Gilligan Sheppard appoints a new partner

The three partners Yi Ping Ge, Richard Ashby and Bruce Sheppard, and indeed the whole team at Gilligan Sheppard, celebrate and welcome a new partner this week. Joshna Mistry has been offered and has agreed to join the three existing partners as a full equity partner with immediate effect.

Joshna joined GS nearly eight years ago as a senior Business Advisory Services (BAS) team member split with a new shared role in Value Added Services (VAS). She initially worked with Greg Rathbun, a retired partner supporting his activities in business loss interruption claims, and other valuation work, and with Bruce on transactions and private equity capital placements and expert witness analysis and reports. It was a challenging task working for Marion in BAS while around the chaos that Bruce and Greg created and solved in their day jobs. She once commented to Bruce that he and Greg approached things so differently that it was hard to find the method in the madness. She later called the work in VAS a ‘zoo’.

Within three years, in a private conversation between Bruce and Greg, Greg said, “You know what Bruce, she is better than either of us and as good as us together, plus some.” Perhaps that gave him the confidence to retire shortly after in the knowledge that he had left behind his learnings in Joshna and grown a talent that would nurture and support our clients for years to come.

On a significant dispute that Joshna and Bruce resolved, the legal advisor commented on what a great team we were, and how Joshna’s calm, steely, practical, demolition with facts, won the day.

In another engagement where Bruce was an expert witness in a significant loss case that Joshna had done the work on, we stayed in Wellington for the three day trial. Bruce thought of it as training her to see how cases ran over the whole process of opening examination, cross examination and summation.

As is usually the case with good barristers they involve the experts to help craft cross examination questions. They tend to turn into an all-nighters. Bruce gave up by midnight as he was exhausted, but Joshna powered through. The next day the cross examination of a big-four leading partner was devastating. Consequentially, we are this law firms experts of choice.

Four years ago we appointed her to lead our VAS business unit, and bring order and sense to the ‘zoo’.

Over the last three years she has been publishing in our newsletter various technical and thought pieces. These have gained attention. Two years ago she was invited to present at a specialist valuation conference where her presentation got one of the highest ratings by the attendees, who were New Zealand’s leading valuation experts. She has been invited back to present again and also to chair and facilitate a master class on due diligence.

Internally she has actively engaged in mentoring those in her team, and those in other teams, that have the potential to be a problem solver for our clients. She volunteered to lead and implement personal development programs for the whole team to grow our people.

Over the last 12 months she has become a natural leader, and is recognised by the whole team as such. She joined us when Ayran her cherished son was a year old, he is now nine. She has a supportive, calm husband, who deals with late nights and Joshna’s deadline pressures – he has been an enormous advantage and he has continuously encouraged her in her career. She has balanced the role of family and career without compromising performance in any aspect of her life, Joshna gets things done, and organises and teaches others.

Certainly she has learnt from her experience and embodies the great lessons gained. She brings her own unique authentic self to all of her relationships and engagements.

Welcome Joshna, thanks for lasting the distance.

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