Copeland Ashcroft is a specialist national workplace law firm offering employment law, health and safety and immigration services.
Partner Kate Ashcroft leads the North Island team from Tauranga, having joined forces with Invercargill based Managing Partner Janet Copeland in 2015. Kate was drawn back to the Bay of Plenty as “an incredibly special place to live and do business”.
Kate is passionate about serving businesses in the Bay in the increasingly complex workplace law space, wanting to provide a top quality service with support locally, including in person education on key topics which the firm delivers through its ongoing workshop and seminar series, including in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as through its monthly InTouch newsletter and social media presence.
Kate says “We work hard to provide cost effective, efficient solutions for our clients and to establish good working relationships and we do not take these for granted. I’m proud of the service our clients receive and the team we’ve built to deliver this.”
Kate says the team look for practical and creative solutions to issues that arise, because “there is no “one size fits all” approach to workplace law – you’re dealing with people and it really is about relationships”.
Kate says “I was lucky to know I wanted to specialise in this area from the age of 16. I feel very fortunate to work in an area I’m passionate about, in a place I’m so passionate about, and to lead a team that I hope we provide better opportunities to than were available to me early in my career, especially in regional centres around New Zealand which are such drivers of our national economy.
We pride ourselves on living our firm values, which are fun, quality, agility and rewards. We build relationships with clients and each other, which are valuable and rewarding. We produce quality work, and we have fun while we are doing this. These values, along with strong and supportive leadership, have built a positive workplace, which encourages growth and development.
“It’s a real privilege to serve the Bay of Plenty community and to be close at hand to pop into the boardrooms of our clients here. I pinch myself that this is what we’ve created”.
To support the growing team, Christie McGregor joined the firm as a new Partner in Tauranga in 2022. She said “I am excited to be part of a female-led partnership that aligns with my values, and being in a specialist firm just made sense.”
Janet comments “Christie brings a wealth of experience and is a a real asset to the Tauranga team and our wider NZ business. Not only does she have substantial high level skill and experience, she adds tremendous benefit to our clients with her holistic approach to resolution of issues.”
Kate couldn’t agree more: “Christie is the whole package – an expert in her field and just a lovely person. We are very happy to have her in our team and to work closely together, especially after years of being on opposite sides in disputes.”
Christie says “We go to work every day excited to deliver good solutions for our clients. We know that aside from knowing the law, you really have to have good practical application of it. We approach advice with holistic workplace law expertise in employment, immigration and health and safety, which sets us apart from our competitors. Whatever the workplace issue, we have the specialist skills to partner with the client and deal with it.”
“Our team is continually researching and anticipating the next issue that our employer clients will need to be equipped to deal with. For example, we are working on the issues created by growing use of AI and what this means in terms of privacy and employment obligations.”
“We are also very aware of the challenges of operating in today’s environment in terms of mental wellbeing for business leaders and employees alike and have developed and promoted a Mental Health and Wellbeing toolkit for this, which has been favourably received.
This is also a key focus for our team – we aim to positively and proactively support their wellbeing and career progression.”
- Grown from a team of six around 15
- Grown from four offices in Tauranga, Invercargill, Queenstown and Dunedin to seven, adding Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch
- Providing local support to a number of charitable organisations in the community
- Certification with the Association of Workplace Investigators, the only internationally recognised course of its nature
- Appointing two “CFOs” – Chief Fun Officers to support living our value of having fun in what we do
- Appointing three new partners, including two internal promotions
- Appointing a General Manager and Project Coordinator to help in delivering on the firm’s strategic goals