I am pleased to write this testimonial with respect to the quality of the work provided by ChenPalmer in general and the work of Mai Chen as the Managing Partner in particular.
I have had dealings with Mai Chen over a period of years but earlier this year, 2016, I asked for specific advice in an area of statutory interpretation. The opinion was exceptionally thorough and will stand the test of time for the organisation of which I am the Chief Executive.
I was so impressed with comprehensive nature of the opinion and the quality framing of the issues that I recently engaged Ms Chen to provide further advice on a complex matter. Ms Chen’s approach was extraordinarily thorough and involved her bringing together multifarious threads of expertise – financial analysis, knowledge of employment law, interpretation of discrete clauses of an Act of Parliament, and general legal advice.
I was particularly impressed with Ms Chen’s approach: near daily teleconferences that involved the relevant staff from her office as part of the conferences, personal visits to my office when it coincided with her work in Wellington, and careful and personal supervision of the provision of comprehensive legal advice. And because I have a governing Board, Ms Chen was ever alert to the need to involve the Board members in an entirely respectful manner that was greatly appreciated by busy governors.
I was similarly impressed with the quality of her staff. The lawyers who were assigned to the work were intellectually nimble and had outstanding relationship skills.
Ms Chen was also demanding of me and my staff. That, from my perspective, was particularly welcome. I was linked in to the work and was required to provide her with the relevant information in a timely manner. In short, I appreciated the discipline that Ms Chen brought to the work as we assisted her with her opinion and advice.
I thoroughly recommend ChenPalmer to prospective clients. Any client of ChenPalmer will receive outstanding, personal, and responsive service.
Dr Graham Stoop, Chief Executive – Education Council New Zealand
Michael Park School has engaged Mai Chen and her team from Chen Palmer on a number of occasions. Mai has been our first choice advisor / counsel for issues involving strategy, advocating a position or dealing with difficult issues.
Mai and her team have a firm grasp of the political landscape and have been able to offer pragmatic, accurate and effective solutions to the challenges we have presented them with. The team are all highly professional and have proven invaluable in helping navigate the challenges in a frequently changing environment.
Mai has an excellent interpersonal style and is dedicated and committed to her clients, in one instance, taking a call in the middle of the night in Hong Kong in order to deal with a problem. This is all part of the commitment and service we have come to expect from Chen Palmer.
We recommend Chen Palmer to any organisation needing effective, professional and timely advice on complex issues.
Michael Hartley, Chair – Michael Park School Board of Trustees
We recently engaged the services Chen Palmer, working directly with Mai and her team. As a consequence of the experience and result I am pleased to be able to provide a brief testimonial.
Proposed regulatory changes required us to undertake a wide variety of activities including formal legally referenced submissions and presenting our case verbally interacting at various parliamentary levels as well as engaging with local communities.
Chen Palmer’s grasp of the challenge was impressive and Mai’s forthright style ensured absolute clarity on the issues we were required to tackle and the tasks to be delivered. Beyond the regulatory and constitutional aspects of the issue at hand, Mai and her team were highly effective in the development of a communications strategy.
Chen Palmer were highly responsive to our needs. We received support from both their Auckland and Wellington offices. Chen Palmer are very results oriented!
Mike Pretty, Managing Director – Heinz Wattie’s Limited
Chen Palmer has partnered with us in a David and Goliath environment that is the interface between governments and the regulatory regime and the private sector.
Chen Palmer’s ability to combine the pursuit of justice and relationship management with government has made the difference for us in a highly politicised sector that is Education.
Chen Palmer’s is a 3 way partnership approach is proactive and goes beyond just client and lawyer to include the other party. They are skilled at fostering positive relationships.
Rachel Skudder, Director – BEST Pacific Institute of Education
Mai Chen at Chen Palmer has advised us on dealings with Auckland Council concerning waste bylaws, on the Waste Minimisation Act and law reform, on RMA matters and Commerce Act issues. They are effective because they understand the legislative and regulatory context of our industry, local and central Government and the policy and law making process, have a wide range of contacts at all levels of government and business, are pragmatic and commercial, and know how to work at pace. They are focused on the outcomes that matter to us and know how to ensure we get urgent service when that is required. They are also good at alerting us to developments on issues that matter to us, like Health and Safety.
I would not hesitate to recommend them in their areas of expertise.
Gary Saunders, Managing Director – EnviroWaste Services Limited
I am pleased to provide a testimonial for our service providers, Chen Palmer.
