New Zealand Law Society - Lawyering won over Police for bike-riding southern skiing enthusiast

Lawyering won over Police for bike-riding southern skiing enthusiast

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Cleaning, summer clerking and watching what her Dad and other lawyers did in his Nelson law firm so intrigued Louise Trevena-Downing she favoured law over her back-up plan of detective work.

"I was attracted to law because of my family … Dad [Graeme Downing] is a lawyer in Nelson and my uncle and cousins are lawyers in Wellington," says Louise, who was recently appointed a solicitor in Anderson Lloyd's Dunedin resource management team.

Louise Claire (Louise) Trevena-Downing
Auckland (brought up in Nelson from age one). 
Entry to law
Graduated LLB,  BA from Otago University, completing her BA at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Admitted in 2015. 
Solicitor at Anderson Lloyd, Dunedin. 
Speciality area
Resource management, public works and local government.
Louise Trevena-Downing
Louise Trevena-Downing

"Being able to talk to my Dad out of work time was a great help and when I was at school and university it gave me some good insight into what I preparing myself for…

"My sister got into her third year law at Victoria University, decided not to continue and she is doing History and English…

"This is my first job and the firm is very accommodating and encouraging..." 

"If I hadn't done law my backup plan was to get involved in some way with the police … Not so much on the street but detective work in depth…

"I've always been interested in police work and forensic investigation … It would be quite good to have a go at it at some point and having law degree would make it a bit easier … It would be quite interesting…"

A Nelson College for Girls and Otago University basketball rep, Louise took up running half marathons in 2010 and in her family tradition is a keen skier and snowboarder.

"Which is why I went to Canada … I did a university exchange to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for one five month semester, stayed in a hall on campus and completed my BA History and English papers…

"The skiing was awesome … I spent a bit of time at Whistler … I've been skiing since about five, the whole family ski…"

Louise took up snowboarding at high school and competed in top of the South Island competitions.

She plans to join her family when they head for the Queenstown skifields in August. "Being close to the snow is handy…"

When not on the ski slopes Louise likes a range of novels, particularly murder mysteries and a gripping autobiography of an Alcatraz prisoner.

"There's no crime involved in my work, unless you count RMA enforcement, and I'm interested in reading anything that involves criminals and lawyers…

"The criminal side is more interesting to write books about – people don't write books about cattle in waterways…"

While her sister is a talented pianist, Louise says she is not a very music al person … "I like the university-formed Dunedin band Six60 and we get a few big name bands through town because of the new stadium…

"I'm kind of dorky because I like watching the TV news and don't watch lawyer programmes … That's not quite true, I really enjoy Suits

 "I ride around Dunedin a heavy old mountain bike – which the intense multi-sports people I live with laugh at – and I'm in the process of buying a car, possibly my parents' Honda for winter and getting away skiing, so I'm keeping my eye out for something suitable…

"This is my first job and the firm is very accommodating and encouraging …They want you to go out and network and be part of group committees…"

Louise is a business committee member of Dunedin Young Professionals and a committee member of the Otago Women's Law Society.

With colleague Campbell Hodgson, of Gallaway Cook Allan, they are organising the formation of a young resource management law association, with a first meeting in March.

"It's aimed at being informal with discussions about relevant cases and legislation … Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have them so we thought we'd give it a go and try it out…"

Jock Anderson has been writing and commenting on New Zealand lawyers and New Zealand's courts for most of his career in journalism. Contact Jock at

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