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Our team

John Moroney

Senior Associate

Before becoming a lawyer, John had a number of different careers - a journalist, a jockey and a business owner.

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!

021 682 696


Sumudu Thode


Sumudu graduated from the University of Auckland with conjoint degrees in Law and Commerce.

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 the Vice President 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 wāhine at the Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility.

In 2022 and 2023, Sumudu was recognised by NZ Lawyer magazine as a 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.

027 67 3131 6

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Gerry Skinner

Senior Associate

Before 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 practised from Puhoi, Warkworth and North Shore, before moving to the Far North.

Gerry is categorised to take PAL1 matters through Legal Aid and is a duty lawyer at both Whangārei and Kaitaia District Courts.


In his spare time, 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.

021 532 444

Jarred Scott

Senior Associate

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 in Te Tai Tokerau.


Jarred also specialises in Appeal work and is able to accept appeal matters in the High Court or the Court of Appeal.

When he's not fighting for clients in Court, Jarred is devoted to his young family. Any time away from them, he spends actually fighting - either in a ring or on the mats.  

021 991 057


Wilson Main


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. During his time as a law clerk, Wilson had a taste of what it's like to work in criminal defence law.

Wilson accepts PAL1 assignments from Whangārei.


His quiet manner and attention to detail has been a great addition to our team.

In his spare time, Wilson enjoys exercising, hiking, reading and spending time with his family.

021 088 15461

Matthew Creamer


Bio to come

022 182 2843 


Kathryn Elliman

Practice Manager

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.

09 444 5335

Toni Corby-Brown

Office Administrator

Toni is from Ngāti Whātua on her mother’s side and Ngāti Maniapoto on her dad’s side. She was raised in the Hokianga and is part of our Te Tai Tokerau administration team.

Toni works Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Before coming to Thode Utting & Co, Toni was as a Corrections

Officer in the Intervention Support Unit and then a Case Manager in the Te Ara Māori Pathway team at Northland Region Corrections Facility in Kaikohe.


Toni is also a board member of the YWCA of Whangārei and YWCA Aotearoa. 


In her spare time, Toni enjoys coaching and umpiring netball, volunteering and spending time with her whānau.

09 444 5335


Tanya Grant

Office Administrator

Ko Ruapehu te maunga 

Ko Whanganui te awa 

Ko Aotea te waka 

Ko Ngāti Hekeawai te hapu 

Ko Ngāti Haua te iwi 

Ko Wharauroa, ko Mana Ariki, ko Ngapuwaiwaha ngā marae 

Ko Tanya Grant tōku ingoa.


Tanya joined Thode Utting & Co in 2019 as an office administrator.


She has over 10 years experience working in medical administration and assisting with publishing medico-legal reports.


In her spare time, Tanya enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her whānau. 


Tanya assists our lawyers with keeping on top of their Ministry of Justice obligations

09 444 5335

Chantelle van Vuurenn

Law Clerk

Chantelle joined Thode Utting & Co. in 2023 and works part-time as a law clerk, while studying at the University of Auckland.


Chantelle is in her fourth year of her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees, majoring in Criminology and Politics and International Relations. 


Chantelle has long been interested in issues of social and criminal justice and working for Thode Utting & Co. has given her valuable insight into how her education and experience can positively contribute to these areas. 


Chantelle likes to pursue her creative interests in her spare time and is frequently involved in the Auckland arts community. 

09 444 5335

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