We have had a working relationship since 2010 when we found our then legal services provider ineffective in progressing a number of transactions which required consent. They were immediately effective in identifying and addressing roadblocks and have been our service provider since that time. We have now progressed a number of similar transactions; we find that they are cost effective, quick to do the work and responsive to our needs. The team we work with are particularly good at identifying regulatory requirements to ensure that we are proactive rather than reactive through the process.
The above represents good legal representation; what further distinguishes Chen Palmer is their business networks and access points to a potential client network. Business is a mixture of what and who you know and on the latter point we value our participation in client functions and other associated networking opportunities that we are part of because of our association with the firm.
Andrew Watters, Director – MyFarm Investments
Chen Palmer is a niche firm which delivers quality consistently. I have been on both sides of the table, so to speak, over the years and they are a class act. While not an expert on such things, it does seem to me that the firm is perhaps closer to the USA model in that it seeks to lobby or influence as well as or as part of its normal operation. For public law issues, its reputation is justifiably second to none, its credibility in Wellington is huge.
Allan Sargison, Former Chief Executive – Tai Poutini Polytechnic
Chen Palmer stepped up to help when the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand was faced with the Ministry of Health’s decision to remove the majority of our funding and contracts. It is not easy to take on the Crown but Chen Palmer delivered an outstanding case and result. They marshalled over 5,000 pages of evidence to present a highly complex case in an understandable and compelling way to the High Court. The result achieved, and the judicial precedents established for voluntary agencies contracting with the Crown, are evidence of their expertise. They have enabled PGF to continue to enhance our services and to work towards our mission; building healthy communities together, free from gambling harm.
Graeme Ramsey, Chief Executive – Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand
Chen Palmer are clear leaders in the field of public and employment law. Their legal advice is thorough, insightful and strategic.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter, Chen Palmer consider business practicalities as well as legal strategy, in providing solutions aimed directly at the issue.
Chen Palmer lawyers have significant experience and knowledge of the law, and their professional approach has enabled me to develop a trust and confidence in them, which is most important to me as General Counsel at the Auckland University of Technology.
Dr Andrea Vujnovich, General Counsel – AUT University (Auckland University of Technology)
The Southern Institute of Technology has been very pleased with the services provided by Chen Palmer over several years. Chen Palmer personnel have outstanding levels of knowledge about complex policy and compliance matters and they are proactive about ensuring not only current issues are resolved in a positive manner but look ahead to source opportunities for their clients. Working with Chen Palmer has enhanced SIT’s key relationships with senior Government officials and improved our operational outcomes. Chen Palmer provide an extremely professional service, but with a personal approach that we really appreciate.
Penny Simmonds, Chief Executive – SIT (Southern Institute of Technology)
The New Zealand Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation Inc (HITO) has had the opportunity to work with Chen Palmer. At all times our engagement with them has been totally professional and always within a timely manner. More importantly the team at Chen Palmer have taken the time to understand the issues facing the HITO and determined how best to work around these within the industry context. This shows that clients of Chen Palmer are not just treated as a number but a client with specific needs. The relationships that they build provide a positive platform to continue to engage in an ongoing basis.”
Erica Cumming, Former Chief Executive – HITO (New Zealand Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation)
ITENZ is an organisation representing the majority of independent tertiary institutes in NZ. As such, we interface with many government agencies and businesses and are constantly looking at how we can do this more effectively. One of the many benefits of working with Chen Palmer and the specialists that they have within their team, is the ability to access contacts and establish relationships. To effectively represent our sector we must build solid effective relationships and many of these have been created by simply emailing Chen Palmer and asking for an introduction. It is this type of quiet service that they provide so generously. The breakfasts, business growth forums, leadership meetings that they organise are very beneficial, but more so are the little things that they do for you, such as the quiet introductions. Obviously Chen Palmer also provide legal advice and services and this is done very quickly and effectively. The team is experienced and they use empathy when engaging with a problem. The understanding and expertise that Chen Palmer has is outstanding.
Christine Clark, Chair of ITENZ (Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand)
Over recent years, CSL (New Zealand) Limited has worked closely on a number of projects with Chen Palmer & Partners. On each and every occasion we have found that the value added by Mai Chen herself, and by the extremely competent team of people who work with her at Chen Palmer & Partners, has resulted in excellent outcomes.
Whilst there are many law firms in New Zealand who are very good at dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on agreements, there are very few that can add the level of strategic thought and input that comes as matter of course for Mai and her team. It is always a pleasure to work with Mai and her team. Whilst being challenged and tested as far as our thought processes and strategies involved in any agreements are concerned, this has always been done in the most pleasant and amicable manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending Chen Palmer & Partners to any organisation that really wants to get the best outcomes possible.
Dave Bowler, General Manager – CSL (New Zealand) Limited