Roger Lloyd Maclaren, appointed as a District Court Judge in December 1992, died in Auckland in June 1993, aged 58.
Judge Maclaren was born in Christchurch in 1935. He graduated LLB from Canterbury University in 1959 and was admitted to the bar in 1960. In 1976 he went into practice as a barrister sole and became a prominent Auckland barrister.
Judge Maclaren was one of the founding members of Shortland Chambers, which was officially opened on 29 August 1986.
He worked on the Vietnam War veterans’ claims against the manufacturer of the Agent Orange defoliant and also represented New Zealand victims of Thalidomide, Debondox and Halcium.
An interest in aviation law led to representation of seven New Zealanders in a lawsuit over the 1989 United Airlines flight 811 tragedy, in which nine people were sucked to their deaths. He was also retained by the Department of Justice's corporate fraud unit to provide a legal opinion on the criminal investigation into the activities of Goldcorp. Judge Maclaran also represented the celebrated Auckland brothel keeper Flora MacKenzie.
Judge Maclaren was president of the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association from 1987 to 1989. He served as a convenor of the Auckland District Law Society's Criminal Law and Legal Aid Assignment subcommittees and was chairman of the Auckland District Legal Aid Committee. He was a life member and vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Auckland District Law Society Friends Panel.
A shorter version of this obituary was first published in LawTalk 396, 12 July 1993, page 6.