Family Law

The ADLS Family Law Committee is actively involved in preserving the public’s access to justice throughout the on-going raft of reforms to the Family Court. The Committee makes submissions on draft legislation and actively engages with the Ministry of Justice on legal aid and other issues affecting both practitioners and the public e.g. the protection of children. It monitors the development in case law, including relationship property matters, and regularly communicates with the profession through surveys and articles.

The committee's role is:

1. To represent Auckland Practitioners as an information gathering focus group of people who can identify and formulate problems, find strategies and implement resolutions for the issues unique to Auckland family law practitioners. Such issues are generally as follows:

  • Registries
  • Staffing 
  • Court Liaison Committees

2. To effectively disseminate information on those issues to Auckland practitioners. 

3. To formalise the gathering and circulation of the information, make submissions and lobby:

  • Auckland practitioners 
  • ADLS Law Committees 
  • NZLS Family Law Section 
  • Government Select Committees 
  • Ministry of Justice

4. To interface with the Family law Section on the issues affecting both local and national interests of family lawyers. 

5. To maintain a representative function that determines legal education topics, and reports to the Continuing Professional Department of ADLS. 

6 To have a networking function for Auckland practitioners with lunchtime forums, articles and media contacts


Stuart Cummings (Convenor)

Phone 09 376 4000 - Email
McVeagh Fleming

Alissa Bell

Phone 09 415 4477 - Email
Martelli McKegg

Surendra Bennett

Surendra is a Family Lawyer at Martelli McKegg. She has experience in all fields of Family Law including divorce, separation, domestic violence, child care arrangements and asset protection. Surendra regularly appears in the Family Court. She previously practiced in South Auckland but has made a move into the city to broaden her practice.

Phone 09 379 7333 - Email

Kathryn Buchanan

Phone 09 447 3567 - Email

Sonja Clapham

Sonja is a barrister at Shortland Chambers. Specialising in litigation challenging wills and disputes regarding deceased estates, her practice includes relationship property (especially de facto claims) and COCA disputes. She regularly presents seminars for ADLS. Sonja has practised in both Auckland and Sydney.

Phone 09 309 1769 - Email
Simpson Western

Ellen Snedden

Ellen is a Senior Solicitor at Simpson Western. Ellen is also convenor for the ADLS Newly Suited Committee. She is a passionate young lawyer who enjoys helping people from all walks of life.

Phone 09 869 4089 - Email
Hickey Law

John Hickey

John was admitted in 1981. After overseas travel he commenced sole practice on the North Shore in 1990. John appears in the Family Court and High Court including on parenting disputes (custody and access), relationship property including defacto couples, family protection and testamentary promises cases.

Phone 09 477 0333 - Email
Denham Bramwell

Amy McCormick

Phone 09 262 2145 - Email
Tompkins Wake

Helen Radinovich

Helen is an Associate in the Disputes Resolution team at Tompkins Wake. Helen specialises in family law, relationship property disputes, claims against estates and trusts, spousal maintenance, contracting out and separation agreements, parenting disputes and domestic violence. Helen is a member of the Family Law Section and Waikato Women in Law.

Phone 07 838 6038 - Email

Louise Reed

Phone 09 307 2220 - Email
Devonport Law Ltd

Cushla Webster

Phone 09 445 3105 - Email
Emma Miles Law

Emma Miles

Phone 027 366 2529 - Email
16 Feb 2018

Court Matters and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill

Submission on the Court Matters and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill

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20 Feb 2013

Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill

Submission to the Justice and Electoral Committee on the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill

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16 Mar 2012

Fixed Fee Framework for Family Legal Aid

Submission to the Ministry of Justice on the paper: New Fixed Fees Framework for Family Legal Aid Providers

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29 Feb 2012

Family Court Review

Submission to the Ministry of Justice on the paper: Reviewing the Family Court: A public consultation paper

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23 May 2011

Proposed New Operating Model for District Courts in the Greater Auckland Area

Submission to the Ministry of Justice on the discussion document: Proposed New Operating Model for District Courts in Auckland

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03 Dec 2013

Analysis of Results of Family Fixed Fee Survey

Analysis of Results of Family Fixed Fee Survey prepared by the Equal Justice Project

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