New Zealand Law Society - People in the Law

People in the Law

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Auckland lawyer Ian Haynes has been elected a Vice-President of LAWASIA. A member of both LAWASIA’s council and executive committee, Mr Haynes was elected at LAWASIA’s 26th conference, held in Singapore from 26-30 October. Mr Haynes is a past President of the New Zealand Law Society and a former President of the Auckland District Law Society. The chair of the College of Law New Zealand, he is also on the executive of the Property Law Section. LAWASIA is an international organisation of lawyers’ associations, individual lawyers, judges, legal academics, and others which focuses on the interests and concerns of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific region. 

Mai Chen has won the inaugural Women of Influence Award for Business Entrepreneur. This was announced at an awards ceremony at Sky City on 23 October. Ms Chen was recognised for the success of her public law firm, Chen Palmer. The judges said they were impressed with the way the practice had raised the profile of its chosen field. In addition, Ms Chen advocates for the strong promotion of ethnic issues in local communities.

Jane Glover and Warwick Smith have been appointed to the Copyright Tribunal for a further three years. Ms Glover has specialised in intellectual property law since 1999. She has assisted with writing a number of decisions pursuant to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) uniform domain name dispute resolution policy. Mr Smith is a barrister sole and arbitrator. He is an international domain name panellist for the WIPO as well as a panellist under the New Zealand domain name disputes regime. 

Martin Williams was elected President of the Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand (RMLA) at the association’s recent annual meeting in New Plymouth. A Napier-based barrister who specialises in local government and environmental law, Mr Williams has been a member of the association’s national committee since 2006.

Maya Shino, who founded, one of the world’s first pro bono legal advice websites, was a finalist in the emerging leader category of the Women of Influence Awards. Ms Shino, who is currently completing an LLM at Stanford Law School, set up the lawspot website while working in the public law team at Russell McVeagh.

Environmental law winner

Mason Gilles has won the Simpson Grierson Environmental Law Prize for 2013. This recognises the student with the best overall mark in Waikato University’s environmental law paper.

Mason was presented with a cheque for $1,000 at a function at the firm’s Auckland office on Thursday 10 October.

Dedication, professionalism and service

Fourth year Otago University BA(Hons)/LLB student Kayla Stewart has won the 2013 Professor Richard Sutton Memorial Award.

This award was established in 2011 in memory of Professor Sutton with financial support from family, friends and former students.

Chinese delegation visits

The Law Society’s Wellington branch hosted a delegation from China along with a number people with a high profile in legal circles on 4 October. The delegation was in New Zealand to share approaches and seek assistance on moves to prevent corruption in government.

Mr Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Standing Committee and Secretary of the Disciplinary Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, led the delegation. Shanghai is a pilot for reform within China, which is currently undergoing large-scale reform.

NZ to challenge for Lawyer's Rugby World Cup

New Zealand will mount its first challenge for the Lawyers’ Rugby World Cup when the third competition is held in London from 14-16 October 2015.

New Zealand has entered and nominations are currently being sought for both players and major sponsors. Interested lawyers can contact the organisers at

The New Zealand squad is being managed and coached by two Auckland senior prosecutors Paul Watkins and Jeff Johansson, Wellington solicitor Sam Walker and London-based Kiwi lawyer Sean Rush.

The tournament is being organised and hosted by the London Law Society Rugby Club and will coincide with Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2015, which is being hosted in the United Kingdom. It will be played between the Rugby World Cup pool games and the semi-finals.

The New Zealand team will be a combination of New Zealand-based players and Kiwi lawyers working in the United Kingdom.

“We have been given plenty of notice,” Paul Watkins says. “It’s time to forgo that second cappuccino of the day and start saving.

“The chance to wrestle the Lawyers’ Rugby World Cup off Scotland and support the All Blacks to retain the RWC should not be missed.”

Bar dinner marks Judge Ruth's appointment

A bar dinner to mark the appointment of Judge David Ruth to the Hamilton bench was held in Hamilton on 11 October.

It was a fantastic night and well attended by the entire criminal bar and Hamilton Crown Law Office, says Waikato Bay of Plenty branch President Bruce Hesketh, who was MC on the night.

Good humoured speeches were made by Philip Crayton on behalf of the Crown and Roger Laybourn on behalf of the defence bar.

Judge Ruth responded and in his speech acknowledged the high calibre of work undertaken by practitioners in Hamilton despite the difficult financial restrictions now placed on those in practice, both working at the defence bar and for the Crown.

Judge Ruth and his wife Margaret moved to Hamilton from Christchurch. Despite being from Canterbury, they have made Hamilton their home and are enjoying life in the Waikato, Mr Hesketh says. 

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