Intermediate Associate, Chen Palmer Partners
Luisa harks from the cultural melting pot that is South East Asia. After growing up in Malaysia and Brunei and being educated for several years in Chinese, Luisa came to New Zealand with her family at the age of 15. Luisa is of Chinese and European heritage and because of her upbringing, she can converse in several languages namely Mandarin, Malay, Spanish, and is fluent in English.
Luisa completed an Arts degree at the University of Auckland majoring in Philosophy and Logic and on graduation received the Senior Prize for Philosophy and received top grades in Logic and Computer Science. Luisa went on to do a Bachelor of Laws at Auckland University of Technology and achieved exceptional results in Company Law and Competition Law.
Luisa was involved in the establishment of an investment fund on behalf of a group of high net worth investors based in Asia. Under her management net asset value (NAV) per unit has increased by 150% ($4.1 to $10m) in 5 years. Luisa drove all aspects of the fund from the strategic level aspects such as the partnership/trust structure, multi-currency debt and equity funding rounds, down to the operational details of reporting protocols, residential and commercial sales and purchases, leasing, subdivision, marketing, compulsory acquisition under the Public Works Act, liquor licencing and risk management. Luisa also oversaw the implementation of operating procedures, resource planning and management of building contracts. Luisa has been traveling yearly to Singapore and Malaysia to meet with investors and promote new business exchanges with New Zealand.
Early on in her career, Luisa performed pro-bono work for Manukau Counties Community Law Centre and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) providing legal assistance to those who could not afford legal services. At PIAC in Sydney Luisa was actively involved in assessing the firm’s standing to challenge decisions in the Court in respect of matters involving access to justice, with a particular focus on disability. Her contribution to the pursuit of justice was well received and recognized by the directors of PIAC.
Luisa continued to apply herself across a variety of operational environments, particularly in the commercial sphere where much of the work involves start-ups, property acquisition and investment, fund raising, IP protection and product commercialisation. Clients she has worked with have included several start-up enterprises and companies in the advertising and entertainment industries, such as the Californian companies, Emergent Entertainment Group LLC and KVLA LLC, for which Luisa assisted in the creation of KVLA’s new Vietnamese television broadcasting studios. Luisa now works full-time at Central Auckland law firm, McMahon Butterworth Thompson, carrying out dispute resolution and litigation services.
Through the above experiences, Luisa has emerged as a proven leader in executing start-up goals and other ventures and in the legal and business issues pertaining to them.
Working in New Zealand, people are more responsive to a collegial collaborative style of operation as opposed to other systems such as autocratic leadership, which is prevalent in many other countries. As a leader, Luisa is mindful of this and her multicultural upbringing gives her awareness and an adaptability that enables her to foster strong collaborative relationships with people and organisations. Such an approach develops confidence and trust in people, to engage in discussions and commitment to grow projects, which ultimately contribute to the enhancement of the relationship Asia has with New Zealand.