Filter Staff
Immigration Legal Assistant Grace Zhang

Grace Zhang

Grace is a Legal Assistant in Amicus Law’s Immigration team. She has a strong academic record in law studies in both China and the United States of America, having graduated from a Top 20 Law School in the U.S.A. and with a Master of Law from Emory University Law School.

She has personal experience in temporary and permanent visa applications through all stages of the New Zealand immigration process, and has successfully assisted our immigration lawyers to complete submissions of student visas, work visas, resident visas and PPI responses. Prior to joining Amicus Law, Grace spent six years working in legal education.

Grace’s friendly, polite and easy approach is welcomed and appreciated by our clients, as is her commitment to providing quality service to them.

She speaks English and Mandarin.


DDI: 09 905 5334

Fax: 09 969 1492

Location: Auckland CBD Office


Richard Zhao

Richard, the principal of the firm, is an experienced barrister and solicitor, who previously worked in litigation for a top six New Zealand law firm. Richard’s experience also includes specialist tax roles as a lawyer and while working for the Auckland branch of one of the big four accounting practices.

Richard grew up in New Zealand but remains proud of his Chinese heritage. In 2009, he became the first Chinese lawyer to represent a client in the Supreme Court of New Zealand in a leading immigration case.

Richard’s specialties include general litigation such as commercial and family dispute, civil dispute resolution, criminal charge appearances and other court advocacy works.

In his spare time, Richard volunteers for local communities such as the Community Law Center, Citizens’ Advice Bureau and ethnic organizations, including the Chinese New Settlers Services Trust.

Mobile: 021 024 14488
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

Auckland legal executive

Orison Wu

Orison is a Commercial Legal Executive at Amicus Law, specializing in commercial and residential property.

Orison obtained his Bachelor of Law in China then attended the University of Waikato and graduated with a Master of Law.

He has passed the National Judicial Examination and acquired the Legal Profession Qualification Certificate of the People’s Republic of China.

He assists our commercial lawyers in the buying and selling of real estate and businesses, general trust law, refinancing and subdivisions. He enjoys helping clients to achieve great results for their various property matters.

In his spare time Mr Wu enjoys catching up with friends, playing badminton, boxing, running, hiking, swimming and cooking.

DDI: 09 905 3684
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

Immigration Advocate Catherine Sun

Catherine Sun

Catherine is one of the founders of the firm and is currently an immigration advocate of our immigration team. She has broad knowledge in the many facets of Immigration New Zealand policy and specialises in all kinds of immigration applications.

In the past, Cathy has successfully helped many applicants to obtain residence in New Zealand under the skilled migrant category, family category, business category and investment category. Cathy works closely with our immigration lawyers to resolve difficult immigration cases, ranging from appeals to the Residence Review Board, Removal Review Authority, Ombudsmen complaints and she assists on cases requiring judicial review in the New Zealand High Court.

Before joining us, Cathy was working as an accountant. Her previous experience included working for New Zealand Courier and working as an accountant for Haier Appliances, the fourth biggest electronic whiteware company in the world. Cathy has been living in New Zealand for over 12 years. She speaks fluent in both English and Mandarin. As a migrant herself, she understands the difficulties of relocating from one country to another, and places a strong emphasis on the importance for potential migrants to receive the best professional services available.

DDI: 09 905 3681
Fax: 09 969 1942
Location: Auckland CBD Office

奥克兰 律师

Elaine Li

Elaine is a legal executive in our commercial team. She has worked in family, property and commercial matters since May 2017. Her areas are residential and commercial property sale/purchase, business sale/purchase, franchising, trusts, will and estates, relationship property, and general commercial and family law.

Elaine thinks in her clients’ shoes and provides solutions that suit their needs. She is amiable and approachable and enjoys assisting her clients with problem-solving and seeing a big smile on their faces.

Elaine’s expertise:
Conveyancing – real properties;
Sale and purchase of businesses;
Commercial leases;
Commercial and shareholder disputes.
Family trusts, wills, and estates matters.
Relationship properties and domestic issues.

While working at Amicus Law, Elaine is in pursuit of a New Zealand Legal Executive Diploma at Open Polytechnic, to become a Registered Legal Executive.

In her leisure time, Elaine is an artistic and family-oriented person. She loves to walk her greyhound in the morning and to work on art during the weekends. She is particularly interested in oil painting, resin art, and woodcraft.

Contact Elaine:

DDI: 09 905 3689
Fax: 09 969 1492
Auckland Office

奥克兰 移民律师

Elcel Nerida


Elcel Nerida is a senior lawyer at Amicus Law. She had completed her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, before obtaining her law degree from the University of Auckland.

Elcel specialises in immigration and refugee law. She is one of the first awardees of New Zealand’s formal qualification in immigration advice and is currently the head of the Immigration Department of Amicus Law. She is honoured to lead a talented and dedicated team of legal professionals who are driven to achieve fairness and justice for migrants. Their expertise covers a whole range of immigration work, extending from all types of visa applications to representation in compliance investigations, deportation cases, ministerials, and appeals including judicial review proceedings.

Elcel enjoys facing new challenges and believes that her strong character is shaped by her immense desire to help clients positively transform their lives.


DDI: 09 905 3685
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

Jyostana Haria

Jyostana Haria

Jyostana (Jo) Haria is a Legal Executive in the Immigration Department. She received her BLS LLB in 2008 and further obtained her LLM in 2010 from Mumbai University, India. She has been with Amicus Chambers since 2011 and looks after all matters related to immigration law. Being an immigrant herself in New Zealand, she understands the clients needs and strives for justice as well as positive outcome. She is currently completing her law papers at AUT and plans to become a lawyer.

