New Zealand Law Society - Colin Eason, Canterbury-Westland branch President

Colin Eason, Canterbury-Westland branch President

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The New Zealand Law Society's Canterbury-Westland branch President Colin Eason grew up on the Banks Peninsula, coming from a family where nobody had ever gone to university.

While still at secondary school, he already knew he wanted to become a lawyer. In fact in his last year of school, Mr Eason used to sneak out of class, bike into the city and sit in the back of the High Court, or Supreme Court as it was called then.

“I was totally mesmerised by it.”

He sat through both criminal and civil trials and “these trials seemed to be full of refinement and great speeches and fantastic clothing and things like that.”

So he found himself attracted to the law, although it “was more about doing things in court than the attraction of the law, the written law,” he says.

After graduating at Canterbury University, Mr Eason joined the firm now known as Parry Field Lawyers. That was, he considers, a very good choice as partners Glyn Parry and Brian Field were excellent teachers and gave him “a very sound upbringing, not necessarily in the law itself, but in how you find the law and practise it.”

Following that, he worked in a variety of practices, including being in partnership in two smaller firms, running his own practice and returning to Parry Field.

In 2008 he moved to the independent bar, joining Gary Collin and Lynne Harrison to form Pegasus Chambers.

His three main areas of practice, although not exclusive, have been in the Family Court, acting for children and sometimes parents, in the Youth Court and in a range of Criminal Court matters.

Mr Eason lives on a farm and raises Angus cattle. “I’ve always enjoyed that, and it’s great to get out of the city,” he says.

He is married to Joanne, who is a teacher at a private Anglican School, Cathedral Grammar, in Christchurch. They have four sons: James, who is a doctor; Tom, who is an actor; Ben, who is a third-year law student and Luke, who is studying chemistry and psychology.

As well as farming, Mr Eason enjoys skiing and music. He plays the piano and is in a piano performance class run with the help of Canterbury University.

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