The Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga, Owen Paulsen, has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court. He was sworn in at the Christchurch High Court on 2 August 2019.
He had been Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga, the President of the Tongan Court of Appeal and the Land Court since 2015. He also sat as an advisor to His Majesty King Tupou VI on the Privy Council in land cases.
Associate Judge Paulsen graduated from the University of Canterbury with an LLB in 1986 and began his career as a solicitor at Harman & Co. He was admitted to the partnership of Harman & Co in 1991, before leaving in 1998 to travel overseas.
From 2000 to 2001 he was an adjudication and mediation member of the Employment Tribunal, while also managing a sole practice as a litigation lawyer.
In July 2001 he joined Cavell Leitch Law as the Head Litigation Partner. He practised in a broad range of areas including commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, employment, human rights, and criminal law. While in this role, he graduated from the University of Auckland with an LLM (Comm) (Hons).
He will sit in Christchurch.