New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Wellington Queen’s Counsel Karen Clark has been appointed a High Court Judge and will sit in Wellington. Justice Clark graduated with an LLB from Victoria University in 1986 and joined the Crown Law Office as a Crown Counsel assistant. She was appointed Crown Counsel in 1988 and spent six years leading the office’s public commercial team before becoming a Deputy Solicitor-General in 2002. In 2007 Justice Clark went to the independent bar and was appointed Queen’s Counsel that same year. Justice Clark has managed several large scale litigation cases, including the landmark 198-day trial of proceedings brought by the Statutory Managers of the Equiticorp Group. She also represented the Director of Security in the long-running Ahmed Zaoui litigation. She has appeared before inquiries involving significant public interest issues, including the Coronial Inquiry into the circumstances of the deaths of those who died in the CTV Building and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy. Justice Clark is a member of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education and the New Zealand Council of Law Reporting. She is also recognised as a Special Advocate under the Immigration Act.

Campbell Savage has been appointed the new Public Defender Southern (Hawke’s Bay to Dunedin) in the Public Defence Service (PDS). Admitted in 1989, Campbell worked initially in Napier before becoming a Crown prosecutor in Wellington. He moved to Christchurch and ultimately Dunedin where he was in partnership in a number of local firms. He has conducted about 200 jury trials. Campbell joined the PDS as Dunedin’s Deputy Public Defender in 2011 and has since become a member of the PDS Ethics Committee providing PDS lawyers with advice on dealing with conflicts and ethical issues that arise from time to time. Campbell will continue to be based in Dunedin’s PDS office.

Kensington Swan partner and workplace health and safety specialist Grant Nicholson has been appointed to the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM) Advisory Board. The Advisory Board provides a sounding board for the overall management of the Institute, offering expertise on matters of governance, strategy, finance, and marketing.

Victoria University’s law faculty has made four academic appointments. Dr Matteo Solinas from the University of Glasgow’s School of Law has taken up senior lecturership in commercial law. Lecturer in property and resource management law Estair Van Wagner has also moved to New Zealand from Canada. Company law and securities regulation specialist Victoria Stace has joined the faculty as a lecturer, having previously worked for the university as an adjunct lecturer. Eddie Clark, has been appointed a lecturer after working for a number of years as a commercial lawyer, specialising in regulatory and administrative law, and completing his LLM at the University of Toronto.

Law firm news

Robert Handley & Co has merged with JRT Lawyers in Whanganui. The new firm is named Bullock & Associates. Mark Bullock, who is President of the New Zealand Law Society’s Whanganui branch, is principal of the firm. Robert Handley and Ian Burgess from Robert Handley & Co are consultants. The other staff members are Murray Hughes, Glenis Pidwell, Linda Peina, Vicki Manning, Rachel Palmer, Fiona Bullock, Frances Slight and Angie Mauvan.

Community Law Wellington has shifted office. Formerly in the former Evening Post building, it has moved to Level 8, 203 Willis Street, next to St Peter’s Church. Community Law Wellington has also changed the name of its Kaupapa Māori legal team from “Services to Māori” to “Pou Whirinaki”, which operates throughout the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua communities.

SKYCITY Breakers announced a new partnership with the North Shore’s Simpson Western on 21 September. Breakers and Simpson Western are developing a new youth development programme Game Plan. Targeted at year 11 students and their parents, Game Plan will encourage the students taking part to set a “big goal” they wish to achieve, and develop their own “game plan” to attain success. The Breakers and Simpson Western will provide case studies which demonstrate how having a plan has helped them achieve success in their respective fields of sport and business.

Buddle Findlay will provide a scholarship to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Land March. The firm will offer a scholarship to one third or fourth year Māori law student to be selected from across New Zealand. In addition to covering tuition fees, as part of the scholarship, Buddle Findlay will offer the student a position in its summer clerk programme. 19 September marked the 40th anniversary of the start of Dame Whina Cooper’s land march from Te Hāpua which began with 50 protesters. On 13 October, 5,000 marchers arrived in Wellington with a petition to the Prime Minister signed by 60,000 people seeking an end to the alienation of Māori land. The first scholarship will be offered in 2016 and representatives from both Te Hiku iwi and Buddle Findlay will choose the recipient.

Duncan Cotterill will move to the historic Australis Nathan Building on Takutai Square, Auckland, next month. The firm’s new office will be 970 square metres and house its Auckland based corporate, commercial, property, employment and litigation teams. The firm has been operating in Auckland since 1986 and also has offices in Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch. Constructed in 1903, the Australis Nathan Building is a Historic Places Trust registered building.

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