Karen Stevens was appointed Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, now Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, in May 1998.
She graduated with BA and LLB degrees from Victoria University and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1987. Karen practised as a lawyer in the area of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution. She holds a practising certificate as a barrister.
Since her appointment, Karen has qualified as an Associate of The Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand, a Member of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. In 2009, she also completed an LLM degree from La Trobe University in Melbourne, majoring in conflict resolution.
Karen is a founding Member of both the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association and the INFO Network; she currently sits on both Committees. Karen speaks nationally and internationally about complaints resolution in the financial sector, particularly in respect of insurance, and is very involved in providing training to financial service providers to help them prevent complaints from arising.