Kesia Denhardt Barrister

Contact Kesia


+64 9 302 0077


Kesia Denhardt


Kesia has practised family law exclusively since 2009. She was formerly the sole family law partner at a respected firm in central Auckland, having introduced this specialist area of practice to its services for the first time in decades, and being one of the youngest to join the partnership in its more than 100-year history. Kesia has since joined the Independent Bar and accepts instructions from clients nationwide.

Kesia handles all types of family law matters, with a particular interest in complex parenting and protection matters, relationship property and financial issues arising out of a separation, and reproductive law (adoption, surrogacy and embryo donation).

Kesia’s clients benefit from her various modes of operation: whilst she is a perceptive and tactical negotiator when settlement options are being explored, equally, she is an unyielding and persuasive advocate should Court proceedings be necessary for any reason. In all cases, Kesia acts with professionalism, composure, and integrity; conscious of preserving the mana of all those involved.

Kesia prides herself on providing advice which is pragmatic and considered. Her clients value her ability to put them at ease by delivering such advice in digestible terms, in a personable and sensitive manner, and at a pace of their choosing. She is innovative in her approach; looking at matters from all angles and endeavouring to find resourceful and creative solutions for her clients wherever possible. Kesia is poised to act under urgency when required.

Her clients and colleagues describe her as energetic, efficient, detail-oriented, reliable, and as having a genuine desire to arrive at the best result for her clients, whatever that may look like in their unique circumstances. In this regard, Kesia is acutely aware that the dynamics, objectives and priorities at play in any given case are different and takes the time to carefully determine the optimum strategy in order to advance each client’s desired outcome, informed by her years of experience.

Kesia enjoys making contributions to the legal profession beyond the work she does in practice. She has written and presented legal seminars to other practitioners about various family law issues for the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS), The Law Association (TLA, formerly the Auckland District Law Society), and Legalwise. She has authored and featured in various articles for NZLS publications, LawTalk and LawPoints; TLA publication, LawNews; and is a regular contributor to the quarterly magazine of the Family Law Section (FLS), The Family Advocate. She has also taken the opportunity, when invited to comment, to shine a light on family law issues in various television and radio interviews, news media, national magazines and podcasts.

Kesia is an appointed member of the FLS Advisory Panel focussed on family law reform. She has been an appointed member of a number of committees, including the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association and a NZLS Lawyers Standards Committee. Kesia is also an ambassador of White Ribbon New Zealand; selected in recognition of her work in assisting those who have been subjected to family violence.

A dedication to supporting younger members of the profession and law students has been a constant throughout Kesia’s practice. She has been a mentor for the NZLS, a member of the College of Law / New Zealand Bar Association Mentoring Panel, made contributions to students’ dissertations and theses, and regularly judges competitions for both the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology. In her formative years, she was a founding committee member of the NZLS Young Lawyers Group and a committee member of the Family Courts Association at its inception.

Out of the office, Kesia enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and being active, which counteracts (at least some of) the time she spends enjoying the fruits of her labour in the kitchen.

Qualifications and appointments

LLB, BA (Social Science), University of Otago, 2009
Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 2009
Panel Member, Family Law Section Advisory Panel, New Zealand Law Society
Ambassador, White Ribbon New Zealand


Member, Family Law Section, New Zealand Law Society
Member, New Zealand Bar Association | Ngā Ahorangi Motuhake o te Ture
Member, The Law Association (formerly Auckland District Law Society)
Member, Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association