Melissa Vandeyar, LLB/BHSc


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  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society Canterbury Westland Young Lawyers Committee
  • Member of the Employment Committee 2019
  • Member of the Canterbury Young Professionals - Social Committee 2019


I practice employment, family and immigration law.

I work with Susie and Duncan in their teams and assist them to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

I like to look at a client’s matter holistically with the client’s needs being the focus of my attention. I will take the time to understand exactly what you want to achieve and will be honest about whether your goals are reasonable. It is important to me that you feel I have listened to you and ultimately that you are satisfied with my advocacy.

Family Law

  • Care and contact arrangements for children
  • Parenting Orders
  • Orders preventing removal of children from Canterbury/New Zealand
  • Relocation disputes
  • Paternity
  • Domestic violence 
  • Relationship property – contracting out and division of relationship property agreements
  • Wills

Employment Law

  • Personal grievances
  • Employment agreements
  • Restructuring/redundancies
  • Disciplinary issues

Immigration Law

  • All areas of Immigration work for temporary and residence visa applications including visitor, work, business, investor and partnership. 


LLB. University of Auckland, Faculty of Law

BHSc. University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

The law is dynamic. It is important to continue professional eduction in order to keep up to date with the current law and best practice. In the last 12 months I have attended the following seminars and training: 

  • Child Development
  • Non-Violence Programmes
  • Applications for leave to apply without notice (139a) (Family Law)
  • Expert Witnesses 
  • Employment Court Procedure
  • Cultural Competency 
  • Relationship Property  
  • Health and Wellbeing - Managing Stress and Conflict 


I am originally from South Africa and immigrated to Auckland about 16 years ago. I relocated to Christchurch in 2016 after graduating from law school.

During law school, I was fortunate enough to travel to Indonesia and Mexico to voluntarily teach English to less privileged children. These experiences were invaluable in teaching me about the importance of education.

I joined Layburn Hodgins in October 2018. Prior to this, I worked as a family lawyer for two years at another Christchurch firm. While I was there, I regularly attended matters in the Family Court and worked with many clients who were supported by Women’s Refuges around the South Island.

I am involved with the Canterbury Westland Young Lawyers Committee. Our purpose is to enhance collegiality among the young lawyers (0-7 years of practice) in our region by organising professional and social events. As the voice for the regions young lawyers we also participate in discussions with the New Zealand Law Society on pressing issues.

Outside of work, I enjoy Bachata (Latin dancing) and exploring the beautiful sights of Canterbury.