New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall has been appointed a District Court Judge. Judge Marshall was appointed Chief Coroner effective from 13 February following the recent retirement of former Chief Coroner Judge Neil Maclean. Judge Marshall was due to be sworn in today, 27 March, in Auckland.

Christchurch barrister Marcus Elliott has been appointed a Coroner based in Christchurch. Mr Elliott has worked in law firms in Sydney, London and Christchurch and the legal departments of local authorities in London. He was litigation partner at Mortlock McCormack Law in Christchurch until he became a barrister sole and joined Canterbury Chambers in 2008. He was counsel assisting the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission where his focus was to represent the interests of bereaved families and those injured in the earthquakes. He has also been a member of the Christchurch Crown prosecution panel.

Former LEADR NZ Inc chair and Holland Beckett partner Mark Beech has been appointed Deputy Chair of the LEADR & IAMA Board. The integration of LEADR with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA) on 1 January 2015 brought together two of Australasia’s largest membership organisations for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners.

Linda Clark has been appointed to the panel of 10 judges who will decide the winners of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. The awards, presented for the first time last year, celebrate outstanding teaching in early childhood centres, and primary and secondary schools. Ms Clark is a special counsel with Kensington Swan in Wellington.

Scholarship winner

Kiri Toki is the winner of the 2014/2015 Yvonne A M Smith Charitable Trust Scholarship. Kiri, whose goal is to be New Zealand’s leading expert on the interface between commercial law and indigenous peoples, will use the scholarship to study for an LLM at Harvard, Columbia or NYU Law School.

Raised on Great Barrier Island, Kiri is passionate about the Māori economy. She aims to facilitate the growth of the Māori economy which she believes can transform New Zealand by:

  • empowering Māori to move out of the negative socioeconomic indicators they currently occupy and realise self-determination; and
  • fostering understanding between Māori and the wider community based on shared economic interests, rather than cultural differences.

For more information on Mrs Smith, who founded the Yvonne A M Smith Charitable Trust, see

CLANZ Award nominations open

Nominations are now open for the 2015 CLANZ Awards. These awards are made in four categories: Chapman Tripp Public Sector In-House Lawyer of the Year; Greenwood Roche Chisnall Private Sector In-House Lawyer of the Year; MAS Young In-House Lawyer of the Year; and AUT Law School Community Contribution Award.

The award winners will be announced at the annual CLANZ Conference in Paihia on 21 and 22 May.

Speakers at this year’s conference include 2014 New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan, Meredith Hellicar from BagTrans, Brent Alderton from the Commerce Commission, Melissa Anastasiou from Spark, Brent McAnulty from TVNZ, Andrew Cordner from Fonterra, Tim Cummins from IACCM, Jil Toovey from IKD, Grant Pritchard from Telstra Corporation, retired lawyer and advocate Andrew Johnson, Wendy Robilliard from NZ Police, and Virginia Hardy, Jason Gough and David Soper all from Crown Law.

To nominate someone for an award, or to register for the conference, visit the conference website,

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