Expert Enironmental Law advice

Berry Simons powers up with new appointment

Mon June 10th 2019


Specialist Environmental Law firm Berry Simons is delighted to announce that Environmental lawyer, Madeleine Cochrane Wright, is joining the firm as a Senior Associate.

Madeleine joins the firm from her current position at the Department of Conservation where she is the legal lead in the pre-consultation stage of developing the National Policy Statement Indigenous Biodiversity. Prior to that, she spent almost four years as Senior Solicitor at the Environmental Defence Society Inc. (EDS).

Madeleine’s role with EDS included overseeing their litigation programme, providing strategic advice on national policies, and being involved in plan change or resource consent processes throughout New Zealand, from hearings before councils and the Environment Court, to the Court of Appeal. She has been involved in a number of high-profile cases that have helped shape New Zealand Environmental law.

A published writer, Madeleine has also been active on a number of advisory boards and committees over the last four years, including the Land Information New Zealand High Country Advisory Board, the Watercare Environmental Advisory Board, the Young RMLA Committee, the ADLS Environmental and Resource Management Committee and the Sustainable Business Network Million Metre Streams Advisory Board. She was also a member of the Land and Water Forum and the Biodiversity NPS Collaborative Stakeholder Group.

“I am absolutely delighted that Maddie has decided to join the firm. I first observed her in action during mediations on the Thames-Coromandel District Plan appeals and she immediately struck me as someone with a strong intellect, an excellent ability to express herself and a high degree of pragmatism – all the attributes we look for in our lawyers at Berry Simons,” says Partner Simon Berry.

“Maddie has been punching above her weight for some time. The upshot is that she brings with her a set of skills and knowledge in relation to Environmental law and policy that will be tremendous asset to Berry Simons,” he adds.

Madeleine says that she is very happy to be joining the firm. “I have spent quite a bit of time with Berry Simons' lawyers over the last little while. It was clear to me that the firm’s high standards coupled with recognition of political and commercial realities are compatible with my approach to practising Environmental Law, and that I could fit very nicely into their relaxed and fun but high performing culture. I am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead,” she says.

Madeleine’s appointment as Senior Associate brings Berry Simons’ legal head count to four partners, four senior associates, and five solicitors.

Partner Sue Simons is confident that the structure and resourcing at Berry Simons, now in its eighth year, is the best it has ever been.

“Our structure coupled with an amazing mix of talent and experience precisely reflects the nature of the boutique model we set out to develop. I frankly believe that we may now be the most effective Environmental Law team in New Zealand. We are better placed than we have ever been to deliver high quality pragmatic work, delight our clients and have fun,” Sue says.

“Not only are we more than a match for any Environmental Law firm in the country in terms of talent and experience but we are more nimble, user-friendly, and less bureaucratic than bigger firms,” she points out.

Madeleine graduated with a BA/LLB from Otago University in 2012 with part of her degree undertaken at Charles University in the Czech Republic. After graduation she joined the Environmental Law team of a large firm before taking up her position with EDS in 2015.

Experience & expertise


Three exceptional partners lead Berry Simons’ team of talented, motivated lawyers. Because Berry Simons is focused solely around Resource Management and Environmental law, we have the intellectual horsepower and resources of the equivalent team in a large firm. The difference is in our client relationships – which are stronger, and closer. Decisions are made with client executives and partners involved throughout your project, seated at the same table.

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