She has assisted hundreds of her clients to achieve successful outcomes for their immigration cases such as temporary visas, permanent residency and PPI response, etc. She has experience in dealing with deportation and compliance matters and section 61 requests, appeal cases and ministerial requests. Jyo has a sharp eye on every potential issues and very experienced on work visa cases and residency cases. She is committed to immigration and civil law with the enthusiasm for exploring other laws too.

In her free time Jo enjoys to spend time with her family, cook different cuisines as well as explore bush walk trails and beautiful beaches of New Zealand. Jo is fluent in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi.


DDI: 09 905 3683
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

Litigation Law Clerk Ezra Tie

Ezra Tie

Ezra, a barrister and solicitor of litigation team at Amicus Law, was originally from Malaysia, but spent a considerable part of his life in Shanghai as an expat before moving to Dunedin to further his education. With this background, he is highly aware of the challenges of adapting to different cultures. Ezra is fluent in both English and Mandarin.

He completed a Bachelor of Science (Physiology) before deciding that life as a lawyer would be more fulfilling, and subsequently graduated from the University of Otago with an LLB (Hons) in 2016 before joining Amicus Law in 2017 as a member of the Litigation team. Ezra is enjoying the challenges of litigation and the development of his skills in this area.

Outside of work, Ezra enjoys cooking, playing badminton and is also a long-suffering Arsenal fan. COYG!

DDI: 09 905 4809
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

Head of Litigation Barrister and Solicitor Daniel Zhang

Daniel Zhang


Daniel is a fierce and zealous litigator. He has represented clients in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the lower courts. His clients trust him with their commercial, company, insolvency, employment, relationship property, family, and criminal matters. Some highlights of his recent cases include:

In 2017, Daniel appeared in the Court of Appeal facing Immigration New Zealand in a judicial review matter. Daniel advanced the position that Immigration New Zealand had not followed section 177 of the Immigration Act 2009 correctly. Immigration New Zealand maintained that they were correct and in any event a previous Court of Appeal decision had already ruled in their favour. Daniel’s position is that the previous Court of Appeal decision, Singh v MBIE [2016] NZAR 93, did not deal with this issue directly, thus does not stand as ratio decidendi, instead, the Court’s previous comment was obiter dictum. The Court of Appeal agreed with Daniel and ruled in his clients’ favour. This is a very rare win where migrants successfully challenged Immigration New Zealand at the Court of Appeal level.

In 2017, Daniel successfully represented a client in discharging an order preventing removal of children. A significant feature of this case is that Daniel’s client obtained costs award which is rare in Care of Child Act proceedings.

In 2017, Daniel represented a client in an Environment Court prosecution. Daniel was able to obtain a fine sentence that was very fair for his client, given the level of the offending.

In 2016, Daniel represented a client who was dismissed within 3 weeks of employment. The employer claimed various defences such as 90-day trial period, casual employment, and that the dismissal was justified. In the end all of these defences failed, and Daniel’s client was awarded all the damages claimed and increased legal costs award.

In 2016, Daniel successfully represented a client who had been having great difficulty dividing relationship property. The client, being an overstayer, was under constant threat of deportation from his former partner, whom for many years after their break up had refused to share their relationship property. Through dedication, persistence, and legal strategies, Daniel forced the former partner to eventually settle on favourable terms to his client.

In 2016, Daniel defended a client who was charged with Reckless Driving. Through rigorous cross examination, at the end of the trial it became clear that the Reckless Driving charge could not possibly succeed. The police then changed the charge to Careless Driving right before the judge was to make a ruling. Daniel then successfully obtained a Section 106 Discharge Without Conviction for his client on the spot.

In 2016, in another Section 106 Discharge Without Conviction case, Daniel’s client was faced with significant difficulties due to a dispute with Summary of Facts. Through his persistence and strategies Daniel managed to settle the dispute in this client’s favour and obtained the Discharge Without Conviction.

In 2016, Daniel successfully defended a client against an application for arrest in the High Court. The case involved relationship property and trust disputes. The plaintiff engaged a senior counsel, applied for an order to arrest and imprison Daniel’s client on without notice basis. Daniel had one evening to prepare the case, and successfully defended his client. His client was also awarded legal costs on increased basis.

In 2015, Daniel represented a client who was held by Immigration New Zealand at the airport for minor customs breaches and was facing deportation. Daniel’s negotiation with Immigration New Zealand was instrumental in the client’s ultimate release and revocation of decision to deport.

Daniel has a strong sense of fairness. He understands how immigrants sometimes find it difficult to understand the laws in the new country and difficult to uphold their rights. It is his honour to help these people to obtain equality and justice.

Daniel plays hard in his spare time, he enjoys all the outdoor sports that New Zealand’s pristine mountains and oceans have to offer.

DDI: 09 905 3687
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office

auckland immigration adviser

Sonali Ravindra

Sonali joined Amicus Law in September 2017 as barrister and solicitor in our immigration team.

Sonali is originally from Fiji and she came to New Zealand as a law student in 2008. Sonali graduated from University of Waikato and was admitted in December 2012. She also obtained a Graduate Diploma in NZ Immigration Advice (GCNZIA) to strength her understanding in Immigration Law.

Sonali has worked as an immigration Law Specialist since 2013 and has a wild range of understanding and experience in all aspects of immigration law. She is very approachable and endeavour to provide clients with the appropriate guidance and understand the core requirements to achieve the best possible outcome.

As an immigrant herself, she understand the importance of quality legal advise and guidance in immigration matters.

Sonali is fluent in both English and Hindi languages.

DDI: 09 905 3686
Fax: 09 969 1492
Location: Auckland CBD Office