Gisborne lawyer Tiana Epati has been elected President of the New Zealand Law Society and will take up the role in April 2019.
Ms Epati will take over from the current President, Kathryn Beck, who completes her three-year terms in April 2019.
Her election means she will be the fourth woman to be President of the New Zealand Law Society. Since the first President was elected in 1897, the national lawyers’ organisation and regulator has had 30 Presidents.
Tiana Epati is currently Vice-President, Central North Island of the Law Society and a partner with Gisborne law firm Rishworth Wall & Mathieson. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in September 2000 after graduating from Auckland University with a BA in philosophy and history and an LLB. She spent four years as a Crown prosecutor with Meredith Connell before moving to Wellington to work as a Crown prosecutor with Luke Cunningham Clere and, on a one-year fixed term contract, in the public law team at Izard Weston.
Ms Epati moved to the Crown Law Office in 2008 to work in the criminal law team before moving to Gisborne in 2012, where she has worked as a criminal defence lawyer with Rishworth Wall & Mathieson. She was President of the Law Society’s Gisborne branch from 2014 to 2016 and was elected Vice-President, Central North Island in April 2016.