Est 1915

Buddle McCleary Kennedy

Our firm was established in 1915 by Leonard Buddle. Leonard was succeeded by his son Joe Buddle, and then subsequent generations of partners and directors since then.

We are located on the Waterfront at the Whakatane Heads on Muriwai Drive, right next to the Coastguard. We provide legal advice and representation on a broad range of matters.

Who we are

Our Team

Jake McCleary, B.Ag.Sc, LLB


After graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Massey University, Jake went on to complete law at Victoria University in Wellington.

Jake handles all the firms Litigation. He has particular expertise in Relationship Property and Estate Litigation and has won numerous reported Relationship Property cases with complex legal issues. He is also a specialist in asset planning and asset protection as well as advising on all other Commercial and Property Law matters.

Outside work Jake is a keen fisherman, tennis player and surfer.


Debbie Kennedy, LLB


Debbie Kennedy is one of the firms Directors, who now manages the majority of legal work previously undertaken by Ian Bentley.

Debbie’s areas of practice are Trust Administration, Wills and Powers of Attorney, Property and Commercial Conveyancing, Commercial Leases, Refinancing and Securities, Subdivisions, Employment, Maori land law, Debt Collection and Disputes.

Outside of work Debbie likes to mountain bike, walk and spend time with her family.


Adeline Redman, LLB (Hons)

Senior Associate

Adeline Redman specialises in separation and relationship property matters and estate disputes alongside Jake McCleary. Additionally, Adeline can also advise you on Trusts, Wills, Enduring Power of Attorney, PPPR applications and employment matters and brings an empathetic and practical approach to legal issues.

Adeline also has extensive knowledge in property transactions due to having spent several years in real estate prior to completing her law degree. Adeline is able to advise on buying and selling your home, investment property and commercial property.

Outside of work, Adeline is a current board member for Pou Whakaaro which is a mental health, disability and addictions support service in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Apart from having great times with family and friends, Adeline enjoys hiking, long walks on the beach, fishing, snorkelling, travel, renovating and gardening.


Julie Darkin

Registered Legal Executive

Julie has 20 years’ experience, both here and in the UK, and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

Julie specialises in all aspects of residential and commercial conveyancing, refinancing and securities, and also assists clients in the formation of Family Trusts, gifting, commercial leases, incorporation of companies, subdivisions and the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney.

Julie takes instructions directly from clients as well as assisting Jake McCleary with his Commercial and Property work.

Outside of work Julie enjoys walking and fishing.


Jadie Shaw

Legal Executive

Jadie has graduated her diploma in Legal Executive studies and is currently studying and completing her Law Degree.

Jadie assists Debbie Kennedy with Trust Administration, Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney, Property and Commercial Conveyancing, Commercial Leases, Refinancing, Securities and Subdivisions.


Kay McKenzie

Legal Executive

Kay has previously worked in law firms in Wellington and Mount Maunganui and joined our team in 2013.

She specialises in estate administration and attends to all matters regarding the Probate application process, striving to make the process as stress-free as possible for our clients.


Our Services

Property and Commercial Law

Estates, Wills and Asset Planning

Disputes and Litigation