About Our Team
Core Legal was set up by three friends and business partners with a passion for helping their clients. They saw a need to create a practice that uses the latest technology and systems to deliver excellent service and value to our clients.
Our Core Values
We care about our clients and view our role as more than just a business relationship. We have created a great team who enjoys life. We treat our clients like friends and family and it’s important to us we look after your needs.
We will act with integrity and do what we say we’re going to do.
We will provide expert knowledge.
We will communicate with you clearly and in a timely manner.
Raised in Greytown, Shannon went to Greytown Primary School, Kuranui College and is now raising his own three children in the Wairarapa with a son at Makoura College, a son at Masterton Intermediate School and a daughter at Masterton Primary School.
Shannon is a jack of all trades and was a painter/plasterer prior to studying law. Having worked with his hands on building sites for many years, Shannon brings a unique problem solving perspective to the practice of law, often thinking outside the box to solve the issues on the table and add value to client needs.
Shannon was admitted to the bar in 2005, has practised in the Waikato, Gold Coast and is a previous Partner of Gawith Burridge. Shannon’s main area of expertise is dealing with relationship property pre-nuptial agreements and separation agreement disputes and together with all general property matters.
Outside of work Shannon enjoys martial arts and has a black belt in Okinawan Goju Ryu. Shannon travelled to Okinawa in 2019 for two weeks to train. He also enjoys paua diving, camping and tramping when time allows.
Christian Jorgensen originally comes from Wellington and graduated with Law and Science degrees from Victoria University in 2003.
With over 15 years of legal experience he initially practised in Wellington as an environmental and construction law specialist for several years.
Following an overseas working holiday as a chef (yes, he can cook), Christian was dragged up to the sunny Wairarapa in 2008 by his then girlfriend (now wife) and he moved into general practice advising across a range of areas but with an emphasis on property law including subdivisions, residential and rural conveyancing, commercial leases, licences and refinancing. Turns out the wife’s hunch was right – Christian loves the Wairarapa and his work, and has been here ever since.
A keen family man, when not playing with his children, Christian enjoys the outdoors and the simple pleasures of country living. If he’s not in his office chair, he may be found skiing, playing the drums or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Jonathan (almost universally known as “JT”) has been practising law since 1998 and is our resident specialist in commercial matters (buying and selling businesses, all business contracts, franchises, finance, security, insolvency, debt collection, shareholder agreements, business terms of trade, business disputes, and the like). He also advises on trusts, property, and a wide range of other legal matters. JT has worked in some large national and international law firms: Norton Rose (London), Chapman Tripp (Wellington), Anderson Lloyd (Queenstown), but decided he wanted to work and live in the Wairarapa where he could raise his, then, young family. He has now been practising law in the Wairarapa for 15 years.
JT’s other loves are his family (a wife and three kids) and rugby (he will tell you in that order)! He loves to cook and is partial to a nice red wine. He thinks he is funny (and we grudgingly admit he occasionally makes us smile) and likes to enjoy life.
When he is not at work you will probably find him coaching rugby or watching sport on TV! This year he is coaching the Wairarapa College 1st XV, Greytown Premier Men’s team and the Wairarapa Bush under 16s. If he had any spare time he swears he would go to the gym more often, or (more likely), dive for paua and play golf.
JT wanted everyone to know that his bio “mugshot” was taken during the COVID-19 crisis at home, in poor light, by his 15 year old daughter, on a 28 year instamatic camera (with no focus, filter or flash), and without the benefit of Photoshop! All the excuses (but he still thinks he looks pretty good…).
Seriously though, if you want a lawyer who knows what he is doing, will explain it all to you in way you will understand, whose only focus is on the best outcome for you, who will only charge you a fair fee for the job, and who knows how to have a laugh, then JT is your guy.
Graeme has developed expertise in many areas of the law over the years, including appearing as counsel in both criminal and civil jury trials, at administrative tribunals, and also numerous times before a judge alone.
He has an ongoing involvement in the property field and extensive experience both as an independent professional trustee and in the area of corporate governance.
As well as maintaining his law practice, Graeme has a strong commitment to continuing education and communication. He worked for more than ten years as director, contract author and presenter for TEO Training Ltd, the largest private sector provider of continuing education to the New Zealand accounting and legal professions. He has also conducted corporate governance seminars on behalf of the Crown Company Monitoring Unit for directors of State Owned Enterprises.
Graeme’s professionalism and business background have seen him appointed to numerous board positions. He was the Member of Parliament for the Miramar electorate from 1990 – 1993: during that time, he chaired the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee for the Human Rights Amendment Bill.
