Napier barrister Caroline Hickman is the new Chair of the Family Law Section, succeeding Auckland family law barrister Kirsty Swadling.
While she grew up and studied in Wellington, Ms Hickman has been a family lawyer in Hawke’s Bay since 1993.
She became a barrister sole in 2001 and trained as a mediator in 2009.
Her practice is now almost exclusively family, Youth Court and mediation work, including court appointments as lawyer for child, counsel to assist, counsel for the subject person and youth advocate. She also practises in all other family areas including relationship property and domestic violence.
Ms Hickman has been a member of the Care and Protection Panel for 10 years. She continues to be a panel member for the Legal Aid Provider Selection Committee, a board member for the Napier Family Centre and faculty member for NZLS CLE Ltd’s litigation skills programme. Ms Hickman also regularly presents on family law to different community groups. She was first elected to the Family Law Section Executive in 2015.
Ms Hickman graduated as an LLM from Victoria University in 2017, completing her dissertation about evidence in the Family Court.
She is married with three children who have left home for tertiary study and beyond. Outside of work, other than family, and the arts, her main passion is classical singing, which she enjoys as an audience member and as a performer.
The new Family Law Section Executive also includes: Susie Houghton (deputy chair), Lauren Pegg (treasurer), Dr Allan Cooke, Rachael Dewar, Andrew Finnie, Mania Hope, Siobhan McNulty, Stephanie Northey, Johan Niemand and Richard Smith.