Taranaki truly offers it all

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We know Taranaki is a special place to live, work and play. Our team is continuously growing and more commonly are we seeing growth from outside the region join our firm.

With top-tier firms in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch calling for the best lawyers, why is Taranaki and GQ so attractive? 

GQ needs to be a pretty special place to offer these talented professionals the same challenges and opportunities, without compromising on the things that really matter.

We are lucky to have a vibrant region continuously heading in a brave direction. The natural landscape around us, family ties, the lifestyle on our doorstep, and the unique opportunities are only a few of the reasons why these lawyers choose to cement their legal careers in our region.

Below we speak to some of our 'adopted' Taranaki team members to discover their reasons for making Taranaki, and GQ their new home.


Ellie Wilson 


Ellie joined GQ as Special Counsel in June of this year from the capital - Wellington.

Ellie works in our Family and Litigation Teams and has a particular interest and expertise in all areas of health law including ACC processes, complaints and investigations, civil claims, professional disciplinary processes and privacy matters.

What brought you to Taranaki?
We moved to be nearer our “village”. My husband is from Taranaki and his family are here too, so we visited often from Wellington. We had always loved coming to Taranaki and had often talked about moving here – New Plymouth is obviously beautiful, but it also has a great feel to it. As time passed in Wellington, and our own family grew, we began to struggle with the load of two kids and two demanding jobs. Our support network in Wellington was also shrinking (many of whom moved to Taranaki too!!) so in the end it was a no brainer.

What do you love about working in the Taranaki region?
There’s a real sense of camaraderie here. Clients, colleagues, opposing lawyers – there’s no real egos which makes doing business extremely pleasant. That, and my commute is 1/5 the time that it used to be; with beautiful views of the mountain.

If you were to give people visiting/moving to Taranaki a ‘must-do’ here, what would it be?
We are still exploring all Taranaki has to offer – so still taking recommendations myself! Onaero beach at low tide is incredibly beautiful – one of my favourite spots. And the ice cream sandwiches from Little Liberty in Inglewood.


Angela Paton

Angela - Blog

Angela joined GQ in March 2022 as a lawyer in our Personal Planning Team.

New to Taranaki, Angela was born and raised in Auckland but has lived and worked across Aotearoa. She also has a multinational family scattered across the globe.

With a foundation in Ag Science, Angela worked in the primary sector for many years, in NZ and overseas. This included farm consulting, dairy manufacturing/exportation, thoroughbred breeding and ecology. A University of Waikato graduate, Angela’s passion is personal planning in the rural arena.

What brought you to Taranaki?
Working for GQ was an opportunity I didn't want to pass on! Also from time to time I have family staying in the area - so a win, win really.

What do you love about working in the Taranaki region?
The rural Law opportunities through GQ got me very excited. Taranaki is such a great region to work in the rural space. Along with the wide exposure to different areas of the law - GQ offers it all.

If you were to give people visiting/moving to Taranaki a ‘must-do’ whilst here, what would it be? 
You can't beat a walk, run or bike ride along the coastal walkway, stopping for coffee on the way - of course!


Richard Lyttelton


is a Senior Associate based in our New Plymouth office and leads our Family Law Team alongside Kaye McKenzie. Richard joined GQ back in July 2021.

Originally from the South Island, Richard has certainly made a big change moving to New Plymouth.

Richard has been practising almost exclusively in family law and has extensive experience in relationship property, estate litigation, care of children, guardianship, Oranga Tamariki and family violence matters.

What brought you to Taranaki?
To escape Auckland! I had been working in Auckland since my early 20s and was getting sick of my up to 3 hour commute to work each day. My Partner and I kept missing out on houses  so we decided to look to the regions. I saw the job opportunity at GQ, came down and meet the team and the rest is history. 

I had only visited Taranaki twice before, one to compete in the amazing Oxfam trail walk and the other for a hike around the Maunga. 

We love it here and can never see us moving again. It's that good that we even managed to convince my parents to move down too!

What do you love about working in the Taranaki region?
I really enjoy the variety of work in Taranaki. The local family law community have been great and we have an incredible family team here at GQ. Everyone is very supportive. 

If you were to give people visiting/moving to Taranaki a 'must-do' here, what would it be?
Due to my parents moving down, I have had some time to think about this. My top recommendations would be the Taranaki Garden Festival, Festival of Lights, trip (or a watch a concert) to the Bowl of Brooklands and the around the Mountain tramp! 


Peter Williams


joined GQ in August 2022 as a Lawyer in our Family team, after three years in a general practice in Dunedin.

His expertise includes care of children matters, guardianship issues, family violence, relationship property disputes, and matters involving Oranga Tamariki.

What brought you to Taranaki?
I was working as a lawyer in Dunedin and my partner Kristin was living in New Plymouth. Long distance had to come to end (or something else would!). Kristin was not tempted to move down (which I now understand why - Taranaki is stunning) so I took up the challenge of moving up. Career wise, I was attracted by the chance to work for GQ as it has a great reputation across the motu.

What do you love about working in the Taranaki region?
The regions are a great place to work and live in general. I am already loving the Taranaki lifestyle. It is a beautiful place from the coast to the mounga, has great places to wine and dine, and most importantly has good people.

If you were to give people visiting/moving to Taranaki a ‘must-do’ here, what would it be?
The must-do that everyone has told me is to climb the maunga, but I am waiting for sunnier weather before tackling it!


Anya Graeff


Anya joined Govett Quilliam in January 2022 after completing her law degree at the University of Otago. 

Originally from Wellington and having studied in Dunedin, Anya was very excited to call the beautiful Taranaki region home!

Anya is part of our Family Team and assists with care of children, guardianship, family violence and relationship property matters.

What brought you to Taranaki?
While I enjoyed my time studying in Otago, I was looking forward to moving back up to the North Island for work. The South Island is beautiful but the North Island climate is far superior. I wanted to settle somewhere big enough to offer a variety of work but small enough to escape the commute. When an opportunity with GQ arose, it felt like the perfect fit.

What do you love about working in the Taranaki region?
I love the breadth of opportunities available to develop professionally. Being a regional city, there is certainly a wide variety of legal work available. I also enjoy how Taranaki is perfectly placed between the two big North Island cities, meaning visits to either are just a few hours in the car.

If you were to give people visiting/moving to Taranaki a ‘must-do’ here, what would it be?
This is a tough one, but it would have to be visiting the Maunga. It truly is stunning and not surprising it is such a popular destination in Taranaki.


With Taranaki providing the perfect environment for action, sport and culture, we have worked to provide a similarly diverse and challenging professional environment for our team.

We are proud to attract committed and passionate legal talent, and we base our reputation on legal excellence and strong, lasting professional relationships. Our people provide the capabilities and knowledge, within and beyond the law, needed to achieve the outcomes our clients require.

To find out more about our team, please see our entire team page here.


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