The Committee


The Canterbury Women's Legal Association's affairs are managed by a committee and governed by the Association's Rules. The committee members work on an unpaid basis and welcome the input of all members into the running of the Association.

Click here to download the minutes from our 2015 AGM.

Committee Profiles:


Vivienne Wilson - Convenor

Vivienne is a Senior Solicitor at the Christchurch City Council.  She specialises in local government law, administrative law, and statutory drafting. Vivienne was admitted to the bar in 1993 in Wellington, and worked for a law firm gaining general experience before moving to the Parliamentary Counsel Office drafting legislation for the Government between 1995 and 1998.  In 1998 Vivienne joined the Wellington Office of Simpson Grierson and, in 2007, moved to the Christchurch Office.  In 2016, Vivienne took up a position with the Legal Services Unit of the Christchurch City Council.

Chantal Morkel - Treasurer

Chantal is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Team at Malley & Co, with experience in the banking, finance, property, commercial, trust, asset planning and retirement village sectors. Having gained experience in various sectors of the law, Chantal is able to think through a range of aspects that may arise during the course of a transaction or as a consequence of a transaction. Chantal obtained her law degree from the University of South Africa and has been admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand.  Chantal is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Chantal is excited and proud to be part of an organisation that promotes and supports women in the legal workforce.

Cheryl Clausen - Secretary

Cheryl joined the Committee in 2015 as an Associate Committee Member.  She works at the High Court as an Associate to a High Court Judge. Previously she worked in Canterbury Chambers and before that, Clarendon Chambers. She qualified as a Legal Executive in 2009 and received her Diploma in 2010. She is currently on the Committee of the NZ Institute of Legal Executives (Canterbury-Westland Branch) and has been for the past 6 years. She offers her organisational skills in assisting the Committee in particular with the Annual Conference, social functions and generally promoting the Organisation throughout the legal profession.





Angela Searle

Angela is a registered patent attorney in NZ and Australia, as well as being a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand. She has worked exclusively in intellectual property law since finishing university in 1993. This has included working in an IP firm in Sydney, Australia for 4 years and having her own firm for 18 months. She is currently a partner of Baldwins Intellectual Property. Angela loves being involved with an organisation which supports other female legal professionals. She lives on a lifestyle block in Swannanoa with her husband and two primary aged sons.




Natasha Razak

Natasha Razak is a Bank Finance lawyer. Prior to joining the CWLA she worked at Latham & Watkins in London and trained with White & Case in London and in Tokyo.  She has also worked as an in-house lawyer for Goldman Sachs International in London and is New Zealand qualified as well.  She has experience across a broad range of issues in banking law, with particular emphasis on matters relating to cross-border leveraged buyouts, acquisition finance, general banking and restructuring transactions. She acts for financial institutions, private equity sponsors and major corporations.  She is a new member who is excited to be part of a forward-looking forum for women in law.



Melanie Russell

Melanie is a solicitor at Adderley Head, a specialist environmental and resource management law firm.  She graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2014 with a double degree in Law and Arts, majoring in Te Reo Māori.  Prior to Adderley Head, Melanie worked at Opus as a property consultant disposing of surplus Crown land.

Melanie is a new member of the CWLA, and is excited be involved in an organisation that encourages and supports women in the legal profession.



Emily Whiteside

Emily is a Senior Associate at Chapman Tripp, specialising in insurance related and civil litigation. She was admitted in 2005 and has worked in two other Christchurch firms before joining Chapman Tripp in December 2011. She has been on the committee of the CWLA since 2009. She believes there is a need for organisations which support and encourage working women and enjoys being part of the CWLA.


 Lisa Taylor

Lisa is a Senior Associate at Anthony Harper, specialising in insurance, construction and civil litigation.  Prior to completing her degree, Lisa worked for the NZ Post Office/Telecom NZ for 23 years, in a wide range of roles.  She was admitted in 2007 and has worked at Anthony Harper since 2008.  Lisa joined the CWLA committee in 2017 and is looking forward to being part of the CWLA team, supporting women in law. 




 Harriet Daley

Harriet Daley is a Staff Solicitor at Harmans Lawyers. Harriet specialises in family law and provides legal advice in relation to all family law matters including care of children and guardianship disputes, domestic violence, division of relationship property, adoption, paternity disputes and protection of assets upon entering into a relationship. Harriet is a new committee member of the CWLA, and is excited to be a part of an association that supports women.