Courtney Donaldson

LLB, BCom, Associate

Courtney is an associate in the national Dispute Resolution team supporting Joshua Shaw and Andrew Watkins.  She works primarily in the area of family law, including matters relating to relationship property, domestic violence, care of children and estate disputes.

Courtney has extensive experience in the Family Court as well as resolving matters by way of mediation and out of court settlement. She regularly appears as lead counsel and as Lawyer to Assist, appointed on behalf of the Family Court. Her experience in family law also includes Oranga Tamariki proceedings, guardianship disputes, such as relocations, and drafting contracting out (prenup) agreements. She is well known for the empathetic manner in which she guides her clients through often highly stressful and emotional times.

Courtney is also experienced in criminal law. She has acted on a number of serious charges, with optimum resolution, and has appeared as lead counsel at various sentencing hearings and successfully applied for discharges without conviction and limited licences. Courtney has also appeared as junior counsel in a jury trial.

Outside Wynn Williams, Courtney is the Convenor of the Canterbury Women’s Legal Association and is a Member of the Family Law Section and the Family Courts Association.

Recent Articles


Domestic violence during the lockdown – help is still available

Regrettably, another lockdown in New Zealand has seen a spike in the rate of family violence. This is an unintended consequence of families being kept home, stressed and potentially out of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an unintended consequence for people living in already abusive homes, as they are having to spend more time with their abuser - and thus be at a heightened risk for further abuse.

Keep reading...


COVID-19 Bubble trouble

New Zealanders are having to quickly adjust to a new normal as we face the COVID-19 crisis and the introduction of “alert levels” which greatly restrict the way we live. “Bubble” is a term coined by our Prime Minister to describe the group of people who make up a household. For the four weeks (at least), we are all under strict orders to stay in our bubble and stay home. This drastic change to our way of living is guaranteed to bring about new challenges.

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COVID-19 What does the lockdown mean for shared care arrangements?

Following the Government’s announcement that New Zealand is moving to a nationwide lockdown for at least four weeks, naturally there has been some uncertainty for families as to what this means for shared care arrangements.

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Dealing with NZTA disputes – cooperate or litigate?

In October 2018 the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) announced that it was undertaking an extensive review of its 850 open compliance files. This announcement came with the message that the NZTA would be toughening up its compliance regime and would no longer be prioritising education over enforcement.

Keep reading...


  • Convenor of the Canterbury Women's Legal Association

  • Family Courts Association

  • Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society
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