Who we are
Sumudu Thode is the Principal of Thode Utting & Co.
Sumudu graduated from the University of Auckland with conjoint degrees in Law and Commerce. She started her legal career as a staff solicitor for a criminal defence firm and then practiced as a Barrister for a short time before becoming a partner of Thode Utting & Co.
Since 2014, Sumudu has been the Principal of Thode Utting & Co after Mr. Utting left.
Sumudu specialises in criminal defence work and is approved to undertake Legal Aid work for PAL 4 matters (including cases where the maximum sentence is life imprisonment), Parole Hearings and takes calls on the Auckland and Northland Police Detention Legal Assistance (PDLA) list.
Sumudu is an Executive Committee member of the Criminal Bar Association of New Zealand, a committee member of the New Zealand Law Society Courthouse Committee, a member of the Legal Aid Selection Committee, a Board Member at Man Alive and the legal advisor and client complaints officer for RAW (Reclaim Another Woman) an organisation assisting wahine at the Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility.
In 2022, Sumudu was recognised by NZ Lawyer magazine in a list of 44 top female legal talent in Aotearoa.
Sumudu is known around the office for having a love/hate relationship with all things exercise (especially running, BFT and hot yoga) and having far too many pairs of colourful shoes! In her spare time, Sumudu enjoys spending time with her family.
Sumudu can be contacted on:
Mobile: 027 67 3131 6
John Moroney is a Senior Associate at Thode Utting & Co.
Before becoming a lawyer, John had a number of different careers - from being a journalist to a jockey and also running a number of different businesses.
John graduated from the University of Waikato and was a Barrister for many years before becoming a Senior Associate at Thode Utting & Co.
He has specialised in criminal defence work since he began practicing.
John undertakes Legal Aid work and is categorised to undertake PAL 3 matters and Parole hearings.
John has also regularly been appointed by the Court as Stand-by Counsel or Amicus to act for those who are unrepresented.
In his spare time, John enjoys a good movie, good company and can be found pool side all summer.
John is known around the office for being a 'straight talker' and can give as good he gets!
John can be contacted on:
Mobile: 021 682 696
Gerry Skinner is a Senior Associate at Thode Utting & Co.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Gerry was in the New Zealand Police for over 20 years. His experience as a Police Officer, Sergeant and Prosecutor is invaluable in his now role as a defence lawyer.
Gerry also practices from the Thode Utting & Co. office in Puhoi.
In his spare time (and sometimes while working from our Puhoi office), Gerry can be found at the Puhoi Pub, on his farm in the Far North or playing tricks on his gorgeous grandchildren.
Gerry is based from our Whangārei office but also undertakes work in Kaikohe and Kaitaia District Courts.
Gerry specialises in criminal and traffic matters and can be contacted on:
Mobile: 021 532 444
Jarred Scott is a Solicitor at Thode Utting & Co.
Jarred graduated from Auckland University with conjoint degrees in Law and Arts and then a Masters degree in Law.
Jarred initially practiced as a civil litigator in Auckland and then as a Crown Prosecutor in Whangārei, running jury trials for serious sexual, violence or drug offending. That experience showed him how to incisively respond to a prosecution case.
Jarred joined Thode Utting & Co. in 2019 and has specialised in criminal defence work since then.
He is approved to undertake Legal Aid work up to PAL 3 and is also on the Police Detention Legal Assistance phone list. Jarred also specialises in Appeal work.
When he's not fighting for clients, Jarred is devoted to his young family. Any time away from them, he spends actually fighting - either in a ring or on the mats.
Jarred can be contacted on:
Phone: 09 444 5335
Mobile: 021 991 057
Sam McDonald is a Solicitor at Thode Utting & Co, based from our Whangārei office. Sam holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the University of Auckland.
He joined us in 2022 from a law firm in Wellington, which specialised in criminal defence work.
Sam has expertise in criminal and traffic matters and has appeared as lead counsel in the District Court and High Court, and as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal.
He is approved to undertake Criminal Legal Aid work up to PAL 2 and is also accredited for Parole Hearings, Duty Lawyer (Whangārei roster) and the Police Detention Legal Assistance scheme.
In his spare time Sam enjoys getting out and amongst the winterless north where on any given Saturday afternoon you might see him along the Tutukaka coast honing his very amateur surfing and fishing skills.
Sam can be contacted on:
Office: 09 444 5335
Mobile: 022 355 7265
Wilson graduated from the University of Auckland with conjoint degrees in Law and Arts.
Wilson started working part-time as a law clerk at Thode Utting & Co. in 2017 when he was at Law School and now works full-time as a Solicitor.
Having had a taste of what it's like to work in criminal defence law, Wilson is excited about his career as a criminal defence lawyer. His quiet manner and attention to detail has been a great addition to our team.
In his spare time, Wilson enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with his family.
Wilson can be contacted on:
Phone: 09 444 5335
Mobile: 021 088 15461
Originally from South London, Tom moved to New Zealand in 2014 and has recently graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelors degree in Law.
Since moving to New Zealand, Tom has worked in a range of different industries and has experience as a Real Estate agent, Charity Fundraiser and Insurance Broker.
Tom has recently joined Thode Utting & Co as a Law Clerk. Having been around the block, he is happy to be working in an industry that he loves and has a passion for.
In his spare time, Tom enjoys sampling craft beers, spending time with family and running his youth group at the local church.
Tom can be contacted on:
Phone: 09 444 5335
Mobile: 021 068 7583
Originally from the valleys of South Wales in the UK, Kathryn graduated from the Swansea Metropolitan University with a BA honours degree in Business & Finance.
After spending her OE travelling around New Zealand and Australia, she returned to New Zealand in 2007 and has called it home ever since.
Kathryn has worked solely for criminal defence barristers since arriving in New Zealand and has gained an in-depth knowledge of our criminal justice system and court processes. She joined Thode Utting as our Practice Manager in early 2021 and has brought to our practice her expert knowledge and sound systems experience.
In her down time, Kathryn loves spending time with her family and close friends, whether it be entertaining at home, days spent at her local beach or socialising out and about. She is passionate about food and wine and has travelled extensively within New Zealand and also overseas.
Kathryn can be contacted on:
Phone: 09 444 5335
Sue joined Thode Utting & Co. in 2018.
Sue has previous experience at the Ministry of Justice (Legal Aid), which makes her the perfect person to keep on top of our obligations to the Ministry.
In her spare time, Sue enjoys swimming, golf and spending time with her family (including her gorgeous grandchildren).
Sue can be contacted on:
Phone: 09 444 5335