Stewart Germann

Stewart Germann is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and he attended the University of Auckland. He has the qualifications of B.Com, LLB, FCIS, CFInstD and Notary Public and he specialises in franchising, licensing, sale and purchase of businesses and commercial law.

Stewart has over 35 years’ experience in franchising law and has acted for many franchisors in New Zealand and overseas. He also acts for franchisees advising them about a particular franchise and commenting on the form of franchise documents.

From 1997 to 1999 Stewart was the Chairman of the Franchise Association of New Zealand. He has spoken at franchising conferences in New Zealand, Australia and USA and is very interested in international franchising. He has also written numerous articles on franchising for New Zealand and international publications.

Stewart is a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) based at Washington DC and of the International Bar Association (IBA).

Stewart is a qualified mediator and is a member of AMINZ. He is also on the Panel of Mediators of the Franchise Association of New Zealand.

Firm Overview:

We are a boutique commercial law firm in Auckland specialising in franchising, licensing, the sale and purchase of businesses and providing notarial services.

SGL is a member of the Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ), the Franchise Council of Australia Limited, the International Franchise Lawyers Association (IFLA), the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association.

Stewart Germann has a proven track record in New Zealand and overseas which includes the following:

  • First franchisor client in 1980.
  • Instrumental in the formation of the Franchise Association of New Zealand in 1996.
  • Wrote the original rules for the Franchise Association of New Zealand.
  • Board Member of the New Zealand Franchise Association for many years.
  • Chairman of the Franchise Association of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999.
  • Elected to the Board of the Supplier Forum of the International Franchise Association (IFA) in 2001 (first person from outside the USA and Canada) and re-elected in 2004 for a further 3 year term.
  • Included in the International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers.
  • Speaker on franchising law at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
  • World Franchise Council Representative from 1997 to 1999.
  • Speaker in the UK on franchising on behalf of the British Franchise Association.
  • Actively involved in international franchising.
  • Published many articles in International Franchise Journals.
  • Notary Public for life and able to witness documents for use in overseas jurisdictions.

In relation to business law Stewart Germann has revised the chapter in the Legal Practice Manual on agreements for sale and purchase of businesses for the Auckland District Law Society and he is the author of the Sale of Business chapter in the Laws of New Zealand as published by Butterworths.

Stewart has presented papers at many franchise conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Mark Bewley

With over 25 years audit experience, Mark Bewley has built up a wealth of experience providing assurance services to a large variety of New Zealand listed and high-profile international companies, Not-for-Profit clients and public sector entities.

Mark also provides governance advice, risk management and fraud presentations, as well as due diligence advice for mergers and acquisitions.

Mark is the current managing partner of BDO Wellington and past National Board member and head of audit for BDO New Zealand and Horwath New Zealand.

Well respected among his peers, Mark has regularly presented training sessions to accountants and auditors for the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Professional Affiliations:

– Member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand
– Member of the NZ Society for Risk Management
– Member of NZ Institute of Internal Auditors


– National Diploma of Accounting
– National Certificate in Business Studies


– Chartered Accountant (Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand)
– Licensed Auditor (Financial Markets Authority)
– Approved Auditor (Office of the Auditor General)
– Chartered Director (NZ Institute of Directors)

Why BDO?

The best reason to choose BDO isn’t our service offerings, though they are among the most extensive in our industry. It isn’t our resources, though they are among the broadest in the world. It isn’t that we possess experience working with virtually every business sector in Canada, or that we offer the highest standards of technical excellence, though we do.

Ultimately, the best reason to choose BDO comes down to the relationships we build with our clients and communities. Because at the end of the day, ours is a business of people working with, for, and in the service of others. And when you think about it that way, client service becomes more than just client service; it becomes a firm-wide dedication to helping the people we serve succeed – whatever they need, wherever they are, however we can.

Bruce Sheppard BCom CPA ONZM

Bruce Sheppard co founded Gilligan Sheppard in 1985 and is the Managing Partner. Bruce prides himself on telling clients what he honestly thinks, rather than what he thinks they want to hear. This doesn’t necessarily mean that what he thinks is relevant or useful. Most others still prefer to tell people what they want to hear for the simple commercial imperative that people pay more for advice that validates their own world view. Bruce prefers commercial honesty no matter what.

Bruce also likes to cut to the solution quickly and tends to find simple solutions to problems by demonstrating that all complex issues can be made quite simple with a little thought. While he is inflexible on matters of ethics, he may have a different view of ethics to many. He has the confidence to trust his own judgement on what is right and wrong, and when he gets it wrong (very rarely), he doesn’t cover it up – he tries to fix it or make good. Most tend to have some flexibility about what they are prepared to do if cash is involved, and when it goes wrong, try to cover it up. After 30 years in business, the reality is that there is no point, it always comes out eventually.

Strategically as a firm Bruce has successfully positioned Gilligan Sheppard as a wealth services firm. They help clients generate, maintain and optimise wealth through business and investment.

As a result of his now past hobby, (the New Zealand Shareholders Association) and his exposure to the regulatory process of government, he has become exposed to all aspects of the capital markets in NZ including the inner functioning of regulators, major listed companies and market intermediaries.

He regularly speaks at public forums on investing principles, governance and economic issues, as well as participating both publicly and privately in significant policy settings.

Bruce is an effective negotiator and mediator in resolving disputes and effecting transactions.


Gilligan Sheppard is a different kind of accounting practice that does more than just accounting. First we listen. Then we provide a no-nonsense, cut to the chase solution that will be tailored to each individual circumstance and need.
Gilligan Sheppard takes the time to understand each client and the particular challenges they face moving forward, given what they would like to achieve. We then methodically evaluate the options ahead, vigilantly considering the potential short and long-term outcomes, to ensure that you get the best possible advice.

