Melissa Yates


After six years as an associate at another Darwin firm, Melissa Yates joined Ward Keller in October 2017.

She has particular expertise in wills and estates, succession planning and estate litigation and recently completed a post-graduate degree in this area with the College of Law.

Melissa also has substantial Supreme Court and Local Court litigation experience in construction matters, with a number of high-value disputes on behalf of principals and contractors alike.

Before moving to Darwin in 2011, Melissa was a solicitor at a firm in Queensland, where she used her previous accounting qualifications and experience in commercial and conveyancing practice.

Melissa is enjoying the culture at Ward Keller. ‘Everyone has been extremely welcoming and friendly’, she said. ‘And I’m grateful for the amazing opportunity to learn from Carolyn Walter (a long-time and well-respected Ward Keller practitioner).’

Melissa said she doesn’t really have any hobbies any more (she doesn’t have time), but she does enjoy playing her piano, anything to do with good food (cooking and eating) and going out to enjoy Darwin’s live music and theatre offerings.

Melissa went to high school in Darwin and is happy to be back. ‘I was a St John’s girl, and it’s been like coming home for me, really’, she said. ‘I loved Darwin back then and my family moved away, but I’ve managed to find my way back.’

Areas of Law

  • wills and estates
  • succession planning
  • estate litigation
  • construction litigation
  • civil litigation.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Bachelor of Laws, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Biotechnology), Queensland University of Technology
  • Masters in Professional Accounting, University of Southern Queensland
  • Masters of Law (Wills and Estates), College of Law
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland, 2007
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner in the Northern Territory, 2011
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner in the High Court of Australia, 2007

Contact Details