New Zealand Law Society - Twelve new Queen's Counsel

Twelve new Queen's Counsel

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Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson QC has announced the appointment of 12 Queen's Counsel.

Eight of the new QCs are men, and seven are based in Auckland, four in Wellington and one in Christchurch.

"The appointment to the rank of Queen's Counsel recognises individuals who have excelled at the highest level of law," Mr Finlayson says

"Of particular note is the appointment of Professor John Prebble who has been appointed under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the law." 

 The new QCs have been in practice for an average of 29.9 years, which is longer than the 26.8 year average for all appointments since 1984.

Name Location Workplace Admission Years in Practice
Jane Anderson QC Auckland Shortland* 1991 24
David Bigio QC Auckland Shortland* 1990 25
Vanessa Bruton QC Auckland O'Connell* 1995 21
Victoria Casey QC Wellington Thorndon* 1988 27
Marc Corlett QC Auckland Shortland* 1992 23
Una Jagose QC Wellington Crown Law 1990 25
Kenneth Johnston QC Wellington Lambton* 1980 36
Derek Nolan QC Auckland Bankside* 1976 40
Aaron Perkins QC Auckland AJF Perkins Barrister 1981 35
John Prebble QC Wellington VUW 1968 48
Kieran Raftery QC Auckland Kieren Raftery Barrister 1988 28
Richard Raymond QC Christchurch Canterbury* 1988 27


 Mr Finlayson has released the following information on the careers of each of the new Queen's Counsel:

Professor John Prebble is currently Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. Professor Prebble completed his law degree at the University of Auckland in 1967, before completing a BCL (Oxford) in 1970 and JSD from Cornell in 1972. Professor Prebble holds the highest international rank of professorship and teaches post-graduate courses internationally (London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Beijing and Sydney). He is the world's third most published legal scholar whose academic writing is regularly cited or referred to by the Courts. His main teaching and research interests are in income tax and he has given key expert evidence in New Zealand tax cases, including the Winebox, Ben Nevis and Conduit cases.

Derek Nolan graduated with a LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and a LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was admitted in 1976. He joined Auckland firm Sellar, Bone and Partners in 1975 and remained with that firm until 1981 when he joined Russell McVeagh. Mr Nolan joined the independent bar in 2014. Mr Nolan is a guest lecturer and member of the Law Faculty at the University of Auckland. Mr Nolan's areas of expertise are environmental and resource management law and related fields.

Kenneth Johnston graduated with a BA and LLB from Victoria University and a LLM from the London College of Law. He was admitted in 1980 and joined the firm Watts & Patterson (later Rudd Watts) in 1981, becoming a partner in that firm in 1986. He joined the independent bar in 1997 and specialises in civil, commercial and employment litigation, estates and trusts, insurance, professional disciplinary and corporate governance matters. He is regularly appointed as an arbitrator/mediator.

Aaron Perkins graduated with a LLB from the University of Auckland in 1980. He worked for two Auckland law firms before joining the independent bar in 1982. In 1986 he joined Meredith Connell, the Auckland Crown Solicitor's office, and was a partner in that firm from 1993. Mr Perkins has prosecuted a number of complex high profile murder and manslaughter cases. He returned to the independent bar in 2014. Mr Perkins specialises in criminal prosecution and related work.

Kieran Raftery graduated from Manchester University in 1969. He was admitted in New Zealand in 1988 and joined Auckland firm Meredith Connell, becoming a partner in that firm in 1992. Mr Raftery joined the independent bar in 2015 and specialises in criminal work and work for Crown/public agencies. Mr Raftery is admitted in Samoa and Fiji and has been a faculty member for the Pacific Island Litigation Skills programme since 2000.

Richard Raymond is a graduate of the University of Otago and was admitted in 1988. He joined Wellington firm Buddle Findlay before spending some time in London firm McKenna & Co. In 1993 he returned to Christchurch working at Raymond Donnelly and then Duncan Cotterill where he was made partner in 1998. He joined the independent bar in 2011. Mr Raymond specialises in insurance based litigation and commercial and civil dispute resolution. 

Victoria Casey is a graduate of the University of Auckland. She was admitted in 1988. Ms Casey initially joined Bell Gully Buddle Weir and worked in their Auckland and Wellington offices. Ms Casey joined Meredith Connell in 2002 before going to the independent bar in 2003 where she remained until her appointment as a Crown Counsel at Crown Law in 2008. In 2012 Ms Casey returned to the independent bar specialising in public law, commercial and commercial-regulatory litigation.

Una Jagose graduated LLB from the University of Otago and LLM (First Class Honours) from Victoria University of Wellington. Admitted in 1990 Ms Jagose joined the then Ministry of Consumer Affairs before moving to the Ministry of Fisheries where she was appointed Chief Legal Advisor in 1999. Ms Jagose joined Crown Law in 2002 and was appointed Deputy Solicitor-General in 2012. She was appointed to the position of Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau in 2015 and was appointed Solicitor-General in February 2016. 

David Bigio graduated LLB and BCL (Second Class Honours) from McGill University in 1988. He joined Auckland firm Minter Ellison (previously known as Rudd Watts and Stone) before moving to Ellis Gould in 1992 becoming a partner in 1994. In 2003 Mr Bigio joined the independent bar. Mr Bigio specialises in general civil and commercial litigation including in the fields of real estate and property, building and construction, unit titles, trusts and governance.

Jane Anderson is a graduate of Canterbury (LLB) and Oxford Universities (BCL First Class Honours). She was admitted in 1991 and joined Auckland firm Rudd Watts and Stone. Ms Anderson joined the independent bar in 1998 and since then has also lectured on intellectual property at Auckland University and acted as a part-time assessor for the College of Law. Ms Anderson has a broad practice with a focus on commercial litigation.

Marc Corlett graduated LLB (Hons) and Mjur (Distn) from the University of Auckland and LLM from Cambridge University. He was admitted in 1992 and joined Simpson Grierson Butler White. In 1996 he joined Russell McVeagh where he continued to work in the area of commercial litigation. In 2002 Mr Corlett joined Meredith Connell as a prosecutor before returning to Russell McVeagh and commercial litigation in 2008. He joined the independent bar in 2010 where he specialises in commercial litigation, fraud and regulatory, and criminal law.

Vanessa Bruton is a graduate of the University of Auckland (LLB and M.Com Law (First Class Honours)) and was admitted in 1995. Ms Bruton initially worked for Auckland firm Hesketh Henry before joining Brookfields in 1999, becoming a partner in the commercial litigation team in 2004. Ms Bruton was the founding partner of the TGT Legal litigation team from 2011 until 2014 when she joined the independent bar. Her areas of practice are trust, estate and relationship property disputes.