Board positions include:
- Gambling Commission: Chief Gambling Commissioner 2011 – present, Commissioner 2004 – 2011
- Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd: Director 2007 – 2013
- New Zealand Post Ltd: Director 1994 – 2000
- Wellington Community Trust: Director and chair of audit committee 1992 – 2001
Pro bono work includes:
- Maranui Surf Lifesaving Club: honorary solicitor 1995 – present, including work to re-establish the club in the 1990s and rebuild the clubrooms after the 2009 fire.
- New Zealand Affordable Art Trust: Chairman 2012 – present, trustee 2011 – 2012
Kathryn was born and bred in the Wairarapa, into a well-known local farming family. Having started her education at Hadlow School, she completed an LTCL from the Trinity College of London in performance violin in 1996 before moving to the big smoke to study Law and Music at Victoria University. After graduating from university in 2003, Kathryn spent three years overseas doing her OE and on her return home in 2007, started her career as a lawyer at a local firm. Kathryn has practised law in Masterton for the last 13 years.
Kathryn’s areas of expertise include wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, residential care subsidies and residential care loans, occupation licences and admission agreements for rest homes, asset planning, gifting, relationship property, and claims against estates.
Kathryn is married to Christian, and they have two young children. In her spare time, Kathryn is the secretary of the Wairarapa Community Orchestra, and can be found playing the violin in the orchestra. She enjoys doing lots of different things, but after working, looking after the family and playing the violin, there’s not much time left to do them!
Kathryn works part time, from 9am to 2:30pm, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Victoria originally comes from Porirua and has moved too many times to count. She finally landed in Eketahuna where she lives with her husband Kevin, who is a rural mail contractor. Victoria has a son who works as a Resource Management Planner in Wellington. As often as possible the wider family get together to enjoy a long weekend lunch.
She has had an interesting career starting out as an apprentice gardener, working for an Accountant, being a caregiver in a rest home and in the community, and as a publican in South Taranaki for a while. Since moving to law and studying to qualify as a Registered Legal Executive, Victoria has worked in the areas of family law, conveyancing and estates. She can always be relied upon to go the extra mile to ensure that clients get the best possible outcome.
Outside of work Victoria enjoys gardening at home, she is an avid reader and can be found taking road trips on her Honda CB400 motorbike when weather permits.
Belinda has worked as a legal executive on and off since qualifying in 2003. She loves forming connections with clients and achieving great results for them. She is a mother of three; a grown-up daughter and teenage twins.
She is also an LGBTQIA+ ally. Outside of work she enjoy road trips with her children, photography, crafts, reading and doing jigsaw puzzles. Her favourite thing to do however is watching cricket.
I started off wearing gumboots relief milking on dairy farms then traded in the cows to work with children as an early childhood educator. After realising I probably should have more adult interaction I moved into banking giving financial and insurance advice while promoting electronic services came to the conclusion I was making myself and my role redundant so I decided I would give law a go. Beginning as a Personal Assistant to four experienced solicitors I was inspired to study to become a Legal Executive. I enjoy helping people on their journey to purchase their first home and look forward to growing in my role at Core Legal.
Bronwyn was born, raised and educated in Masterton and worked in the banking industry for 10 years. After having children, Bronwyn entered the legal profession and joined Property Law Service in 2007 as a part-time Receptionist/Accounts clerk. Over the years, Bronwyn has progressed to full time Personal Assistant to a number of solicitors and is currently PA to Jonathan Tanner and Shannon Norling.
Bronwyn is married to Grant and has a daughter and son. She enjoys spending her leisure time with her family and friends, and weekends with her husband at their beach house.
Jenni moved to the Wairarapa to a small town called Greytown 18 years ago. As the town grew over the years so did her four children.
The Lambert children inherited their fair share of sporting genes, so Jenni has been involved in Wairarapa Hockey and more recently Wairarapa United circles. Jenni was co-coach of the St Matthews 1st 11 hockey for four years, and enjoyed travelling around the country following both hockey and soccer.
Jenni has had a variety of jobs over the years. She worked for the ANZ for 10 years including stints in Relationship Business Banking and Specialist Business Banking, She worked for Rutherford Investments in Wellington, had her own retail shop in Greytown, and was a Teacher Aide at Greytown Primary School for eight years.
She is looking forward to getting back into the area of Practice Management with Core Legal (Limited).
Sarah moved from inner city Wellington to a lifestyle property in Opaki 20 years ago, seeing the Wairarapa as a great place to raise a family.
Her career background is print production, working at advertising agencies and a print consultancy firm in Wellington and later with real estate sales and administration in the Wairarapa, have proved a great fit in her role at Core Legal as reception and administration.
With boys now at University and beyond, Sarah enjoys her garden – in particular her dahlia patch, olive grove, sheep, cats and elderly chooks.