Michelle Urquhart JP

Present Position

Senior Solicitor, Disputes Resolution Team

Professional Experience

Michelle joined the Disputes Resolution team at Sharp Tudhope Lawyers based in Tauranga in 2016. Prior to that she was with the Ministry of Justice where she was a Disputes Tribunal Referee. Michelle was appointed to the Tribunal in 2014 during her final year of an honours law degree at the Te Piringa Law Faculty of Waikato University.

Michelle returned to Te Piringa Law Faculty of Waikato University in 2016 as guest mediator and assessor for the Year 4 Mediation paper. She joined the lecturing team for that paper in 2018, teaching the Ethics and Privilege subject.

Michelle convenes the Tauranga AMINZ Network Group. Her role is to source and organise speakers and topics of focus for the diverse membership that ranges from international arbitrators to family law mediators.

Michelle is an Associate of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand and an appointed member of the Mediation panel. She can act as a mediator in a wide range of civil, consumer, property, rural, employment and commercial disputes. Michelle has a particular interest in cross cultural disputes.

Career Summary

Michelle’s previous experience has been in business and politics. After completing her first degree, she spent 20 years in sales, marketing and management roles before returning to University to complete her law degree. Michelle has worked in such diverse fields as real estate, finance, small business development and parliamentary services.

Michelle gained significant experience in immigration matters while working for Rotorua MP Todd McClay. As a Disputes Tribunal Referee, she used her mediation and dispute resolution skills to successfully settle most matters. She also has broad experience in consumer rights disputes and the Consumer Guarantees Act.


Justice of the Peace

Associate of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand

Member of the Multicultural Tauranga Advisory Group

Zone Venturer Leader for the Volcanic Zone of Scouts NZ


Article in the November 2018 Venus magazine on the power of mediation for your business.

To read the article, please click HERE

Personal Summary

Michelle lives rurally near Rotorua with her family and a myriad of animals. Much of her leisure time is spent supporting youth development through her involvement with Scouts NZ and the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring programme.

When there is spare time, she can be found in her garden, usually with a cat or two nearby, dreaming of where she will travel to next.


Previous Appointments and Memberships:
  • Member of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce Executive for 3 years.
  • National Secretary for the New Zealand Highland Cattle Society for 4 years.
  • Scout Camp Director on the Central North Island Regional Scout Summer Camp
  • Kaharoa School Trustee
  • Member of the International Gathering of Highland Breeders Committee
  • Judge for the 2009 and 2010 Rotorua Chamber of Commerce Westpac Business Awards
  • Inaugural Chair of the Rotorua Multicultural Business Council

Speciality Areas

  • Civil disputes
  • Consumer disputes
  • Property
  • Rural
  • Employment
  • Commercial
  • Inter cultural


Bachelor of Commerce from University of Canterbury

First Class Honours Degree in Law from University of Waikato