Kirsten front

Areas of expertise


LLB (Otago)

BA (Otago)

Alternative contact

Jess front

Jess Craighead

Since joining the firm in 2009 Kirsten has developed expertise across a range of civil and commercial litigation and dispute resolution matters.

Kirsten represents clients in Courts at all levels, and also enjoys securing strategic and practical outcomes for clients through negotiation and mediation.

Kirsten has a wide range of experience in insurance litigation arising out of parties affected by the Canterbury earthquakes – assisting clients in claims resolution, Court, the GCCRS and Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal.

"I love problem-solving and finding effective ways to help my clients overcome obstacles."

Kirsten has a special interest in assisting the trustees of New Zealand’s National Marae. After the Canterbury earthquakes Kirsten acted for the trustees to obtain consent to accommodate the Ministry of Justice to enable the courthouse to operate from the Marae. More recently she has worked with the trustees to redefine and extend the purposes of the reservation for future commercial development and social housing opportunities.

Kirsten has helped lead our firm’s Digital Office Committee which has transitioned the firm to an electronic work environment. She is passionate about finding efficiencies in legal practice through technology and has recently mastered ‘the electronic casebook’ to utilize in Courtroom presentation.

"I am passionate about using modern technology to improve legal practice and Courtroom presentation."

She enjoys the challenge and diversity of civil litigation and is motivated to help clients navigate complex legal issues and secure positive outcomes.

In addition to private practice Kirsten is a member of the Canterbury Westland Law Society Litigation Committee, CWLS Golf Committee, RITANZ, Women in Restructuring and Insolvency.

CL MG 7563

"I have no hesitation in recommending to my clients that they should consider Kirsten and the team at Cavell Leitch. It is a great benefit when we can add a reliable, conscientious, personable and knowledgeable professional like Kirsten to my team that is seeking a correct and full insurance response from the insurer."

Dean Lester - Insurance Claims Consultant

Recent work

  • Representing clients in Christchurch’s first High Court civil electronic hearing
  • Insolvency law litigation involving creditors compromises, liquidators claims, debt recovery and enforcement action, trans-Tasman proceedings, bankruptcy and liquidation, forced asset sales, and assignment claims
  • Commercial lease disputes, applications for relief against cancellation of leases and various legal actions for landlords and tenants
  • Property and land law disputes, declaratory proceedings around the status of land interests, Māori reservations and governance issues, modification of covenants, and mortgagee sale actions
  • Commercial contract disputes and negligence claims

Our experts

See all people

Related articles

Devil in detail

Guarantees – the devil is in the detail.

Read more
Devil is in the detail Linked In SMB

Devices in the Courtroom.

Read more