We’re different. We challenge.
We consider. Then – we deliver.

We deliver that advice in a very simple, straight-talking manner that will always clearly elucidate the decisions that need to be made. Some of our clients have called it a breath of fresh air. Which is quite fortunate, because we are not terribly comfortable operating any other way.

Steve Keall

Steve Keall barrister is an experienced civil and commercial disputes lawyer based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Steve provides legal advice and advocacy for civil and commercial disputes. Steve has a particular interest in insurance. He has qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, and as a solicitor in England. He now practises as a barrister sole in New Zealand.


– General civil and commercial litigation including disputes of a commercial nature
– Breach of contract claims:
– Shareholder/partnership disputes including joint ventures
– Commercial drafting, including terms and conditions
– Advice in relation to equity and trusts, including the rights and responsibilities of trustees and beneficiaries
– Companies Act matters including
– Advice on New Zealand law for non-New Zealand businesses
– Negligence claims (bringing and defending) with a focus on professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, valuers, architects and engineers
– Procurement issues: general advice as well as assisting with disagreements and disputes
– Debt recovery
– Insurance advice and representation
– Defamation
– Personal litigation, such as relationship property disputes and challenging a will
– Fraud
– Enforcement in New Zealand of foreign judgments
– Caveat matters
– Legal and strategic advice regarding the termination of contracts
– Professional discipline including advising and representing lawyers in respect of claims and complaints against them
– Public Works Act advice
– Personal injury advice

Steve welcomes inquiries from new clients. Please get in touch using the contact details above.

John Stirling

John Stirling made a welcome return to Turner Hopkins in 2003, having previously worked for the practice after graduating from Otago University and being admitted to the Bar in 1988. John became a partner in Turner Hopkins in 2005.

Fours years after originally joining Turner Hopkins, he went on to provide specialist legal expertise in property and estate planning with two central Auckland law firms before returning as an Associate.

John continues to offer specialist services in property and estate planning to our clients, as well as business and commercial law.”

As a lawyer at Turner Hopkins I enjoy working alongside our clients, assisting them to understand and bring to completion what, at times, can be complex commercial and legal transactions. The client satisfaction is then often reinforced by them referring my services to potential new clients.


We care about our clients and believe that every client is unique and every situation demands individualised attention. We have a vast breadth of experience across our firm. We take particular pride in the manner in which we take time to listen to our clients, focus on their requirements and work together to achieve the best possible outcomes in an efficient and cost effective manner. We are an approachable and reliable team, able to provide big firm knowledge and experience with boutique practice, flexibility and value for money which makes Turner Hopkins the legal partnership you can rely on.

The size and structure of our practice ensures our clients get direct contact with the partner or senior professional responsible for the legal services required and our commitment, experience and common sense approach gives our clients the right information to make informed decisions. We always put people first and it is this approach and these values that have, over the past 100 years, resulted in Turner Hopkins becoming one of Auckland’s most successful and highly regarded legal practices.

After all, our success is your success.

Heather Ash LLB MA DipTchg

Heather is a partner and heads the firm’s local government and environment group in Auckland. She specialises in all areas of resource management and environmental law, with a particular focus on the development and implementation of district plans. This includes providing advice in the areas of strategic growth planning, management of the rural environment and natural resources, urban intensification, and subdivision. She is widely regarded for her expertise in plan development. She also advises a range of clients on their responsibilities under the Resource Management Act, including designations and large infrastructure projects.

Heather has extensive advocacy experience and regularly appears on appeals under the Resource Management Act on resource consents and district plans in the Environment Court, as well as proceedings in the High Court. Heather has also participated in many successful mediations, particularly resolving appeals on district plans.

Heather led the Simpson Grierson team advising Auckland Council on the new Unitary Plan for the Auckland region – the first ever combined regional policy statement, regional plan and district plan for Auckland. This was the largest and most complex planning document to be undertaken in New Zealand. It will ensure Auckland meets the economic and housing needs of a growing population not only for the city but for New Zealand.

– Chambers Asia-Pacific Public Law 2017 – Recommended Lawyer
– Asia Pacific Legal 500 Projects & Resource Management 2016 – Recommended Lawyer
– Asia Pacific Legal 500 Environment / Projects & Resource Management 2015 – Recommended Lawyer

Examples of Work:

– Auckland Council – general strategic advice on the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and representing Council in the hearings process and now High Court and Environment Court appeals
– Christchurch City Council – advising on the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan (rural section)
– Auckland City Council, Waitakere City Council, and Franklin District Council – district plan reviews and dealing with appeals for over 20 years for these former councils, including structure plans for Pukekohe Hill, Oratia and Swanson and rural subdivision
– Tauranga City Council – advising on resolution of 51 appeals on the proposed district plan review
– Tauranga City Council – advising on the resource consent for the Southern Wastewater Pipeline under Tauranga Harbour
– Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008 – assisted Waitakere City Council, Rodney District Council and Auckland Regional Council to develop unique legislation to protect and manage the nationally significant heritage area
– Infrastructure projects, including the Watercare pipeline, Pokeno quarry and Genesis wind farm for the former Franklin District Council

Other Credentials:

– Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association – Member, and former committee member
– New Zealand Planning Institute – Affiliate member
– Resource Management Law Association – Member
– University of Auckland Faculty of Law – Guest lecturer
– Simpson Grierson Diversity Committee – Chair