Susie Tait, LLB/BA


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Member of New Zealand Law Society, Canterbury District Law Society, Auckland District Law Society and Family Law Section

I am a committee member organising the NZLS Canterbury-Westland branch 150th celebrations in October 2018. I have also been a Canterbury Westland branch family law committee member since 2016. 


I want to change the way people think about lawyers. As your legal advisor I think of myself as a driving instructor. While I provide oversight, legal guidance and work hard for you, my ultimate goal is to empower you to act independently.  I respect that it is your personal matter that you trust me with - I will keep you ‘in the loop’ every step of the way, with regular contact, using everyday language.

I am a family lawyer assisting with the difficult issues at the beginning or end of a relationship - negotiating “pre nuptial agreements”, dividing assets and debts of the relationship, assisting with care arrangements for children, or providing advice on separation and dissolving marriages. In more complex matters I often provide advice regarding family trusts, companies, partnerships, farms and transferring property.

I am also experienced in all aspects of employment law including personal grievances, mediations, investigation meetings, restructuring/redundancies, disciplinary issues, and advice on compliance and employment agreements.

Family Law

  • Care and contact arrangements for children
  • Parenting Orders
  • Guardianship disputes – such as what school they will attend
  • Orders preventing removal of children from Canterbury/New Zealand
  • Relocation disputes
  • Paternity
  • Family violence (Protection Orders)
  • Relationship property – contracting out and division of relationship property agreements
  • Dissolution of marriage
  • Contracting Out Agreements

Employment Law

  • Personal grievances
  • Mediations
  • Employment Relations Authority investigation meetings
  • Restructuring/redundancies
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Employment agreements


  • Sale and purchase of residential property

Family Trusts

  • Family Trust formation and advice
  • Management of trust gifting

Estate Law

  • Wills preparation


University of Canterbury LLB

I believe that quality advice is something that should be constantly learned and improved so in just the last 12 months I have attended these seminars:

  • Understanding New Trusts Act
  • Stepping Forward (Wellness) Programme


I joined the Litigation Team at Layburn Hodgins in 2006, becoming an Associate in 2008 and Director in 2014. I was runner up New Zealand Family Lawyer of the Year in 2008 and was again nominated in 2009 – unfortunately the award is no longer given.  My clients often tell me that they like and trust me – that motivates me.

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