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  • Legal ServicesOur lawyers represent employers only. We have a highly efficient and effective service representing you on the full remit of employment issues.
  • Recommended service providersWe have partnerships with a range of service providers that deal with employment relations. From workplace counselling to immigration, our partners can help you and your business.
  • Legal policies and templatesWe offer members a range of customisable policies and templates from casual employment agreements to social media policies and everything in between.
  • Matthew Dearing General Counsel - Head of Legal Our General Counsel and Head of Legal at EMA, Matt represents EMA members in mediation at the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court. He works with both large and small companies across a range of areas including dispute resolution, restructuring, employee performance, reviewing and drafting employment agreements and in-house policy documents, as well as providing advice on a broad spectrum of employment issues. Prior to joining EMA in 2011, he was a Legal Advisor with the Broadcasting Standards Authority and a Judge's Clerk/Hearing Manager at the Environment Court for the Ministry of Justice. Matt has a Master of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 2005. He is a sitting member of the Auckland District Law Society Employment Law Committee. Read more 
  • Kent Duffy Senior Solicitor Kent has extensive experience advising members on a wide range of employment and health and safety matters. Kent has been working in the area of Employment Law/Employment Relations since he graduated from the University of Auckland's Law School in 2014. He has qualifications in Law, Criminology and Political Studies. Kent advises employers on all employment related matters, including statutory compliance, disciplinary procedures, restructuring processes, personal grievances, poor performance, leave entitlements, employment agreements and workplace policies. Kent is a strong employer advocate and enjoys working on contentious files. Kent is skilled in the area dispute resolution and he frequently represents employers at mediations involving workplace disputes. Kent is also a keen litigator and has represented employers in a number of cases in the Employment Relations Authority, see for example - - Permark Industries Limited v Te Kawa [2018] NZERA 22, which involved successful recovery action on behalf of an employer to recover monies owed by a former employee. - Patchell Industries Limited v Welton [2019] NZERA 412, which involved successful penalty action against a former employee who breached the confidentiality provisions of a full and final settlement. - E TU Incorporated v Orora Packaging New Zealand Limited [2019] NZERA 358, which involved a complex contractual interpretation issue relating to the provisions of a collective employment agreement in respect of overtime and shift work. Prior to joining the legal team Kent was part of our employer AdviceLine team for a number of years where he developed a deep working knowledge of key legislation which makes up New Zealand's employment law framework and a real appreciation of the often complex issues that employers have to navigate within this context. Kent uses this knowledge, along with the skills he has honed during his time at EMA Legal to get the best outcome for his clients. Read more 
  • Persia Templeton Senior Solicitor Persia joined EMA as a Senior Solicitor in 2015 and provides advice on all aspects of employment law. She also represents EMA members at the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court, and presents at EMA Briefings and Conferences. Persia has previously worked at an Auckland based employment law and as a Barrister in Chambers. In addition to employment law, her experience includes intellectual property, defamation, and commercial and contract law. She has appeared as senior counsel in the Employment Relations Authority, and as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal, Employment Court, High Court, District Court and various industry disputes bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority and IPENZ. Persia has a Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the University of Auckland and was admitted to the Bar in 2010. Read more 
  • Michael Witt Senior Solicitor Michael is a German and New Zealand qualified barrister and solicitor. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from Victoria University Wellington, and is a qualified Mediator. Prior to joining EMA Legal as a Senior Solicitor in 2016, Michael held positions in New Zealand and overseas as in-house Counsel in the private and public sectors, including the New Zealand Police, the Hamburg Employment Court, Hamburg High Court, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, as well as working in private practice for national and multi-national law firms. Michael provides legal and strategic advice to SMEs as well as multi-national and overseas corporates on contentious and non-contentious employment-related matters. He has particular expertise in the areas of post-employment obligations/restrictive covenants, disciplinary processes, performance management, restructuring, absenteeism, drug and alcohol testing, Holidays Act remediation, as well as the drafting of employment agreements and workplace policies, and conducting exit negotiations. Michael is also experienced at conducting complex investigations into allegations of workplace bullying and/or harassment. Michael frequently represents clients in dispute resolution, including mediation (Employment/MBIE, Human Rights Commission, and Privacy Commissioner) and in the Employment Relations Authority, as well as in matters involving the Labour Inspectorate. Michael has specific knowledge and expertise of industries such as IT, retail, sales, manufacturing, construction, recruitment/temping, hospitality, aviation, health- and aged care and the public service. He is a frequent speaker at HR/ER conferences and in-house client workshops/seminars, and regularly publishes on employment-related topics in print and online media. Clients value Michael's approach towards identifying their particular requirements and formulating robust yet pragmatic solutions that cater for members' needs and have regard to the commercial and practical realities of being in business. Read more 
  • Ruthi Bommoju Intermediate Solicitor Ruthi holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science) degree. She was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2016 and joined EMA Legal in February 2017. Ruthi assists EMA members on a variety of employment law issues including restructures, disciplinary matters, medical incapacity, performance management, drafting and reviewing employment agreements and policies. Read more 
  • Beverley Edwards Senior Solicitor Bev prosecuted on behalf of the South African State, worked in corporate firms, and as Legal Counsel for a multinational music conglomerate. She branched into employment law specialisation about 15 years ago and can assist with all employment processes, investigations, disciplinaries, grievances and the paperwork that underlies these disputes. As she also has her own private practice, she has generalist experience on the trials and tribulations that businesses face as employers. Read more