Born in the Waikato, Melanie studied law at Canterbury University, obtaining a law degree with honours in 1990. Admitted to the bar in 1991, Melanie worked for first tier national law firm Minter Ellison in Auckland in the early 1990’s, at the same time obtaining a master’s degree in commercial law with honours from Auckland University in 1993.

Melanie moved back to the Waikato taking up a litigation position with Tompkins Wake. In 1998 Melanie became the second female to be offered partnership in the firm’s history at the age of 30. In 2000 Melanie left the partnership to become a Barrister Sole, operating from Victoria Legal Chambers. Since then she has specialised in family and employment law.

Her litigation experience includes appearances in the Disctrict Court, High Court and Court of Appeal as well as the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court. Melanie is also experienced at representing clients in mediations. In 2001 Melanie developed a mediation practice. Passionate about the power of mediation, Melanie mediates disputes for parties on a regular basis. She has also contracted regularly with the Family Court to act as mediator in disputes involving children.

Melanie is an accredited panel member with Resolution Institute, an accredited FDR provider and an assessor of mediators for Resolution Institute.

Melanie is a contracted service provider with MBIE and conducts employment mediations for MBIE on a regular basis.

History And Accreditations

  • LLB (Hons) Degree, Canterbury University 1990
  • Admitted to the Bar 1991
  • Rudd Watts & Stone, Solicitors, Auckland, 1991 – 1992
  • M.Com.Law (Hons), Auckland University 1995
  • Tompkins Wake, Solicitors, Hamilton 1992 – 2000, Partner 1998 – 2000
  • Barrister Sole, 2000 – Present
  • Resolution Institute Mediation Workshop,  2001
  • Resolution Institute Accredited Panel Member, 2005 – Present
  • Family Court Mediator, Mediation Pilot, Hamilton 2005 – 2006
  • Mediator private Practice, 2005 – Present
  • Family Court EIP Panel Mediator , 2010-2014
  • Resolution Institute Assessor for Mediation Accreditation
  • NZQA Unit Standards (3) Assessor of Mediators
  • Resolution Institute Accredited FDR Provider