Catherine Donaldson (nee Jones) joined the firm in late 2012 after completing her double degree in Law and Commerce (International Business) at the University of Otago. While completing her professional studies she also received the New Zealand College of Law's 2012 Thomas Reuters Prize for Corporate and Commercial Law addition to the College's 2012 top award across all subjects in Dunedin.
Raised in the rural farming and forestry community of Tokoroa, Catherine has now made her home in Dunedin. Her rural upbringing has given her a depth of understanding for a wide range of culture that is celebrated in New Zealand, and the challenges that they can face. As a consequence, Catherine's favourite part of the legal practice is getting to know her clients on a personal level, which helps her to understand "outside the box" solutions for her clients' individual needs.
Catherine has a wide range of legal experience including:
- First home buyers and assisting them navigating Kiwisaver and Homestart applications;
- Commercial leases;
- Advising on building contracts;
- Complex property law issues including subdivisions, easements and convenants, forestry rights and climate change notices;
- Business sales and financing from retail, professional practices, to trade buinesses and cafes. In particular, Catherine has assisted the Partners with very complex transactions and medical practices with their restructuring;
- Farm sales, financing, subdivisions and asset planning;
- General asset planning including establishment of trusts, companies and other entities and working with accountants to achieve the best outcome for clients;
- General law including advising on powers of attorney and wills.
Catherine has also worked with Geoff Mirkin on his PPPR court appointments which involves family court work to obtain property manager and welfare guardian appointments. She has previously supervised at the Community Law Centre and is currently on the board of Stopping Violence Dunedin & the Otago Welfare Guardian Trust.
At home, Catherine and her husband chip away completing landscaping on their newly built home and caring for three (yes, three!) spoilt cats. She also loves to go for a day hike around Dunedin each weekend with a small group of friends and enjoys the beautiful landscape that the south has to offer.