AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Civil and Commercial Litigation, Conflict of Laws, Public and Administrative Law

DIRECT DIAL
+64 4 260 5041

MOBILE
+64 27 753 4543

EMAIL
esther.watt@stoutstreet.co.nz

 

Esther specialises in commercial, regulatory and public law litigation. She is an experienced advocate and acts regularly for private and public sector clients in contractual, public and administrative law, financial services, regulatory compliance and enforcement, and human rights matters.  Esther has appeared in complex commercial cases in the courts of New Zealand, the British Virgin Islands, the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Eastern Caribbean.

Esther started her career as a Judge’s Clerk to the Hon Justice Arnold in the Court of Appeal, before joining the Crown Law Office, where she worked in the criminal and human rights teams.  After completing her LLM at the University of Cambridge, Esther spent four years in the London office of a leading US commercial litigation firm. During that time, she appeared in a number of high value commercial disputes, led by Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the former UK Lord Chancellor, and Solicitor-General for England and Wales. Upon returning to New Zealand, Esther spent three years in the litigation team at Russell McVeagh, before commencing practice as a barrister at Stout Street Chambers in 2017.

Esther has a first class honours degree in law, and an arts degree majoring in psychology and philosophy from Victoria University. In 2009 she was awarded a New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women Fellowship and the Jessie Madison award to read for her LLM at the University of Cambridge.

Esther is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Law Reform Committee, and the council of the New Zealand Bar Association.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CAREER
  • LLM (Hons), University of Cambridge
  • LLB (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington
  • BA (Psychology and Philosophy), Victoria University of Wellington

Career

2017 – Present: Barrister, Stout Street Chambers

2014 – 2017: Senior Solicitor,  Russell McVeagh

2010 – 2014: Associate Attorney, Gibson Dunn LLP

2007 – 2009: Assistant Crown Counsel, Crown Law Office

2006 – 2007: Judge’s Clerk to Hon Justice Arnold, Court of Appeal