Rochelle Crossman - Family lawyer for divorce, settlement of property & more
Rochelle Crossman (née Brown) was born and raised in Dunedin. She graduated from the University of Otago in 1999 with a First Class Honours degree in Law. The following year her dissertation, examining process and procedure in the Family Court, won the national New Zealand Legal Research Foundation Undergraduate Unpublished Paper Award.
(You can read the full dissertation here, or a shortened article version here.)
Later in 2000 Rochelle was admitted to the roll as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. After graduating Rochelle worked for three years for a large law firm in Dunedin, primarily in the litigation team. She then left New Zealand in 2003 for her “big OE”.
In the United Kingdom, Rochelle worked for three years as a Child Protection Lawyer for three London local authorities. There she gained considerable experience in child care and protection matters while appearing as counsel in the Family Proceedings Court and County Court and assisting senior counsel in highly complex cases heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
Rochelle returned to Dunedin in early 2007 and worked for nearly four years with Anita Chan, a highly experienced and respected family lawyer both in New Zealand and internationally (and now a QC). In April 2011, Rochelle left Anita Chan’s employ and began working on her own account as a barrister sole. She has since been approved by the New Zealand Law Society to accept direct instructions.
In the years since 2007 Rochelle has continued to gain considerable expertise in family law. She has the necessary qualifications to carry out legal aid work and since 2010 she has been regularly appointed by the Dunedin Family Court to act as lawyer for children in proceedings in the Family Court. Rochelle appears frequently in the Family Court, has appeared in the High Court on appeals from the Family Court and also develops her advocacy skills by regularly appearing as duty lawyer in the District Court.
Over the years Rochelle acted for hundreds of clients. In the vast majority of cases, she assists her clients to settle matters satisfactorily by agreement and outside of Court. Where matters do have to go before a Judge for a decision, Rochelle continues to have an extremely high success rate.
Rochelle's full Curriculum Vitae is available on her LinkedIn profile.
When not in Court or her office, Rochelle has used and continues to use her skills in other capacities, including as a:
- New Zealand Law Society Standards Committee member
- Tutor in Legal Systems (LAWS101) at the University of Otago
- Volunteer supervising lawyer at the Dunedin Community Law Centre
- Fortune Theatre Members’ Society Member and Friend
Rochelle is a mother herself and is also step-mother to her husband’s two school-aged children, thus having personal experience in making care and contact arrangements work where parents are separated.
She has been a “Big Buddy” for the Presbyterian Support Otago Buddy Programme and now continues her support by being a Guardian Angel for Family Works. Rochelle also sponsors two children living in India and Tanzania, whom she has had the pleasure of visiting in person during her travels.
Rochelle is passionate about the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" message and tries consistently to reduce the environmental effect of her business by using digital communication and filing instead of printing wherever possible, as well as re-using and recycling all paper and other consumables used in her business.