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04 December 2018

Otago Presidents, 1879 -

Presidents of the Otago District Law Society (7 June 1879 to 31 January 2009) and the Otago branch of the New Zealand Law Society (from 1 February 2009). Titles and honours are shown at the time of holding office:

1879-80George Cook1950-51GM Lloyd
1880-81George Cook1951-52Alfred John Henry Jeavons
1881-82George Cook1952-53Norman William Allan
1882-83George Cook1953-54HS Ross
1883-84George Cook1954-55JC Robertson
1884-85George Cook1955-56John Richard Martin Lemon
1885-86George Cook1956-57FM Hanan
1886-87George Cook1957-58John Eastgate Knyvett Mirams
1887-88Robert Stout1958-59WG Aitken
1888-89Bryan Cecil Haggitt1959-60William Lang
1889-90William Downie Stewart1960-61John Philip Cook
1890-91John Henry Hosking1961-62John Philip Cook
1891-92John MacGregor1962-63William Hales Reid
1892-93Frederick Revans Chapman1963-64Denis Lumsden Wood
1893-94John Frederick Chorlton Woodhouse1964-65Francis William Guest
1894-95D'Arcy Haggitt1965-66Bertrand Alfred Quelch
1895-96William Downie Stewart1966-67Charles Gerald  Stokely Wilson
1896-97William Alexander Sim1967-68Graham Elliot Duff
1897-98John Fraser McQueen Fraser1968-69Ronald James Gilbert
1898-99Edmund Peel Kenyon, John McRae Gallaway1969-70Iain Wilson Gallaway
1899-00William Cunningham MacGregor1970-71James Desmond Garrie Neil
1900-01John Alfred Cook1971-72James George Race
1901-02FJ Stilling1972-73Ivan Alexander Wood
1902-03Alfred Charles Hanlon1973-74William Frederick Thomson
1903-04Spencer Brent1974-75Owen Clement Toomey
1904-05Frederick Calvert1975-76Neville Stanley Marquet
1905-06John Henry Hosking1976-77James Eric Govan
1906-07JFM Fraser1977-78Kevin Richard De Courcy
1907-08JC Stephens1978-79Michael Hunter Norman Haggitt
1908-09Alfred Abner Finch1979-80John David McKewen
1909-10A James1980-81David James More
1910-11J MacGregor1981-82Hugh Tohill
1911-12H Webb1982-83James Bruce Robertson
1912-13Percy SK Macassey1983-84Charles Edward Lloyd
1913-14John Henry Hosking1984-85Peter Charles Lewis Gibson
1914-15Alfred Charles Hanlon1985-86Michael Ray Radford
1915-16JB Callan1986-87Peter Chin
1916-17JC Stephens1987-88Kelvin Marks
1917-18AS Adams1988-89Colin Withnall
1918-19AA Finch1989-90Tony Devereux
1919-20JA Cook1990-91Kate Walker
1920-21BS Irwin1991-92Bill Wright
1921-22A James1992-93Jim Large
1922-23JC Stephens1993-94Garth Lucas
1923-24JM Paterson1994-95John Walker
1924-25AA Finch1995-96Trevor Shiels
1925-26WG Hay1996-97Annis Somerville
1926-27WL Moore1997-98William Armitage
1927-28Francis Spencer Brent1998-99Stephen O'Driscoll
1928-29WR Brugh1999-00John David Polson
1929-30HL Cook2000-01Warwick Deuchrass
1930-31AC Stephens2001-02Adrian More
1931-32Ralph Rylance Aspinall2002-03Noel Howard O'Malley
1932-33JB Nichol2003-04Margaret Anne Stevens
1933-34Francis B Adams2004-05Margaret Anne Stevens
1934-35CL Calvert2005-06Leonard Andrew (Len) Andersen
1935-36PS Anderson2006-07Leonard Andrew (Len) Andersen
1936-37Allan Norman Haggitt2007-08Royden John Somerville QC
1937-38EJ Smith2008-09Brian Patrick Kilkelly
1938-39RG Sinclair2009-10Brian Patrick Kilkelly
1939-40AIW Wood2010-11Alistair John Logan
1940-41JB Thomson2011-12Deborah Nancy (Debbie) Ericsson
1941-42WF Forrester2012-13Donna Maree Buckingham
1942-43GT Baylee2013-14Gerard John De Courcy
1943-44CJL White2014-15David Paul Robinson
1944-45RC Rutherford2015-16Frazer Burnett Barton
1945-46AJ Dowling2016-17Frazer Burnett Barton
1946-47IB Stevenson2017-18John Anthony Farrow
1947-48FJD Rolfe2018-19John Anthony Farrow
1948-49JB Deaker2019-20Joanne Kay Hambleton
1949-50CB Barrowclough 

The first lawyer in Otago

Dunedin's first lawyer was David Garrick. He was an English solicitor and he arrived in the ship John Wickliffe on 23 March 1848 with his wife and two children. Garrick had the fourth choice of land and selected the quarter acre at the corner of Rattray Street and Princes Street (which he subsequently sold when he went to live in Sydney, Australia). He erected a frame house on the section, and this later became the Royal Hotel. Garrick was one of the first four justices of the peace to be appointed and he practised in Dunedin for four years before leaving for New South Wales.

The New Zealand Law Society centennial history, Portrait of  a Profession (AH & AW Reed, 1969), suggests that it is probable that Garrick left because of a lack of work - "but the responsibility for this may have lain partly with the lawyer himself, for a young man, J Carnegie, who also arrived in 1848, applied for a position as his clerk, but wrote home stating that Mr Garrick was too busy building to look for clients." ("Otago" by Iain Gallaway, page 331).

The first woman lawyer in Otago

The first woman to be admitted to the legal profession in New Zealand, Ethel Rebecca Benjamin, was admitted by Justice Williams as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in Dunedin on 4 May 1897. Benjamin began practice the same year in an upper floor of the now-demolished Albert Building at 148 Princes Street. (Janet November, In the footsteps of Ethel Benjamin, Victoria University Press, 2009).

The first judge in Otago

The first judge, Sidney Stephen, arrived in Dunedin in 1850. "His appointment was strongly opposed in what was only a very small and largely poverty-stricken community, and the office appears to have been a sinecure. Although the court was opened with all due ceremony on several occasions and jurors, many of whom came from long distances, were also summoned, no cases came before him during the two years he remained in Dunedin." (page 330, Portrait of a Profession). Judge Stephen left in 1852 for the North Island and there was no further sitting of the Supreme Court in Dunedin until 1858, when the new Judge, Justice HB Gresson, who had been given jurisdiction over the South Island, arrived from Christchurch to preside.

Last updated on the 21st June 2019