Melissa graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1996 with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours. She commenced practice in 1997 at Duncan Cotterill in Christchurch before moving to Auckland in 2001, where she worked for Buddle Findlay and then specialist litigation firms Jones Fee and Kennedys. Melissa returned to Christchurch in 2009 and continued to work for Kennedys leading their Christchurch office.
Melissa joined Saunders Robinson Brown's litigation team in 2014. She specialises in civil and commercial litigation, with particular expertise in insurance law. Melissa has acted for both insurers and policy holders. She has significant experience in dealing with liability claims, including professional indemnity, public liability and statutory liability claims, and insurance claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.
Some of Melissa's recent work includes:
- Acting for policyholders in disputes with their insurers relating to property damage as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes
- Advising clients involved in regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and disciplinary proceedings
- Acting for a Body Corporate in relation to its material damage claim as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes
- Acting for clients in a dispute relating to damage to their property by third parties
- Acting for corporate clients in relation to their business interruption claims
- Acting for a Body Corporate in High Court proceedings against third party professionals
- Acting for clients filing claims and making complaints against real estate agents
- Acting for clients in dispute with contractors over defective work to their property
- Representing a group of investors in a failed finance company in opposition to an application made by the liquidators in the High Court
- Acting for liquidators in High Court proceedings against shareholders in relation to shareholder debts
- Member of the New Zealand Law Society (Canterbury-Westland branch) Litigation Committee
- Member of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association National Committee
- Member of the New Zealand Law Society