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"Client Focused, Results Driven."

Daniel Yawha Kaukare is the founding member of Yawha & Associates. Daniel originates from the southern Vanuatu island called Tanna.

Founded in 2004, Daniel named the firm Yawha due to the words’ significant meaning in Tanna Custom. Pre western era, Tanna had warriors in tribal wars who would use half meter-to-meter long javelin type sticks to hurl at their enemies during an attack. The stick itself is known as a “Kawha” while the warrior wielding the stick is known as “Yawha”. Each tribe would have several Yawhas’ and these men were famed for their physical strength and tactical abilities.

With that analogy in mind, Daniel epitomised this spirit in the Firm’s name as a defender of justice and legal rights. As the warriors who fought to defend their villages in Tanna, Yawha & Associates have a killer instinct when it comes to defending our clients.

Daniel obtained his LLB and PDLP in Vanuatu and he is admitted in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of Vanuatu. The focus of Daniel’s practice within the firm is corporate law, customary land dispute claims, property law, criminal law, family law, contract law and dispute resolution.

Daniel is an experienced and skilled litigator who is highly regarded as one of the premiere trial lawyers, and legal mentors, in The Republic of Vanuatu.

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"I am driven by the art of advocacy." 

Julieth is a highly intelligent trial attorney with experience in criminal and civil matters. She represents her clients in complex litigation and investigations. She also advises clients on matters relating to torts, contracts, employment issues, land matters and criminal cases.

Julieth joined Yawha & Associates in 2017 and has proven that talent is of the essence in the legal sector. She has a unique ability to adapt, evolve, and stay relevant within the legal scope.

Julieth studied law in The Republic of Vanuatu and has obtained her LLB, PDLP and PDLD. An invaluable member of the team, Julieth’s passion is to advocate for, and defend the rights of, her clients.



"It is not the words, but the belief and execution which is decisive and determines the true value of a person."


Client engagement is central to successful litigation, and Aruba is committed to maintaining a high level of communication. She takes the time to truly involve her clients and incorporate their goals, concerns, values and feedback. Aruba manages the attorney – client relationship transparently so that her clients can see how their interests are being served at every stage of the litigation process.

Aruba has studied in Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand ultimately obtaining her LLM, MSc and BA. Aruba is highly knowledgeable litigator who specialises in International War Crimes. Having joined Yawha & Associates in 2021, Aruba practices primarily in areas of complex civil and criminal litigation.

Before joining the firm, Aruba spent several years as a scientific researcher, co-authoring numerous internationally peer reviewed publications in renowned Scientific Journals.   

Aruba has lived in Vanuatu for nearly 20 years, and is a Vanuatu naturalised citizen. She is a proud mother to her children, Zsa Zsa, Zelda, Zeus, Zahira, and wife to Alexander.

Aruba is fluent in English and Dutch.

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"Dedicated to Justice, Committed to Excellence."


Trevor Naieu, a devoted legal professional, has earned his LLB and PDLP qualifications, solidifying his foundation in the field of law. With a background deeply rooted in Vanuatu, Trevor's journey into the legal profession is a testament to his commitment to serving his community. Trevor's legal career spans over nine years as a Magistrate with the Magistrate's Court of Vanuatu, where he honed his skills in various facets of law.

Trevor's legal journey, beginning with his studies at the University of the South Pacific, has been marked by a dedication to personal and professional growth. His ability to work under pressure, collaborate in team environments, and maintain a good character in the community reflects his unwavering commitment to the principles of justice.

Trevor's belief in the importance of client-focused representation aligns with the values of Yawha & Associates, making him a strong addition to the team. His in-depth understanding of the Vanuatu legal system, both in civil and criminal matters, positions him as an asset to clients seeking guidance and representation.

Trevor Naieu is poised to bring his wealth of experience and commitment to justice to Yawha & Associates, and his joining the firm in November 2023 promises to be a significant step toward providing exceptional legal services.

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"Ubi jus, ibi remedium."


After 16 years of practicing law, Bruce brings to Yawha & Associates extensive experience in complex litigation especially in matters involving property law, criminal law, corporate law, family law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Bruce is a legal research expert with significant experience in legislative drafting and statutory interpretations. He has a passion for providing clients with ways to achieve their objectives within the bounds of law.

Bruce attended law school in Australia, obtaining his LLM (Bond) and GDLS (Flinders). He has also acquired his PDLD and BA in Fiji. 

Prior to joining Yawha & Associates, Bruce served as a Magistrate in Port Vila for 6 years. He is trilingual in Bislama, French and English.

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“There’s no wrong time to make the right decision.”


Sofia Shanaz Shah, a distinguished legal expert specializing in criminal law, brings a wealth of experience and a diverse educational background to Yawha & Associates. With her LLB from the University of the South Pacific and a Master's in Transnational Crime Prevention Law from the University of Wollongong, Sydney, Sofia is a formidable force in the legal arena. Her journey in law started with a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, reflecting her commitment to both practice and pedagogy.


Joining Yawha & Associates in 2024, Sofia has a proven track record of excellence. Before joining the firm, she served as a Public Prosecutor and Senior Legal Officer in Fiji, showcasing her adeptness in managing complex criminal cases. Sofia's expertise is not only recognized in the courtroom but also in the academic field, having been an Assistant Lecturer at Emalus Campus, USP School of Law.


Her contributions to legal scholarship are significant, with numerous publications in international journals on topics ranging from juvenile justice to transnational crime. Notably, Sofia has been a formidable advocate for change and development within the legal systems of the Pacific, particularly in Vanuatu.


Fluent in English and possessing an impressive array of qualifications, Sofia's addition to the team at Yawha & Associates marks a new chapter in the firm's pursuit of legal excellence, especially in the realm of criminal law. Her belief in the power of effective execution over mere words aligns seamlessly with the firm's ethos, making her an invaluable asset.




Louise is a highly skilled and experienced professional who excels in managing the day-to-day operations at Yawha & Associates. With an extensive background in legal administrative tasks spanning several decades, Louise brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. Her responsibilities encompass a diverse range of duties, including handling various administrative and secretarial tasks vital to the smooth functioning of the firm.

One of Louise's key areas of expertise lies in managing accounts, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in financial matters. Her proficiency in financial management allows her to efficiently handle financial transactions and maintain precise records, contributing to the overall financial stability of Yawha & Associates.

Additionally, Louise's adeptness in legal secretarial tasks enhances the firm's operational efficiency. She possesses a deep understanding of legal procedures and documentation, allowing her to assist the legal team with drafting, reviewing, and organizing essential legal documents. Her keen eye for detail and strong organizational skills enable her to manage deadlines effectively, ensuring that crucial legal tasks are completed promptly and accurately.

Louise's dedication, professionalism, and commitment to excellence make her an indispensable asset to Yawha & Associates. Her wealth of experience in legal administrative tasks, coupled with her proficiency in financial management, contributes to the overall success of the firm and supports our mission of delivering exceptional legal services to our clients.

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Rebecca works at the front desk lobby of Yawha & Associates serving as a receptionist with a focus on delivering exceptional client service.

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Patrick works at the front desk lobby of Yawha & Associates assisting clients by performing various clerical tasks.

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