New Zealand Law Society - New Family Law Section chair

New Family Law Section chair

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Nelson lawyer Michelle Duggan has been elected chair of the New Zealand Law Society’s Family Law Section.

Ms Duggan started work as a lawyer at Gibson Sheat in Lower Hutt in 1991 and since 1997 has been a sole practitioner specialising in family matters. From 1997 to 2005 Ms Duggan worked in Lower Hutt and Wellington and was a Child Support Review Officer and a Litigation Instructor at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, job sharing with her husband. When her husband got a job in Nelson the family moved there in 2005.

Since 2005 Ms Duggan has continued to run a small private practice and to do Child Support Review work in Wellington and Nelson. In 2012 Ms Duggan became a deputy lawyer member of the Mental Health Review Authority.

She is on the NZLS panel of mediators, is an AMINZ associate member and is approved by the Law Society to provide FDR (Family Dispute Resolution). Ms Duggan provides FLAS (Family Legal Advice Service) and is an active family legal aid provider.

Ms Duggan joined the Family Law Section in 1999, has served on the section’s Executive since 2013 and became deputy chair in 2015.

As well as her service to the Family Law Section, Ms Duggan was the NZLS Nelson branch President from 2012 to 2014 and is currently the Chair of the Nelson Standards Committee.

Ms Duggan loves living in Nelson though still misses the vibrancy of Wellington. She is the parent of three teenagers; the eldest has just started university and the two 15 year olds are mad keen sportsmen and fit year 11 around their various sporting commitments. The most recent addition to the family, Harvey (an often not so cute Black Labrador cross puppy), is the motivation for morning walks. Harvey is having difficulty accepting that he is a dog and is expected to sleep in his own bed and sleep through the night.

Auckland lawyer Kirsty Swadling has been elected the new FLS deputy chair.

Ms Swadling is a barrister and mediator with over 25 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution over a wide range of legal issues with particular emphasis on civil and family disputes.

She is accredited to the NZLS Family Specialist Panel of Mediators and is an associate member of AMINZ. She undertakes both FDR mediations and private mediations. Ms Swadling is experienced in working with clients in a collaborative dispute resolution model and is a member of The Collaborative Law Association of New Zealand.

Manukau lawyer Tracey Norton has been elected treasurer and Lila-Marina Stanley has been appointed the new regional representative for the Hutt Valley.

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