Instructor profiles

National Director

Bernadette Wilson

Bernadette is based in the Auckland office and was appointed National Director in 2005. She is committed to ensuring IPLS trainees take the highest standards of professionalism with them into the workplace. Prior to joining IPLS, Bernadette worked for Bell Gully in Auckland in its commercial property team as well as for a smaller firm in general practice focusing on  company, commercial and property law.

Learning and Programme Development Manager

Michelle Hall Collins – Auckland

Michelle has held a practicing certificate since 1995 and has been an instructor with IPLS since 2007. She has a background in both public and private sector legal practice and has worked in New Zealand and the UK. She has been a consultant with a boutique law firm in Auckland, specialising in employment law and has been a contributor to legal publications on employment law issues.  While Michelle now mainly works for IPLS in the area of course development, when she is instructing, she enjoys drawing on her broad range of experience to assist trainees in meeting the course requirements.


Paula Warren – Auckland

Paula joined IPLS in 2001 while practising as a senior lawyer at Minter Ellison in Auckland. Admitted in 1988, she has significant experience across a wide range of areas including commercial litigation, conveyancing, criminal and family law as well as estate planning. Paula enjoys teaching in both the online learning environment and the onsite blocks and particularly enjoys the opportunity to contribute in a practical sense to law graduates’ continuing education.

Emma Afa – Auckland

Emma was admitted in 2001 in Hamilton and has been practising as a community lawyer for 10 years, both in Sydney and in South Auckland.  She has been practising primarily in family law, but also has experience in Maori land law matters.  As a community lawyer, Emma has considerable experience in delivering legal education to community groups and is therefore excited to share her knowledge and experiences to onsite law graduates with IPLS.

Michael Gardam – Auckland

Mike graduated from Auckland Law School in 1993 LLB (Hons) . He has worked in both private practice and the government sector in the area of general litigation and administrative law. He has worked with the NZLS CLE as both a presenter and an organiser. For a number of years, Mike has been involved in the NZLS CLE Duty Solicitor Training Programme. He is a former member of the NZLS Law Reform Committee and the former convenor of the NZLS Youth Justice Committee. Mike has appeared in various forums including the Court of Appeal. Mike currently practises as a barrister sole in Whangarei with a particular interest in Youth Justice and alternative dispute resolution.

Stephanie Mead – Auckland

Stephanie was admitted to the bar in 2004, and after several years as a solicitor in suburban practice she commenced practice as a Barrister Sole. Stephanie’s core areas of legal practice and research interest include environmental health law, resource management and local government law. Stephanie has a PhD in Law from the University of Auckland. As a Barrister Stephanie undertakes dispute resolution, and provides advice on property, resource management, environmental and planning law matters.

Lois Black – Auckland

Lois studied law at the University of Otago after a career in teaching and educational administration in Queensland, the UK and New Zealand. Lois worked as Research Counsel for the Judges at the North Shore and Waitakere District Courts before commencing private practice in civil litigation and dispute resolution. She is experienced in resolving disputes in a wide range of civil matters but she has a particular interest and expertise in building, estate and trust litigation and dispute resolution. Lois is delighted to combine her love of teaching and legal practice in her role as instructor with IPLS.

Christina Lee – Auckland

Christina is a practicing barrister and solicitor specialising in family and commercial law and has a wealth of experience in lecturing, tutoring and course creating. Christina gained her LLB (Hons) in Singapore and her LLM (Hons) in Auckland. She is multilingual in English, Malay/ Bahasa Indonesia, and has conversational knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and French.

Linda Hughes – Hamilton

Linda completed her BA-LLB at Otago University and was admitted to the Bar in 1985. She commenced work as a solicitor with the Housing Corporation of New Zealand in Hamilton later transferring to the Public Trust Office and then setting up in sole practice in New Plymouth in 1991. Linda moved to Hamilton in 2003 and continues to work in sole practice. Linda’s areas of practice include property transactions, wills, estates, property succession and trusts. In recent years Linda has been a tutor at WINTEC tutoring legal executive students in Estate Law and Practice.

Rebecca Chisholm – Hamilton

Rebecca has a strong litigation background, primarily in family law. She has been working with  Beattie Rickman Legal where her case load involved a broad range of family law matters, including parenting matters under the Care of Children Act, domestic violence, relationship property, adoption, paternity and protection of personal and property rights.

Seung Youn – Hamilton

Seung is a criminal defence lawyer at the Public Defence Service based in Hamilton.  He started his career in the litigation team at Preston Russell Law where he gained experience in a wide range of litigation work including being a junior Crown prosecutor.  He then worked for the Public Defence Service in Auckland and the Ministry of Social Development as a Departmental Prosecutor for a number of years.  Seung studied law and political studies from the University of Waikato and he has LLM(Hon) specialised in Litigation and Disputes Resolution from the University of Auckland.

Janine Bonifant – Wellington

Janine has recently become a barrister specialising in a range of litigation. For the past three years she was the Wellington Deputy Public Defender with the Public Defence Service, where she was responsible for managing case allocations and quality of service delivery, handling a personal caseload of category three and four trial matters. Prior to moving to Wellington, Janine acted in the role of Crown Prosecutor for Tasman District while at Pitt & Moore in Nelson. She has a BA/LLB from University of Victoria.

Fiona Miller – Wellington

Fiona gained a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree in Scotland in 1991, requalified in New Zealand in 2008 and achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Child Advocacy with Distinction at the University of Otago in 2011. Fiona has wide teaching and lawyering experience specialising in family law and is currently studying toward a PhD in children’s consent to medical treatment at the University of Otago.

Louise Taylor – Christchurch

Louise is a Legal Practice Instructor in our Christchurch office. She has an LLB and BA (psychology) from Canterbury University and an LLM from Otago University. Louise has worked in both private and public practice and has taught various aspects of law for the past 18 years. In addition to teaching, Louise keeps up to date with legal practice through her ongoing work for Community Law Canterbury.

Dolly Brennan – Christchurch

Dolly graduated with LLB(Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1988.  She has worked as a commercial litigation solicitor with Chapman Tripp, Wellington and Linklaters, London.  She has also tutored at the University of Canterbury.  Dolly joined IPLS in 2010 and is an instructor on both onsite and online courses, based at the Christchurch office.

Bridget Thomas – Christchurch

Bridget graduated from Canterbury University with a law degree and a BA in history and psychology. She has practised law in a wide range of areas at Lane Neave in Christchurch and Tripp Rolleston & Co in Timaru. More recently she has really enjoyed working at Canterbury University, tutoring legal system and contract law and doing some part time lecturing.

Rebecca Murphy – Christchurch

Rebecca completed her LLB-BA at Canterbury University. She has practiced law for 15 years and has worked in both New Zealand and the Channel Islands. She has practiced primarily litigation at a local Christchurch firm and has appeared in many Courts and Tribunals in New Zealand including appearances in the Court of Appeal. Rebecca is an instructor in both online and onsite modules and is based in Christchurch.