Following our popular features on rugby, netball and football playing lawyers in editions of LawTalk during 2017, we now present a team of legal professionals who excelled in cricket. Now, if anyone knows of lawyers who have done well at golf, croquet or elephant polo …
Martin Snedden was a Black Cap for a decade, playing 25 tests (58 wickets at an average of 37.91) and 93 one-day internationals (114 wickets at an average of 28.39). He was a participant in the notorious “underarm” one-dayer at the MCG in 1981. What has been largely forgotten about that match is that Snedden made what commentator Richie Benaud described as “one of the best catches I ever seen in my life” off a ball by the underarm baddie Greg Chappell – but the Australian umpires thought otherwise. And so Snedden, then 22, missed out on the chance of a new car for the best catch of the series.
Snedden became a familiar figure in his role as chief executive of New Zealand cricket and managed the 2011 Rugby World Cup. But before then he practised as a lawyer, including 11 years as a partner of an Auckland law firm. In January 2012, he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Robbie Hart was a wicketkeeper for the Blacks Caps and for Northern Districts. Hart was a late call up by New Zealand, only gaining selection in the position following the retirement of Adam Parore at the end of the England series in 2001-02. He provided some outstanding supporting batting during New Zealand’s first Test victory on West Indian soil, and then in a defensive role in the drawn second Test to give New Zealand a first-ever series win in the Caribbean. He also toured Sri Lanka and India in 2003. He retired in August 2004 having played 11 tests (260 runs at an average of 16.25 with a highest score of 57 not out; 29 catches and 1 stumping).
Hart is a Director with Ellice Tanner in Hamilton. He was admitted in 1997.
Sir Joseph Ongley
Sir Joseph Augustine Ongley made a century in his first-class debut in 1938–39 for Wellington in the Plunket Shield, against Otago. He was selected for New Zealand later that season against Sir Julien Cahn’s XI.
Sir Joseph (the reason for our respect will be apparent shortly) captained Wellington from 1947 to 1950 and was also the captain of Manawatu and Central Districts. In all he played 30 first-class matches for 1234 runs at an average of 22.43 with his debut century (110) remaining his only ton.
He became the first chairman of Central Districts Cricket Association, from 1954 to 1969, and managed the New Zealand cricket team in Australia in 1967–68.
Sir Joseph (1918-2000) was a judge of the High Court from 1975 to 1987 and was knighted in 1987 for services to the law. He practised in Palmerston North from 1945 until his appointment to the judiciary, spending 15 years as Crown Prosecutor.
Samantha Curtis was a latecomer to the White Ferns, making her debut for the national side against the West Indies in February 2014 at the age of 28 without having the advantage of being involved in any New Zealand A/Development programmes before then. She bats in the top order for Northern Spirit in the national league.
She has played 20 one-day internationals for New Zealand and averages 23.06 with the bat, with a highest score of 55 not out.
Curtis is a senior solicitor in the Private Client and Trust Team at Cooney Lees Morgan.
Andrew Penn was an aggressive outswing bowler who won titles with Wellington and Central Districts. He made five one-day appearances for New Zealand (1-50 his best performance) but was unable to break into the test side. In 1998-99 he was the leading wicket taker in New Zealand first-class cricket with 40 wickets at 19.07 including two five-wicket hauls.
Penn is now executive legal counsel for AMP Capital with overall responsibility for the legal, risk and compliance function of AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Ltd.
Iain Gallaway played three first-class cricket matches for Otago between 1946 and 1948 as a right-handed lower-order batsman and wicketkeeper. In his first match against Wellington he took six catches. His highest score was 22.
But he is more familiar as a commentator, the voice of hundreds of cricket and rugby tests and matches from the early 1950s to the early 1990s, including most of those played at the old Carisbrook Stadium in Dunedin. Gallaway was also the official patron of the Otago Cricket Association.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby and cricket in 1978 and in 1986 was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for community service.
Gallaway worked as a lawyer in the Dunedin firm that is now Gallaway Cook Allan.
