New Zealand Law Society - Two High Court judges appointed

Two High Court judges appointed

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Associate Judge Robert Osborne and Auckland barrister and solicitor Ian Gault have been appointed Judges of the High Court.

Justice Osborne graduated with an LLB(Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1975 followed by an LLM in 1980.  He practised as a solicitor in Christchurch from 1976 before travelling overseas in 1980 to spend five years as a Crown Counsel, then Senior Crown Counsel, with the Hong Kong Government.  

He was subsequently a partner at Duncan Cotterill for 21 years. He moved to the independent bar in 2007. In the latter part of his practising career he worked primarily in civil/commercial and trust litigation, and professional discipline. 

Justice Osborne was appointed an Associate Judge in 2009.  He is an author of McGechan on Procedure.

He will sit (as he did as an Associate Judge) in Christchurch. His swearing in is at 3pm on 17 December in the ceremonial No 1 Court, Christchurch.

Justice Gault graduated with an LLB(Hons) from Victoria University in 1987 while employed as a Judges’ Clerk for judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal.  In 1988 he travelled to the UK to study, graduating with an LLM from the University of Cambridge in 1989 and joining the London office of international law firm Clifford Chance in the same year. 

In 1993 he returned to New Zealand and commenced practice at the Auckland office of Bell Gully, joining the partnership in 1997.  He specialises in commercial dispute resolution and regulatory proceedings, with particular experience in trade practices, intellectual property, international trade, insurance, cyber security, public law and trusts. 

Justice Gault was also admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in 2001 and is a Commissioned Officer (Major) in the New Zealand Defence Force Reserves. He is a co-author of Gault on Commercial Law.  He is also a regular faculty member on the New Zealand Law Society’s Litigation Skills Course and was Director in 2016. 

Justice Gault will sit in Auckland. His swearing in is at 2pm in the ceremonial No 1 Court, Auckland on 18 December.