Kirsty Wallace

Special Counsel

Kirsty is a seasoned litigation and dispute resolution lawyer specialising in employment law. She is also experienced in commercial litigation, medico-legal matters and local authority regulation as a prosecutor.

Experienced in representing clients in a wide range of disputes in various courts and tribunals including mediation, the Employment Relations Authority, the District Court, the High Court and a number of specialist tribunals. She enjoys building strong relationships with clients, understanding their issues and then providing clear and practical solution-based advice that delivers results.

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Kirsty presents at seminars, advises on updates and changes to legislation, employment agreements and processes, as well as setting out procedures and ‘how to’ guides for clients involved in various disputes and litigation.

She is an experienced mentor, supervisor and leader to junior lawyers, assisting with their professional growth and providing feedback in a way that develops the person in a positive manner, enabling them to flourish and produce work to the best of their abilities.

Employment and Health & safety

Kirsty acts for both employers and employees, providing advice across a range of areas including:

  • Disciplinary and performance matters; 
  • Restructuring and redundancy procedures; 
  • Personal grievances; 
  • Restraint of trade disputes; 
  • Protection of IP/confidential information;
  • Performance management;
  • Medical incapacity; 
  • Holidays and leave;
  • Employment agreements and policies;
  • Independent contractor arrangements;
  • Health and safety;
  • Independent investigations into workplace complaints.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Kirsty acts for social workers who have found themselves the subject of a Professional Conduct Committee / Social Worker Registration Board investigation.

She has represented a large accountancy / business consultancy firm in commercial litigation, Accident Compensation Corporation in appeals, prosecutions for territorial authorities and corporate and individual clients requiring the resolution of significant disputes. Examples include:

  • Debt realisations and recoveries including voidable preference issues and director claims;
  • Company and shareholder disputes;
  • Injunctions;
  • Medical appeals involving administrative decisions;
  • Lead prosecutor Dog Control Act 1996 matters; 
  • Prosecutor for Building Act 2004 matters.

Kirsty has acted for large tertiary organisations in matters encompassing general employment law, the Privacy Act 2020 and the Pastoral Care Code.


She acts for professionals who are the subject of complaints under investigation by the Health and Disability Commissioner, as well as those are being investigated by their respective professional conduct committees and registration boards.

Kirsty has acted for ACC in medico-legal appeal

Education Law

Kirsty has spoken at a number of internal and external seminars to professionals in the education sector on legal issues of interest, particularly in areas where education law and employment law interlink.

Kirsty's insights

Employment newsletter - July

8 July 2024

Limitation of liability clauses upheld by the High Court

18 April 2024

Employment newsletter

9 April 2024

We're driven by our values

They drive our client relationships and connections with our community, and underpin our achievements.


  • Convenor of the NZLS Wellington Women in Law Committee.

  • Member of the NZLS Employment Law Committee.


  • A mum of two kids, successfully balancing being a parent with helping to build a legal practice that is true to its values.

He tāngata

  • Member of the Redwood School Board of Trustees.

  • Manager of two Western Suburbs childrens’ football teams.

  • Regularly speaks at industry events including Legalwise’s Education Law conference, the HR Masterclass conference and Duncan Cotterill client seminars.


“Over all the years that I’ve needed advice on the HR front, you are by far the most effective, genuine, and trusted lawyer that I’ve ever worked with.  Duncan Cotterill are very lucky to have you on the team.” Suzanne Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Student Job Search Tauira Rapu Mahi.

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