Stacey Shortall—BCA 1994, LLB 1995

Stacey Shortall is an internationally recognised litigation lawyer and a strong advocate for a more equitable Aotearoa New Zealand.

Portrait of distinguished alumna Stacey Shortall with a view of Wellington harbour behind her.

Stacey Shortall is an internationally recognised litigation lawyer who has spearheaded projects designed to create social change and has received numerous awards for both her legal and charitable work.

Stacey graduated with degrees in law and commerce from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and obtained a Master of Laws from the University of Alberta. After starting her legal career in Wellington, Stacey then spent 11 years working as a litigator for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York. While practising there, she became involved in pro bono work, volunteering in women’s prisons as well as with domestic violence victims, refugee women fleeing abuse, and impoverished mothers seeking to have their children returned from foster care. She also spent time in Ghana working for a non-governmental organisation and assisting women and children who were victims of violence.

Stacey returned home in 2010 and became a partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Looking for opportunities to make a positive difference and a way to encourage people from her firm to be involved in the community, she established the Who Did You Help Today Charitable Trust and initiated a number of projects designed to create social change. These include homework clubs in low-decile primary schools, a programme seeking to better connect imprisoned mothers with their children, and an online digital platform enabling community causes to access skilled volunteers. She is also the founder of Our Words Matter, an online forum sharing ideas to solve issues that affect New Zealand.

Stacey is one of New Zealand’s top lawyers. She has 25 years of experience successfully representing financial institutions, other corporate clients, public sector entities, and directors and officers in significant litigation and regulatory matters.

Stacey has been recognised as a leading lawyer in New Zealand by the Chambers Global Guide, the Legal 500, Legal Media Group, and NZ Lawyer. In 2018, she was named as New Zealand’s Disputes Star of the Year at the annual Asialaw Asia–Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards. In 2021, she was named by Benchmark Litigation in their Top 100 female lawyers list for the Asia–Pacific region. Stacey also is the deputy chair of the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

Stacey’s leadership has been acknowledged with a number of awards. She has been recognised as a Blake Leader, a Women of Influence Award winner, a Kiwibank Local Hero award recipient and has twice been a semi-finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In 2020, Stacey won the inaugural Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Awards: Asia–Pacific for her pro bono work to advance social mobility.