Zoë Lawton
Frank Lawton
Operations Manager

I operate Zoë Lawton Ltd as a social enterprise to provide legal advice, research and writing services to clients throughout New Zealand. Social enterprises sit between charities and for-profit businesses on the business continuum and operate with the heart of a charity and the mind of a business. 


I am really fortunate to have the support of my father Frank who has worked in public organisations and private companies including startups. Frank assists me with operational and strategic development and we have a great time working together.



I completed a Master of Laws from Victoria University specialising in the law on reproduction and parenthood and won the NZ Law Society Rex Mason award for the best academic article of the year.


I was admitted to the bar and started my career in a research counsel role assisting Judge Laurence Ryan, Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand. 


I became a self-employed legal researcher and writer and have since worked for government agencies, universities, corporates, and individual barristers including two Queen's Counsel.


I was a finalist in the Stuff Women of Influence Awards for my volunteer work to raise awareness of sexual harassment in the legal profession and was nominated by the Auckland Women Lawyers' Association.


I started volunteering for the Aotearoa Legal Workers' Union which was established to provide support to vulnerable members of the legal profession, particularly junior lawyers and support staff.  


I was granted approval from the New Zealand Law Society to practice law on my own account as a barrister and solicitor. 



“The most influential information was drawn from the voices of people affected in Aotearoa New Zealand. An important source is Zoë Lawton’s #MeToo blog which recorded the experiences of over 200 lawyers of all ages and status in the profession. The experiences shared on the blog provide the impetus for vital regulatory change. Zoë’s contribution to the future of the profession is immeasurable. It has extended beyond curating the blog, to research which will without doubt, inform the future management of complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.”


Dame Silvia Cartwright

Chair of the NZ Law Society Independent Regulatory Working Group on Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession