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Our Profession, Our People

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Christchurch lawyer Gerald Nation has been appointed a High Court Judge. He will be sworn in on 20 February in Christchurch and will sit in Christchurch. Justice Nation graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Canterbury University in 1974 and started work with Wynn Williams, where he had been employed as a law clerk for the previous year. At the end of 1975 he left Wynn Williams to travel overseas. Justice Nation returned to Wynn Williams on his return to New Zealand in 1978 and was admitted to the firm’s partnership in 1979, subsequently being appointed the partnership’s chair. He has remained with that firm to date, specialising primarily in dispute resolution, criminal defence and prosecution and relationship property, trust and estate litigation.

Auckland Coroner Deborah Marshall has been appointed the new Chief Coroner. She succeeds Judge Neil MacLean who is retiring after having served in the position since 2007. Ms Marshall was appointed a Coroner for the Auckland region in January 2013. She previously held the position of general counsel for the Serious Fraud Office. Before joining that office in June 2010, she was a partner at Meredith Connell, the Crown Solicitors in Auckland. Ms Marshall’s earlier career includes eight years as a uniformed police officer and seven years as the manager investigations in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Ms Marshall took up her appointment on 13 February.

Two New Zealand arbitrators are among the five leading solicitors to feature in the new Queen’s Counsel list in England and Wales. Wendy Miles, a graduate of Canterbury University, recently moved to the United States-headquartered firm Boies Schiller & Flexner as head of international arbitration in London after 15 years with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Audley Sheppard, a Victoria University graduate and now a partner at Clifford Chance, is the other New Zealander to have just become a QC. Mr Sheppard is a former New Zealand Member on the ICC International Court of Arbitration and Arbitration Commission, and currently serves as Vice-President of the London Court of International Arbitration.

Wellington lawyer Michael Stephens is the co-ordinator of the new Korea-New Zealand Friendship Advisory Group established by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea on 20 January. The aim of the group is to further deepen relationships between the two countries in business, trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges. A film and entertainment lawyer, Mr Stephens is chair of the Korean Cinerama Trust.

QC appointments

Applications for appointment as Queen’s Counsel open today, 13 February, the Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson has announced.

Applications using the application form should be sent electronically to the Solicitor-General no later than 13 March.

The Solicitor-General will consult with the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association regarding the candidates.

Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint Queen’s Counsel in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the law in fields other than advocacy.

The Chief Justice and the Attorney-General have issued Guidelines for Candidates. The Guidelines (and an application form) are available at and set out the criteria for appointment and other information about the appointment process.

The regulations set a fee of $500 for applicants, reflecting the costs of the appointment process.

It is expected appointments will be made in late May 2015.

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