Women In Business: Tompkins Wake

Contributions from Tabassum Rauf, Jacinda May, and Shelley Slade-Gully

Tompkins Wake is one of New Zealand's leading full-service commercial law firms. Named New Zealand Mid-Size Law Firm of the Year at the NZ Law Awards, the firm has also been ranked as a Leading Law Firm in the Asia Pacific by Legal 500 in 2018, 2019 and 2020.


Located in Hamilton, Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga with more than 120 staff, they are the law firm that clients turn to for help on the matters most important to them.


Tabassum Rauf - Associate



Tabassum joined Tompkins Wake in 2020 as a member of their Corporate and Commercial team, specialising in the energy sector. Having worked for New Zealand’s largest energy retailer, she has extensive knowledge in the electricity, natural gas and LPG industry.



Tell us a little about your role and responsibilities?


I work in the corporate commercial team at Tompkins Wake and specialise in energy and tech law. My role in the team is to provide my clients with pragmatic advice and assist them with business transactions and ensure that contractual arrangements are valid and legal. Many of these duties revolve around contract drafting, analysing terms of agreements, and negotiating best outcomes for my clients.


How have you made sure to integrate AML/CFT into your daily practices?


Before I start any legal work, I ensure that I perform due diligence measures prior to establishing a client relationship to ensure the client matches their profile. Having TICC involved to perform due diligence before I start working on a new matter gives me assurance that I have done my part to mitigate risk(s) associated with AML/CFT.


What would you consider to be a key thing people forget or do not understand when it comes to AML/CFT?


People forget that AML/CFT obligations are ongoing and need to be constantly and regularly assessed. It’s not something you do at the start of the transaction and forget; you need to conduct ongoing customer due diligence.


What is the most rewarding part of your role?


The most rewarding part is seeing clients succeed. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing clients come up with an idea and that idea is put into practice with our guidance and legal assistance.


What is one piece of advice you would give to others wanting to work in your field of expertise?


"It is a rewarding and fulfilling career if you are willing to put some effort. Also finding the right law firm is key in my opinion that is willing to help you achieve your goals."



Jacinda May - Associate


Jacinda is an associate who joined Tompkins Wake in 2015. She specialises in commercial property transactions and works with a wide range of commercial property clients, from developers to investors, to facilitate the disposition and acquisition of property, including due diligence and finance, as well as leasing.



Tell us a little about your role and responsibilities?


I am an Associate in the corporate commercial team based in Tompkins Wake’s Auckland office. I specialise in commercial property and work with a wide range of clients, from developers to investors.


How have you made sure to integrate AML/CFT into your daily practices?


Working in commercial property means most matters are captured activities, so I always request AML information upfront as part of our initial correspondence.


What would you consider to be a key thing people forget or do not understand when it comes to AML/CFT?


Clients often don’t understand what activities are captured by the legislation, and therefore the reason they are being asked for customer due diligence information.


What is the most rewarding part of your role?


Working with a wide range of clients on different matters from leasing to acquisition of large commercial properties.


What is one piece of advice you would give to others wanting to work in your field of expertise?


"Build good relationships with people – from your team, to clients, to other lawyers in the profession. They’re a great resource."



Shelley Slade-Gully - Partner


Shelley is a specialist in Intellectual Property law and Education law, joining Tompkins Wake in 2018 as a Senior Associate to bolster the firms' intellectual property practice, becoming a Partner in 2020. Shelley has been named as a recommended lawyer in The Legal 500 for intellectual property in the Asia Pacific.



Tell us a little about your role and responsibilities?


I am a partner in the corporate and commercial team at Tompkins Wake, specialising in IP and education law.


How have you made sure to integrate AML/CFT into your daily practices?


AML compliance is embedded into our file opening processes. Each matter we deal with automatically requires us to engage in AML compliance activities.


What is the most rewarding part of your role?


Helping people find practical legal solutions to their issues.


What would you consider to be a key thing people forget or do not understand when it comes to AML/CFT?


That while compliance adds administrative aspects to a file, non-compliance increases the chances of money laundering and terrorist funding occurring undetected.


What is one piece of advice you would give to others wanting to work in your field of expertise?


"Being able to listen and communicate well is a must!"


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