Kirsten Youens


Bachelor of Social Science degree in 1993, LLB degree in 1998 and Masters in Environmental Law (cum laude) in 2003, all at Natal University, Durban.


Kirsten completed her Articles of Clerkship in general litigation at Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys in Durban during 1999 and 2000. In December 2000 she resigned from that firm and took up a position as a Professional Assistant in Garlicke & Bousfield’s environmental department, to focus on her main interest in law and be mentored by Norman Brauteseth. When Norman Brauteseth left to open his own firm, Kirsten joined him there and after a further three years, Kirsten opened her own practice, and has been practising for her own account since.

Kirsten has 17 years experience in environmental law and litigation, conservation, remediation,  waste, pollution, water,  planning and development law as well as corporate policy and compliance auditing. She has consulted extensively, researched and provided opinions on various statutes, bylaws and ordinances and many aspects of environmental, good governance, development and planning law.

Kirsten advises clients regarding decisions and issues which may have present or future enviro-legal implications and provides assistance in mapping the way forward in reducing risk, solving issues and complying with the law. She gives advice on waste and water management and environmental impact assessments, makes applications for the declaration of protected areas, prepares opinions on the protection of wildlife and protected areas and prepares and submits comments on legislation. Her work includes opposing and/or appealing mining and prospecting applications and environmental impact assessment applications and Record of Decisions on behalf of NPOs and community organisations.  This work encompasses heritage legislation, human rights,  traditional land rights and water rights. She is also an advocate for better protection of endangered and threatened species.

Kirsten’s chosen focus is on environmental law and environmental justice, conservation and wildlife law.  She supports and acts for communities impacted by environmental injustices as well as organisations and entities protecting wildlife and natural areas from harm. Kirsten is an activist, adventurer and lover of wild places.



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