After obtaining her BSc in science in 1996, Gretel went on to study law and was admitted to the Bar in December 2000. After 3 years in a corporate law firm working as a barrister and solicitor, she became a barrister specialising in criminal law.
Working along side her father, renowned criminal lawyer Russell Fairbrother QC, and other top criminal lawyers, Gretel learned the subtle art of advocacy in the challenging courtroom environment and has been involved in a number of murder trials as well as other trials involving serious violence, such as sexual violation, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
Outside of the law, Gretel is a passionate advocate for environmental and animal welfare issues. Following a short break from the practice in 2012 to 2014 she went to work for the World Wildlife Fund NZ.
Gretel has been involved with the SPCA, SAFE, Animal Rights Legal Advocacy Network, the New
Zealand Animal Law Association and Oil Free Wellington.