John Marshall QC calmly and resolutely led New Zealand’s legal profession through significant changes and with his death New Zealand has lost an outstanding lawyer, New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore says.
Mr Marshall died in Wellington on 14 June aged 68 after a long illness.
Mr Moore says Mr Marshall became President of the Law Society when the major reforms of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act were being implemented after years of consultation.
“The change in the way legal services were regulated was radical. Someone who understood the profession and who was able to explain the reasons for the changes and to guide the profession through them was needed. John Marshall was that man.”
Mr Moore says that Mr Marshall’s ability as a lawyer was recognised when he was made Queen’s Counsel in 2007.
“John once said he saw law as a way of helping people in need, and that drove him to become a lawyer. As a young lawyer he helped establish the first two free legal advice centres in Wellington.
“Throughout his career he gave much to the community and he was a firm advocate for pro bono work by lawyers, saying it was the most satisfying work a lawyer could do.”
Mr Moore says Mr Marshall’s concern at the high incidence of stress and depressive illness in the legal profession led him to establish the Law Society’s Practising Well initiative. This aims to provide practical support and resources to assist lawyers in what is a demanding profession.
“John Marshall possessed a quiet determination which was tempered by reason and concern for the welfare of others. New Zealand has lost an outstanding lawyer and the legal profession mourns.
“The New Zealand Law Society extends its condolences to his wife Mary, and his children Johnny, Annabelle and Clemmie and his granddaughter Rose.”