His son Garth, who is a partner with Chapman Tripp in Christchurch, has also forged a successful career as a radio cricket commentator.
There must be something about Gallaway Cook Allan and cricket as Wells is a member of the litigation team at the Dunedin-based firm.
Wells was a surprise call-up to the New Zealand test squad in 2012. An allrounder who cemented his place in the Otago side in the 2009-10 season, he averaged almost 60 with the bat in that breakthrough season and collected 21 wickets. He described his role in the team as someone who “bats around seven or eight and bowls 12-15 overs a day”.
While he has not represented New Zealand, he has a first-class batting average of 31.11 with 4 centures and a bowling average of 37.81 (115 wickets). Wells graduated from the University of Otago in 2007 before pursuing his professional cricketing career. He was admitted to the bar in 2014.
Anthony Wilding was the ultimate all-rounder, captaining his school’s football team, playing for Canterbury at cricket and winning Wimbledon titles in tennis.
He played two first class matches for Canterbury as a teenager, as a lower middle-order batsman (an average of 20 with a highest score of 28) and change bowler (3 wickets at an average of 17.33).
But it was tennis where Wilding excelled, winning the English covered court title in 1907, the Wimbledon doubles title in 1907 and 1908 and helping the Australasian team win the Davis Cup from 1907 to 1909.
He graduated with a BA in 1905 and joined his father’s law practice. After winning the New Zealand national tennis title in December 1906 he moved to England and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple.
Wilding was killed in action at Ypres in Belgium on 9 May 1915. He was aged 31.
Cran Bull represented Canterbury at first-class level for 19 seasons, including four years as captain. Between 1965 and 1984 he played 60 matches. A right-handed batsman, he scored 1,841 runs at an average of 19.58, with a high score of 115 not out.
He has served as a member of the New Zealand Cricket Council and is a former chairman of the Canterbury Cricket Association.
Bull spent his entire law career at Saunders & Co, joining as a law clerk in 1970, and becoming the firm’s fourth partner in 1972. He retired in December 2016 but continues to work as a consultant for the firm.
Bernard McCarthy (1874-1948) played for Taranaki at the turn of the 20th Century and was selected to play for New Zealand in two matches against Lord Hawke’s XI in 1902-03, taking three wickets. He played six first-class matches averaging 17.37 with the bat and took 20 wickets for an average of 22.9.
He qualified as a lawyer in Hawera and in 1903 founded the law firm that is now known as Welsh McCarthy.
He became president of the St. Patrick’s College Old Boys’ Association. For his work for the Old Boys and for organising the school’s golden jubilee celebrations in 1935 he was awarded the papal knighthood of St Gregory the Great.
John Wiltshire played for Auckland and Central Districts between 1974 and 1984, captaining both sides. In 1978 Wiltshire was part of the Auckland side that faced an England XI side at Eden Park.
He played 54 first-class matches and averaged 31.05 with the bat with a highest score of 105.
Wiltshire is a partner at Beattie Rickman Legal in Hamilton.
Chris Lee played for Auckland and Wellington between 1991 and 1997 as a right-handed batsman and fast-medium bowler. He played 9 first-class matches and averaged 24.85 with the bat (with a highest score of 111 not out) and took 18 wickets at an average of 43.66.
Lee is a partner in the Corporate and Commercial team at Hesketh Henry.
Allex Evans plays for the women’s side Wellington Blaze in the national league. A specialist in the shorter T20 and one-day matches, she is a right-arm medium pacer.
She studied law and criminology at university and was working in information/privacy law until June 2016. Evans is currently back at Victoria doing post-graduate studies in Public Policy.
Meanwhile, two New Zealand lawyers, Scott Donaldson from Invercargill and John Dean from Wellington, took part in the 2016 Lawyers Cricket World Cup as part of the Commonwealth A side.
And New Zealand lawyers took on Australian lawyers in a series of two cricket matches in Queenstown and Cromwell in January 2017 for the Holroyd Cup.