Law scholarship set up in Kirsty’s memory

Kirsty Clarke (nee Watterson)

Kirsty Clarke (nee Watterson)

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An annual law scholarship has been set up in memory of top lawyer Kirsty Clarke (nee Watterson).

Kirsty was born in the Isle of Man and lived in Port St Mary, before moving to New Zealand in 1978, following the break-up of her parents’ marriage.

She died suddenly while on a flight in December 2007, aged 35. She had been returning from a family wedding in Fiji.

Her family have set up the scholarship at the university where Kirsty studied, The University of Otago, in New Zealand.

After graduating in 1995 with bachelor of law and bachelor of arts degrees, Kirsty joined Bell Gully in Auckland and lived in Oman, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi with her husband Roger Clarke, a partner in Trowders and Hamlins.

In 2004 she joined Shoosmiths law firm’s banking team and was based at its Thames Valley office, in Berkshire.

She was later made a partner at the firm, specialising in banking and finance.

Kirsty lived in Hampshire with Roger and their two children, Amy and Hugo.

Applications for The Kirsty Watterson Memorial Scholarship in Law are open to University of Otago students undertaking the LLB degree, who are in financial need and who otherwise might not be able to continue to study in the faculty of law.

A representative of the Watterson family will be on the selection committee.

The committee will consider financial need and academic achievement in the law programme.

The scholarship is valued at 6,000 New Zealand dollars (£3,016).

The scholarship is being funded by Kirsty’s sister Zara Matheson and mother Margaret Watterson, both of Auckland, New Zealand, and her father Captain Eric Watterson and Pat Watterson, of Port St Mary.

Zara and her half-sister Amy also studied at the University of Otago.

The Chambers Guides, which list the top lawyers in 175 countries, referred to her as ‘up and coming’, adding: ‘Highly regarded Kirsty Clarke is a great lawyer who picks things up quickly and is recognised for her focused, no-nonsense approach.’

Speaking after her death, Mr Clarke described his wife as the ‘ultimate family woman.

‘Our life was just perfect. Wonderful jobs, wonderful kids, it was all ahead of us.’

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