PEOPLE - GREYTOWN
MICHAEL BALE - PRINCIPAL
Michael Bale has been practicing commercial and conveyancing law since 1995 at Wilson & Co (twelve years) and at other Wellington based commercial legal practices. Michael is based in our Wellington and Greytown Offices. Michael’s strengths are in all aspects of business and commercial law and dispute resolution including; franchising, leases, conveyancing and subdivision, and corporate advice on commercial matters.
Michael is married to Joke (pronounced “Yorka” – she is from Belgium) and they live in Greytown with their three young children. Michael’s interests include gardening and mechanical work, especially old motorcycles, and particularly if they have sidecars.
JO MCDONALD - ASSOCIATE & SENIOR LEGAL EXECUTIVE
Jo joined the team at WCM Legal in October of 2013. Jo is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives and has over twenty years experience in commercial and residential property acquisitions and disposals, banking and securities law, leasing and contract negotiations.
Outside of work Jo spends time establishing the rural properties she owns with her partner in Upper Hutt and Martinborough. Jo loves cuisine, cooking, wine and reading.
JASON CARRUTHERS - ASSOCIATE
Jason holds a Degree in Law together with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago. He was admitted to the Bar in 2009 and commenced practice in a boutique-size Law firm in Auckland, where he advised both SME’s and private clients on a range of commercial, property and litigation matters.
Jason joined WCM in August 2017 and was appointed an Associate in April 2018. He works as part of our Greytown team undertaking a wide variety of work including business and commercial transactions with particular interest in insolvency, construction, and financing. In addition to his commercial practice, he has experience in advising clients in a variety of property transactions.
JULIET COOKE - CONSULTANT
Juliet Cooke has been a partner in the firm since 1989. She has now ceased to be a partner and director of WCM Legal, as she is working her way down towards retirement. She is now a consultant, specialising in property matters, wills and trusts, and handles most of the estate work.
Juliet is married to Ed, and they have three adult children: Merran, a lawyer and professional oboist, Grayson, who lectures in multimedia at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, and Wendell, who is a film censor and film maker.
Juliet’s outside interests include tramping, gardening, and music - she plays the flute, sings in Merran’s legal choir Counsel in Concert, and organises and hosts house concerts for the Greytown Music Group. She and Ed, and a pianist, play together as the Molewood Trio for weddings, birthdays, and other occasions.
Juliet has reduced her work hours to Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the Greytown office. She is usually available other days as well, by appointment.
BRIDGET GRAY - ESTATES MANAGER
Bridget has worked for the legal profession since leaving secondary school, firstly in Wellington, and later, after returning to the Wairarapa to start a family, for two Masterton law firms. She began working for WCM Legal in their Greytown office approximately 6 years ago, as PA to Juliet Cooke. She continues in that role for Juliet, and also as the Estates Manager.
She is married to Phil, has a son and daughter, and enjoys spending her leisure time with her family, working in her ever-evolving garden, walking in the Tararuas, and working on their farm block.
Vicki Johns - PRACTICE ADMINISTRATOR
Vicki joined the team at WCM Legal in August 2018, and assists with the day to day running of the practice from the Greytown office.
With a background in law and finance, Vicki brings to the role 10 years experience as Client Director at New Plymouth law firm, Govett Quilliam. Most recently as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Board Secretary of an investment fund, Vicki was involved in the capital raise and subsequent sell down of Fonterra’s largest Australian supplier, New Zealand owned, Tasman Farms Limited in Tasmania.
Away from the office, Vicki and her partner are donkey deep in plans to develop their lifestyle property on the outskirts of Greytown. Three adult children and a handful of adorable grandchildren take up any other spare moments, along with a great love of poetry, food and wine, looking at the great outdoors, and annually attempting to knit something. Any kind of social good’ enterprise gets the nod, along with the hope of one day planting a community food forest.
A more recent interest in the family archive brought about the discovery that maternal Great-great-grandmother, Charlotte Jones and her family, were among the earliest European settlers of the Wairarapa, winning an 1854 ballot run by the Small Farms Association for 40 acres of land in Masterton. For a recent arrival to the beautiful Wairarapa, this discovery confirmed it as the tūrangawaewae.