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People in the Law

22 November 2013

Havelock North lawyer John Bergseng has been appointed an acting District Court Judge with general and jury warrants. Judge Bergseng was sworn in on 13 November in Rotorua and sits in Waitakere. His two-year appointment is to cover for a District Court Judge who has been seconded to the Supreme Court of Vanuatu. Mr Bergseng was admitted in 1988. He has appeared mainly in the criminal jurisdiction, including jury trial work, ranging from the District Court to the Court of Appeal. In 1996 he was appointed to the Rotorua Crown Panel, prosecuting in criminal jury trials which included multiple accused and with multiple counsel. He has lived in Auckland, Australia, Tauranga and Havelock North since then and continued to travel to attend to trial work or undertake work for New Zealand clients.

Justice David Collins's writing ability has been recognised in this year’s Plain English Awards. His High Court judgment in HCC v LHDC has been named as one of two finalists in the “People’s Choice – Best Plain English Communication” section. Law firm Martelli McKegg has also been named as a finalist. It is one of three finalists in the “Best Plain English Website – Private Sector” section. The winners of the awards will be announced in Wellington on 3 December.

Wellington commercial lawyer David Tapsell has been appointed to the Public Trust board. Mr Tapsell, who is also a company director, is experienced in securities. Mr Tapsell’s governance experience has included Crown bodies such as Te Puia – Māori Arts and Crafts Institute and other commercial entities. He is currently a director on the Pukeroa Oruawhata Group which has substantial investments in the Rotorua region.

Two lawyers have been appointed to the Rules Committee. Laura O’Gorman has been appointed as the nominee of the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, and Andrew Barker has been appointed as an alternative to Stephen Mills QC. Ms O’Gorman is a partner in the Auckland office of Buddle Findlay and is a member of the firm’s litigation and insolvency teams. Mr Barker is an Auckland barrister who practises in most areas of civil litigation.

Successful criminal bar dinner

The 8th Criminal Bar (Des Deacon) dinner was held at the new venue of Charley Noble’s Eatery on the Wellington waterfront on 31 October. The event was attended by a glamorous selection of members of the local bench and profession. As has become a tradition with this dinner, the emphasis was on enjoying a relaxed evening. 

The meal was terrific, the company glittering, and all enjoyed the remarks of Sir David Carruthers after dinner. Sir David remembered those lawyers who had played a significant part in his own career, and spoke about his time on the Parole Board and District Court bench. As always, he was extremely entertaining, humorous and insightful. Thanks must also go to restaurant manager Rob Scott and his staff, the MC Noel Sainsbury, and Rennie Gould, who spoke in remembrance of departed comrades, including the late Kerri Doherty. Ms Doherty had played a major role in establishing the dinner on the Wellington legal calendar, and would have been pleased to see it going from strength to strength.

Conference 'a huge success'

The Law Society’s Otago-Southland Conference and dinner on 4 November was “a huge success,” says Janie Kilkelly, the Otago branch Vice-President and CPD convenor.

“The feedback has been that the content was exceptional, the quality of presenters outstanding and the organisation flawless. Any glitches, which were mainly caused by the more than anticipated large attendance, were dealt with efficiently to give that seamless appearance on the day.”

The attendance, including presenters, was 122, making for a great day of learning and collegiality.

The conference started with Sir Andrew Tipping as keynote speaker giving an extremely thought provoking presentation on Torts in the 21st Century, which was of benefit and/or interest for all.

Topics this year included e-discovery, fraud and computer forensics, tax issues, the complaints process, the art of effective communication, mediation and arbitration, current issues in civil law, the Criminal Procedure Act 2011, Tales from Employment Land, and the Law Society and issues and challengers for the profession. Each session was well attended.

The day ended with a well patronised conference dinner. The guest speaker, David Clark, MP for Dunedin North, gave a highly entertaining, warm, interesting, thoughtful and at times light hearted look at the trials and tribulations of a young MP. 

Successful Nelson branch dinner

The Law Society Nelson branch’s annual dinner was enjoyed by 97 people on Saturday 9 November. Retired Judge Bill Unwin was the guest speaker. He had the gathering in stitches with his topic of A Gallimaufry of Pith and Wind. The Pip West Quartet (comprised of senior students from a local college) provided pre-dinner music to go with the champagne and canapés. “It was a really successful event and I have received much favourable feedback in the few days since,” the branch manager, Cathy Knight, says.

Last updated on the 17th March 2016