, Body Corporate Chairpersons, Committees, owners, and Body Corporate Managers, and is a trainer for the Strata Community Association (NZ) NZ100 course. She also works with surveyors and co-presented a nationwide roadshow for the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors introducing the Unit Titles Act 2010.

She has drafted submissions to government on several aspects of the Unit Titles Act and is part of the UTA Working Group, previously lead by past minister Nikki Kaye, that lobbied government to improve the Unit Titles legislation.

Liza loves spending time out and about, sharing new experiences with her husband James, and children Zoe and William, as well as spending time in Wanaka having grown up in the South Island.


Jacqueline Parker, Senior Associate
 



Jacqui advises on a wide range of commercial property matters, including agreements to build and lease, acquisitions and disposals of land, sale and leaseback arrangements, management of commercial property and the Property Law Act 2007. She has extensive experience of commercial development and lease transactions and has acted for a number of major retail chains.

Jacqui is a member of the Auckland District Law Society Incorporated Property Law Committee and convenes the Documents and Precedents Committee. She has presented a number of seminars on property related matters, including for the New Zealand Law Society.


Eesha Karamchandani, Associate

Eesha joined Pidgeon Law as an Associate in June 2018.  Eesha specialises in property, commercial and business law. She has experience acting for a wide range of clients including vendors and purchasers in the sale and acquisition of businesses, residential and commercial properties, for private lenders and borrowers in high-value financing transactions, for property developers in large subdivisions as well as for landlords and tenants in leasing transactions and disputes. Eesha utilises her exceptional communication and people skills to develop long-term professional relationships with clients from all walks of life.
 
Eesha was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in October 2012. She spent her first 4 years of her career working as in-house counsel for a large New Zealand finance company before moving into a firm specialising in property and private client work where she handled a wide range of residential and commercial property conveyancing, estate planning, relationship property, and business transactions.
 
Eesha is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Property Law Section. She is also a current member and a former Secretary of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) where she served as a member of the managing committee for many years.


Ben Thomson, Associate

 

Ben was admitted to practice law in England & Wales in 2011. He joined Pidgeon Law in July 2016 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in September 2016. Ben specialises in property and commercial law. He has acted for vendors and purchasers in a variety of complicated, high-value commercial property transactions and frequently undertakes commercial leasing work for both landlord and tenant clients. He has experience with all aspects of fee simple, unit title, leasehold and cross lease subdivisions. Ben often acts in the sale or acquisition of businesses for his clients.

Ben is experienced in both cross lease and unit title matters. He has advised bodies corporate, owners and building managers in relation to body corporate operational rules, building management agreements, governance repairs and maintenance, boundary changes, redevelopments, ownership and utility interest reassessments, disputes and general compliance with the Unit Titles Act 2010.


Alex Sheehan, Senior Solicitor

Alex is a senior solicitor who joined Pidgeon Law in 2015 after graduating from the University of Auckland, where he completed a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in Economics and Management Studies. Alex specialises in trust law, including trust formation and deceased estates. His other interests in law include relationship property law, estate planning (including wills), intellectual property and general property law. Alex also sits on the ADLS Newly Suited Committee to help promote and create networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as a number of collegiality events for newer members of the law profession. 
 

Stephanie Aquilina-Little, Solicitor

Stephanie Aquilina-Little was admitted as a solicitor in November 2017 after joining Pidgeon Law as a law clerk in 2015. Her interests lie in property and international law. Stephanie’s background includes various roles in tourism and teaching; which saw her living with her family in France for a number of years. Stephanie is currently the treasurer of the Auckland Women Lawyers Association.

Smita Prasad, Solicitor

Smita joined Pidgeon Law in 2016. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelors of Commerce and Bachelors of Laws (Honours). Smita works on a range of matters including sale and purchase of residential properties, trust and company administration, sale and purchase of businesses, subdivisions, body corporate matters and unit title tenancy tribunal claims. Smita is a member of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA).



Philip Hardiman, Practice Manager

Kimberly Knox

Philip is Joanna Pidgeon’s husband. As practice manager his role is management of all back office and support functions at Pidgeon Law.

A qualified accountant (ACA – NZICA)  Philip has experience in finance, management and financial accounting, risk management, business consulting, process re-engineering, and operations management. Previous roles include finance manager for Genesis Energy, finance manager for Sitel, global assurance manager for Fonterra, and senior manager at Ernst & Young.

As Pidgeon Law's practice manager his role is the delivery of:

    - Investment and enabling growth strategy
    - Firm financial and business reporting
    - Firm working capital and cash flow management
    - A key contributor in the review of staff recruitment, performance, remuneration and development
    - Budgets, Forecasts and Actual financial reports
    - Other day to day firm administration activities