top of page
image (1).png

about us.

People are central to what is important to us.

At its core, Patterson Hopkins is about family.  Our family working for your family – across multiple generations.

Patterson Hopkins was founded in April 2003 by Bill Patterson, one of New Zealand’s leading trust and estate experts, who left partnership at one of the big commercial firms to join in practice with his wife Robyn Hopkins – a kitchen table, do-it all, general practice solicitor. 

Then in October 2003 Tanya Speight (née Hopkins) joined the firm. In 2012 she left us to follow her South Island husband to Christchurch but she recently re-joined Patterson Hopkins to carry on the firm to the next generation.

This mix of big city firm expertise and small firm intimacy still defines Patterson Hopkins’ unique style of practice today.


We are known for providing technically astute, pragmatic advice. Many of our clients have been with us since before we started. We appreciate the trust they have placed in us over the years, so that in many cases we now act for second and third generations of the same families.

our clients.

We help individuals, families and other professional advisers throughout New Zealand and internationally.

Whatever your goals are, we know it takes effort and planning to grow and protect your family’s wealth. We act for some of the country’s wealthiest families and successful business people. We often represent multiple generations of the same family. 

Equally, we act for those who are building their wealth for the future; or those looking towards retirement and planning for their next stage. 

Life has many stages. We work alongside our clients whatever stage they are at to provide guidance and trusted advice through all their ups and the downs.   

Our clients include: 

  • High net worth individuals and families

  • Private clients

  • Trustees and beneficiaries

  • Executors and administrators

  • Elderly and vulnerable

  • Charities and not-for profit organisations

  • Education trust boards

  • Family businesses

  • Professional advisers


our team.

Bill Patterson
Bill Patterson


+64 9 968 8575

Bill is the senior partner of Patterson Hopkins. He has an extensive trust, commercial and equity litigation practice. He has a wealth of expertise in estate matters, wills, trusts, including offshore trusts and administration, family protection and other family property arrangements.

In September 2010 he was made a distinguished member of the Auckland District Law Society for his work in all these fields. In addition, he is a member of STEP, a member of the NZLS Property Law Section and convenor of the ADLS Trust Committee. He is also a member of the international lawyers' network AEA.

Bill frequently presents papers for NZLS CLE, ADLS Inc and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and has chaired the Cradle to Grave Conferences (ADLSI) for many years. He is the author of various legal texts including Law of Family Protection and Testamentary Promises in New Zealand now in its fourth edition, titles in Laws of New Zealand – Wills, Administration of Estates and Family Protection and other Family Property Arrangements, a contributing author to Fisher on Relationship and Matrimonial Property, to Wills and Succession (both published by Lexis Nexis) and to Relationship Dissolution (2nd Ed 2014) and to Elder Law in New Zealand (2014).

Robyn Hopkins
Robyn Hopkins

Partner LLB

+64 9 336 1233

Robyn is one of the founding partners of Patterson Hopkins. She successfully ran her own general practice for many years before joining forces with Bill. Many of the firm’s longest standing clients still ask for her personally.

Tanya Speight
Tanya Speight


+64 9 968 8576

Tanya Speight (who was also a Hopkins before she married) first joined the firm in 2003. Until then, she had specialised in commercial and business law for big firms and public companies, including a few years in Hong Kong. But the birth of her first child triggered a desire for a more personal approach to legal practice. She then left us 2012 when she and her family moved to the South Island.  Happily, she has recently re-joined the partnership after almost 10 years working in Christchurch and is delighted to be taking the firm into the next generation.

As a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (TEP) Tanya has particular experience in assisting high net worth individuals and families on trust structuring and administration and personal asset management. However, she has accumulated a wealth of experience advising across a wide range of personal, commercial and property law matters. She regularly advises individuals, families and SME business owners on the often complex and intertwined issues that arise in their personal, business and property affairs.

Luke Dixon
Luke Dixon

Senior Associate – BA LLB (Hons)

+64 9 968 8573

Luke joined Patterson Hopkins in 2012. He is a senior member of our dispute resolution team and specialises in disputes involving family trusts, probate and claims on deceased estates. He regularly advises clients on the Family Protection Act 1955, Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 and related common law and equitable claims. He advises trustee and beneficiary clients about their rights and obligations in relation to trusts and has a particular interest in the theory and practice of trust law.

Will Gatting
Will Gatting

Solicitor – LLB BCom

+64 9 9688578

Will initially joined as a summer clerk in 2020 and re-joined permanently as a Law Clerk at the end of 2021. He graduated from the University of Otago in May 2022 with degrees in Law and Commerce.

He has now completed his professional studies and plans to be admitted in mid-late 2022. Will works predominantly on litigation and dispute resolution matters but is willing to assist in any matter.

Outside of work, Will is an avid sports fan and enjoys getting in the kitchen for friends and family.

Nicole Brooke-Cowden
Nicole Brooke-Cowden

Practice Manager

+64 9 968 8574

Nicole is the Business Manager at Patterson Hopkins, and looks after the operational/day-to-day running of the firm and financial management.  Outside of legal advice, there is not much she doesn’t have a hand in and is an integral member of the management team.

bottom of page