New Zealand Law Society - Mai Chen going to the Bar and starting Public Law Toolbox Chambers

Mai Chen going to the Bar and starting Public Law Toolbox Chambers

Mai Chen, currently Senior Partner at Chen Palmer, will be leaving to go to the Bar and set up new Public Law Toolbox Chambers on 5 September.

Mai Chen

Mai said she is looking forward to working with instructing solicitors and learning from other barristers. She talks positively about expanding her colleague base and spending her time solving complex public law problems, which "remains her first and greatest love in the law".

“I have had a lot of help getting to this point and I want to thank the QCs and barristers who have encouraged me and given me wisdom about how to make the transition,” Chen said.

“The Public Law Toolbox Chambers will be a ‘home’ for barristers who are experienced experts in using the public law toolbox to solve problems for clients. This includes barristers who specialise ‘upstream’ in policy making, law drafting and making submissions to influence law making and the select committee process, as well as those who specialise ‘downstream’ in judicial reviews and declaratory judgments when litigation has become necessary as a last resort. The reach of public law also includes issues in Te Ao Maori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the NZ Bill of Rights Act, discrimination and Royal Commissions, reviews and inquiries.

“Public law backs into so many other specialist areas of the law but the focus of these chambers will always be at the interface between public law and other specialties whether it be commercial law, employment law, or criminal prosecution by regulators and white collar crime.

“Public law practice promotes the upstream building of systems and processes to promote access to justice. Public law also promotes providing legal advocacy for individuals whose access to the law or voice before the law has been hindered or denied. Barristers in these Chambers will be committed to promoting and upholding the Rule of Law – the notion that all are equal before the law.”

Public Law Toolbox Chambers will operate from physical premises in the Auckland CBD but also be a virtual Chambers for barristers outside of Auckland.

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