New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Wellington lawyer Brigitte Windley has been appointed a Coroner. Ms Windley will succeed retiring Dunedin Coroner David Crerar. She was sworn in at the Wellington District Court on 23 November. Before taking up her role as a Coroner, Ms Windley was employed by New Zealand Police as a legal adviser and was on secondment to the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security in the role of senior investigator. Earlier in her career she worked for several law firms, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and Disputes Resolution Services Limited. On announcing Ms Windley’s appointment, the Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson acknowledged the dedicated and able service of Mr Crerar since his appointment as a Coroner in 1979.

Christchurch lawyer Kerry Smith has been appointed an Employment Court Judge. He will be sworn in on 29 January 2016 in Christchurch. Mr Smith is a senior litigation partner with Buddle Findlay in Christchurch having joined the partnership in 1991. He practises primarily in employment law, resource management and civil litigation. He is currently the Deputy Convenor, Canterbury Westland Lawyers Standards Committee No 1 of the New Zealand Law Society. Mr Smith has also been appointed an acting District Court Judge to provide temporary assistance in the civil jurisdiction. These appointments will initially be based in Wellington but will relocate to the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct when it opens in early 2017.

Una Jagose has been appointed Solicitor-General, and will succeed Michael Heron QC on 15 February 2016. Ms Jagose was Deputy Solicitor, Crown Legal Risk at Crown Law for two years before becoming Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in February this year. Before becoming Deputy Solicitor, Crown Legal Risk, Ms Jagose worked for Crown Law for over a decade in a variety of roles. She has also been Chief Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Fisheries. She holds an LLB from Otago University and an LLM (First Class Honours) from Victoria University and was admitted in 1990.

Tiana Epati has been appointed to the subcommittee of external advisors to the Legislative Design and Advisory Committee. Ms Epati is the New Zealand Law Society’s Gisborne branch President. A criminal defence lawyer, she is also a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee.

Two lawyers have been appointed to the new expert group the government has established to review insolvency law – Michael Arthur and Crispin Vinnell. A commercial litigator, Mr Arthur is a partner of Chapman Tripp in Auckland. Mr Vinnell, who specialises in insolvency and recovery matters, is a partner of Anthony Harper in Christchurch. The working group has seven members and has been set up to provide independent advice to the government on important aspects of corporate insolvency law. It is due to report back to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on any recommended changes to the law by the middle of next year.

The College of Law New Zealand has recently appointed criminal lawyer Anna Longdill as an adjunct lecturer. Ms Longdill has over 10 years crown litigation experience with Meredith Connell and has this year commenced practice as a barrister sole. Anna has represented Immigration New Zealand, Police (civil), Department of Corrections, Department of Internal Affairs, Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries. Ms Longdill’s appointment was one of six the College made recently to support the Professional Legal Studies Course which is offered in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin.

Amy Jardine was appointed in Auckland. Recently returned to New Zealand, Ms Jardine has eight years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer, specialising in business transactional law and commercial contracting law. She has worked for Simpson Grierson in Auckland and Herbert Smith Freehills in Melbourne.

Belinda Moffat was appointed in Auckland. Ms Moffat was the Director of Enforcement and Investigations with the Financial Markets Authority, New Zealand and was previously Head of Dispute Resolution for Westpac New Zealand.

Mark Vickerman was appointed, also in Auckland. Mr Vickerman has been a barrister sole since 1987 specialising in family law and relationship property. He has been a faculty member for the NZLS CLE Litigation Skills Course since 2011.

Peter Jenkin QC has been appointed in Wellington. Mr Jenkin has been a barrister sole since 1985 specialising in taxation, trusts, construction and administrative law and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1988. He was a former Vice-President, Board member and Council member of the New Zealand Law Society and former President and Council member of the Wellington District Law Society. He has also been a faculty member from 1995 to 2007 of the NZLS CLE Advanced Litigation Skills Course.

