Meet the team

Chen Palmer Partners is a boutique public and employment firm with offices in Auckland and Wellington. The partners are supported by a dozen lawyers including a Special Counsel, senior associates, other lawyers and law clerks.

Mai Chen

Managing Partner

Mai Chen is the managing partner of Chen Palmer, Australasia’s first public law specialist firm, which she co-founded in 1994.

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Leo Donnelly


Leo is a former Ombudsman from 2016-2018, and Deputy Ombudsman from 2004-2016. He brings his expertise and considerable experience in public and administrative law to Chen Palmer’s recognised leadership in the legal industry.

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Marina Matthews

Principal (Education, Government Relations, Public Policy)

Marina has significant Parliamentary experience and has been a specialist advisor to several Education Ministers. She has experience in a range of public policy processes including the preparation of Cabinet papers, briefing Ministers, and preparing for Select Committees.

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