New Zealand Law Society - Governance and leadership

Governance and leadership

The Law Society is governed by a council and a board. The president is the head of the Law Society. The management, administrative functions and day-to-day operations are the responsibility of the Law Society’s Chief Executive.

Law Society President

The President heads the Law Society, acting as the main ambassador for the legal profession and representing and speaking for the Law Society at home and overseas. The President is also the chair of our Board and the Council and is elected by the Council. They hold office for a term of one year and are eligible for re-election for two further consecutive years. The role of president is part-time.

Law Society Council

The Council is the oversight governance body for our organisation. It has delegated almost all governance functions to the Board, although it has retained the following functions and powers:

  • election of the offices of president, president-elect and vice-presidents;
  • the power to amend or replace the Constitution;
  • the power to establish sections;
  • election of an auditor;
  • the powers under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act to make practice rules; and
  • any functions or powers which in terms of the Act, the Constitution, or any regulations or practice rules under the Act which must be exercised by a resolution of the Council (this includes fixing fees, levies and subscriptions payable by lawyers).

The Council is made up of the President and the four Vice-Presidents (who also form the Board), one member from each regional branch of the Law Society, the chair or president of each of the Law Society’s sections, the chair or president of the New Zealand Bar Association, the leaders of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (The Māori Law Society); the President of the Pacific Lawyers Association and a representative of the large law firm corporations.

The Council also has an observer representative from the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

Council members


  • Frazer Barton


  • David Campbell – Auckland
  • Caroline Silk – Central North Island
  • Ataga'i Esera – Wellington
  • Taryn Gudmanz – South Island

Branch presidents

  • Misha Henaghan – Auckland
  • Graeme Riach – Canterbury-Westland
  • Manaaki Terekia – Gisborne
  • Richard Stone – Hawke's Bay
  • Emma Pairman – Manawatu
  • Emma-Jayne Tucker – Marlborough
  • Hamish Fletcher – Nelson
  • Taryn GudmanzOtago
  • Paul Gray – Southland
  • Jo Woodcock – Taranaki
  • Johan Niemand – Waikato Bay of Plenty
  • Chris Wilkinson Smith – Whanganui
  • Chris Griggs – Wellington

Section representatives

  • Grant Pritchard – In-house Lawyers' Association of New Zealand
  • Caroline Hickman – Family Law Section
  • Mark Sherry – Property Law Section

Other representatives

  • Paul Radich QC – NZ Bar Association
  • Martin Thomson – Large Firm Corporation
  • Arti Chand – Pacific Lawyers Association
  • Baden Vertongen – Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa


  • Necia Parker – NZ Institute of Legal Executives Inc

Law Society Board

Board consists of the President, four Vice-Presidents, two lawyer observers and an independent observer. The Board is the executive body elected by the Council to govern the affairs of the Law Society. Under delegation from the Council, it carries most of the Law Society’s governance and oversight responsibilities.

Board members

  • Frazer Barton – President
  • David Campbell – Vice-President, Auckland
  • Caroline Silk – Vice-President, Central North Island
  • Ataga'i Esera – Vice-President, Wellington
  • Taryn GudmanzVice-President, South Island
  • Herman Visagie - Observer
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