BCom/LLB – University of Otago - 2011


Sharon has been practising in family law for over 10 years, with specialist expertise in relationship property and trust litigation. Sharon has been named by Doyles Guide as a leading family and relationship property lawyer in New Zealand for 4 years in a row.

Before joining Bankside Chambers, Sharon was a partner at an Auckland-based law firm, being the youngest partner appointed in the firm’s almost-100 year history.

Sharon regularly speaks at legal seminars held by the New Zealand Law Society and has been interviewed by the media numerous times to comment on family law issues. Sharon has also been appointed as an Auckland City representative for the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society.

Sharon’s expertise extends to dealing with all the different types of issues people encounter in the breakdown of a marriage or relationship.

Case Highlights

Alalaakkola v Palmer [2024] NZSC 56

Successful application to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal. This case involved an artist seeking to protect the copyright in her paintings.


Alalaakkola v Palmer [2024] NZCA 24

The first time the Court of Appeal considered the issue of whether copyright in artwork is relationship property.


Mikova v Tova [2016] NZHC 1983

Appeal to the High Court of a Family Court decision ordering the return of a child to Bulgaria under the Hague Convention. This case involved a child who was brought to New Zealand from Bulgaria without the father’s consent.


French & Wareham v Black & Ors [2015] NZHC 2519

Successful defence of an interlocutory application to strike out evidence. This case involved a family protection claim by children against their late mother’s estate for further provision on the basis that the will did not adequately provide for them.


MLM v Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development [2013] NZHC 1064

Successful appeal to the High Court of a Family Court decision removing parents as guardian of children. This case involved the parents of children permanently in state care being removed as guardians.


DLR v CDT [2012] NZFC 7787

Family Court decision in respect of the making of parenting orders for 3 children in the context of allegations of family violence.

What Others Say

Doyles Guide

Sharon is named as one of the leading family and relationship property lawyers in New Zealand according to Doyles Guide 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.


  • Family Violence Act & Analysis September 2020 (contributor to Protecting Children from Violence chapter)
  • Law Talk February 2019: Family protection claim by estranged children in multimillion dollar estate
  • Family Advocate Autumn 2018: The perils of parting with relationship property
  • Law Talk February 2018: The Supreme Court's approach to economic disparity
  • Family Advocate Summer 2017: The danger of de facto relationships
  • Family Advocate Spring 2017: Relationship property: not always 50/50
  • Law Talk October 2017: When contracting out agreements don't provide protection
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  • Family Law Section of New Zealand Law Society
  • New Zealand Bar Association
  • Auckland Women Lawyers Association
  • New Zealand Law Society