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A principled approach, focusing on fairness

Kiwilaw is a family-law practice, based in Oxford (Canterbury), with a focus on fairness for the child, the parents, and the family. (Technically it is an incorporated law firm through which Cheryl Simes practises as a barrister and solicitor.)

Yes, Cheryl can help you fight for your ‘rights’, or your children’s ‘rights’, in the Family Court. (While doing so, she will emphasise to you that the children must not be caught in the middle of this; and she will explain why.)

Cheryl can also help you vigorously defend proceedings that someone else has brought against you.

She will do this if it is really necessary, or if you specifically want to spend lots of money on legal fees.


Cheryl prefers to help you identify options that will work best for your children, and try to reach a fair, reasonable and safe outcome – without having to ‘fight’.

It may not be necessary to start (or continue) Court proceedings at all.

Decisions should be based on objective criteria, not bullying and power games. 

Kiwilaw can:

  • advise you about the key principles (criteria for decisions) spelt out in law
  • help you to obtain expert information about what is best for your child and your family
  • provide leaflets, DVDs, and other information resources for your use
  • help you use this information to negotiate an outcome that works.

This may include using some of the services available through the Ministry of Justice / Family Court, or other private professionals (mediators, child specialists), rather than using Kiwilaw for everything.

Or your case may be suitable for a ‘collaborative law’ approach. Collaborative law is an internationally recognised method of assisted negotiation which can achieve early and long-lasting results at a fraction of the cost of legal proceedings.

If you prefer, Cheryl help you to represent yourself in Court. (In technical language, Kiwilaw offers ‘unbundled legal services’ and ‘limited scope representation’ as well as full legal representation.)

Different situations need different approaches. One size does not fit all.

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