Associate, Registered Legal Executive
Qualifications: B.Com., Dip. LE, FNZILE
For Ellen, no question is a silly question. That, unfortunately, is one of the biggest fears people have when it comes to reaching out to a law firm for support and advice — and it’s the last thing she wants them to worry about. Being available and open to listening to any concerns or queries clients may have is critical in her role, and a responsibility she doesn’t take lightly. When people ask her what a Registered Legal Executive (RLE) does, the way she describes it is as being somewhere between a personal assistant and a lawyer — she completes all the work that comes across her desk and a lawyer seals the deal by signing it off.
As an RLE, residential conveyancing - buying and selling houses - is where most of her time is spent, while preparing Property Law Act Notices, business sales and purchases, leases, wills and enduring power of attorney work, make up the rest. Ellen’s dedication to her career has always been about helping people, the bonus is that no day is the same. The diversity of work that comes with being an RLE means every situation is different, and being able to adapt to that and deliver the best outcomes possible is a quality she’s consistent at bringing to the table.
Ellen’s career began in Dunedin as an office junior for Peter Churchman (now Justice Churchman), where she was encouraged to develop her career further and, interestingly as she’d enjoyed accountancy at school, some years later, enrolled at the University of Otago where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. Halfway through, she decided she preferred law work, but finished her degree while working full-time and studying part-time.
Ellen also completed the higher level (now discontinued) Legal Executive Diploma that was offered through the University of Waikato in the early 2000s.
Born and bred in Dunedin, Ellen worked for Caudwells for 18 years before moving to Race & Douglas, then in 2015, moved to Invercargill to be with her partner. She became an associate at PRLaw three years ago and has been an invaluable addition to our team ever since.
An avid reader, she organises the PRLaw book club and is an executive on the Cycling Southland Board. When she’s not in the office, her time is spent with family and friends, travelling whenever she can, and is lucky enough to have a holiday home in Arrowtown to escape to for a bit of downtime.