Firm Profile > SBM Legal > Auckland, New Zealand

SBM Legal
New Zealand

Labour and employment Tier 1

Specialist employment law boutique SBM Legal in Auckland has 'four excellent partners' and frequently acts for New Zealand’s largest corporates and leading multinational employers. Among its marquee clients are McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd and New Zealand's largest supermarket chaing Foodstuffs North Island. While it predominantly acts for large corporations, the firm also represents senior executives and a small number of specialist unions, as well as providing employment law services for boutique corporate firms. Practice head Don Mackinnon  and leading lights Kathryn Beck, the 'highly knowledgable and articulatePenny Swarbrick and Bridget Smith are highly recommended. Senior associates Matthew McGoldrick and industrial relations specialist Tim Oldfield are rising stars.

Practice head(s):

Don Mackinnon

Other key lawyers:

Kathryn Beck; Penny Swarbrick; Bridget Smith; Matthew McGoldrick; Anthony Russell; Michelle Bowen; Sarah Ongley; Robbie Bryant;


“The firm has a solid overview of our industry alongside of other industries and their breadth of knowledge of wider industry issues is shared without compromising the confidentiality of their clients or the sensitivity of the information.”

“Penny Swarbrick is able to both provide opinions and guidance where necessary.”

“The firm has good knowledge of NZ employment law and a very practical approach to matters raised from the unions we deal with.”

“Penny Swarbrick and Tim Oldfield have a lot of experience in industrial relations.”

“The best employment law team in NZ!”

“A practical, pragmatic and talented team. Penny Swarbrick is the best there is.”

“A boutique employment firm with very high level of specialist knowledge. Practical, pragmatic and good to work with.”

“Don Mackinnon is an excellent and very experienced employment lawyer with particular expertise in relation to Union/IEA negotiations.”

“Matt McGoldrick is an up-and-coming employment lawyer.”

Key clients

Rightway Limited

City Rail Link Limited

McDonalds Restaurants (New Zealand) Ltd

Kaikorai Service Centre Ltd

New Zealand Rugby

SBM Legal is independently recognised as one of New Zealand’s most outstanding employment law firms.

All five partners (Kathryn Beck, Penny Swarbrick, Bridget Smith, Anthony Russell, and Matthew McGoldrick) are leading practitioners in employment law. They are supported by an excellent team of specialist employment lawyers with a broad range of experience and skills. We also have close links with a number of consultants, whom we contract on an “as needed” basis.

Our clients think of us as employment law advisers, strategists, risk management negotiators and compliance specialists. Many of our larger employer clients also see us as a key extension of their HR Departments

Our clients think of us as employment law advisers, strategists, risk management negotiators and compliance specialists. Many of our larger employer clients also see us as a key extension of their HR Departments.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Employment law compliance
  • Mediation and litigation representation
  • Employment relationship problems
  • Collective negotiations
  • Managing business change
  • Training
  • Health and safety (including drug testing)
  • Independent mediations and investigations
  • HR Audits
  • Conducting mediations, facilitations and independent investigations
Department Name Email Telephone
Employment Kathryn Beck +649 520 8700
Education Kathryn Beck +649 520 8700
Employment Penny Swarbrick +649 520 8700
Medico Legal Penny Swarbrick +649 520 8700
Employment Bridget Smith +649 520 8700
Medico Legal Anthony Russell +649 520 8700
Employment Anthony Russell +649 520 8700
Employment Matthew McGoldrick +649 520 8700
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Kathryn Beck  photo Ms Kathryn Beck
 Matthew McGoldrick photo Matthew McGoldrick
Mr Anthony Russell  photo Mr Anthony Russell
Mrs Bridget Smith  photo Mrs Bridget Smith
Ms Penny Swarbrick  photo Ms Penny Swarbrick
Number of lawyers : 9
IBA (International Bar Association)
Partner : Kathryn Beck
Partner : Penny Swarbrick
Partner : Bridget Smith
Partner : Anthony Russell
Partner : Matthew McGoldrick