Peter Ratner has been appointed, also in Wellington. Mr Ratner became a partner of Rudd Watts & Stone (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts), and subsequently established Crengle & Ranter in March 1999. He remains a partner of this practice, now known as Crengle Shreves & Ratner. He is a LEADR Accredited Panel Member. 

Musical celebration of Magna Carta

Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta will be a feature of the 2015 Counsel in Concert.

Presented by Crown Law, Counsel in Concert will be held at St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Wellington at 12:15 and 5:30pm on 15 December.

The centrepiece of the concert is Kurt Weill’s Ballad of Magna Carta – a 15 minute cantata for orchestra, choir and soloists dramatically telling the story of the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. It is believed that the Counsel in Concert will be the New Zealand premiere of this work.

Ballad of Magna Carta features the grumpy, gouty king reluctantly forced into signing the Magna Carta by his rebellious barons. Roger Wilson will sing the role of King John and John Beaglehole is the narrator.

The concert will feature works associated with freedom and personal liberty, including Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony.

Counsel in Concert has been running since 2009. The choir and orchestra are comprised of lawyers from throughout the Wellington region and law staff from Crown Law, augmented by members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington.

Entry is by donation. All proceeds from the concerts will be donated to the Child Cancer Foundation, thanks to the generosity of the concert sponsors: Simpson Grierson, Thomson Reuters, Greg Kelly Law, DLA Piper, Tripe Matthews & Feist, Lambton Chambers Barristers, Rachael Dewar Law, New Zealand Law Society, Duncan Cotterill, Lambton Goods, Fyfe & Doherty and WCM Legal.

World record in his sights

Waikato University law student Tim Chittock hopes to set a world record cycling the Indian Golden Quadrilateral.

He will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for cycling this 5,846km road network, starting from Delhi on 18 February.

To set a new world record, Tim will have to cycle 300km a day to make the distance within 20 days. He will travel between Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Kanpur, Pune, Surat, Guntur, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam. The record is measured in days, hours, minutes and seconds to the nearest 0.001 seconds.

The 24-year-old has just completed an LLB with a second major in Economics and says he was contacted by Guinness and asked if he’d like to give the record a shot.

“I thought it would be a good thing to do over the summer. My mum’s freaking out, but my dad’s okay with it. I’d really like to set a world record, but I’ve been warned the most difficult things about the trip could be being chased by dogs with rabies and avoiding getting sick. I’ve also heard the roads are terrible with lots of potholes and tons of traffic that’s out of control.”

He says the reason he loves these kinds of adventures is that even though at the time they’re hard going, there are highlights along the way. “Some of it will be hell, but even small things such as having a shower, and seeing the dawn and dusk can be magic.”

In order to comply with Guinness requirements, Tim will have to keep a log book to record distance covered, and people he meets who can verify he’s been to each location. In each city he will have to meet up with a policeman or city official and get a photo of himself with a landmark. He will need to collect photographic evidence and at least 10 minutes of video footage each day. The cities can be visited in any order and the entire route must be tracked on GPS.

New committee convenor

Wellington barrister Jason McHerron is the new convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Public and Administrwative Law Committee.

Mr McHerron succeeds Justice Matthew Palmer QC, who was sworn in as a High Court judge on 27 October.

Following his admission in 1996, Mr McHerron joined Russell McVeagh, where he worked as a solicitor until 1999. He then moved to the Crown Law Office for nearly seven years before joining the independent bar in 2006.

In his practice, Mr McHerron focuses primarily on public law, commercial, regulatory and competition litigation. He has appeared in all of New Zealand’s general courts, as well as in specialist tribunals in New Zealand and overseas.

As well as serving as a member of the Public and Administrative Law Committee, Mr McHerron has been a faculty member of the NZLS CLE Ltd Litigation Skills Programme.

He is also an author, including being a co-author since 2007 of McGechan on Procedure (Thomson Reuters), co-authoring (with Ross Carter and Ryan Malone) Subordinate Legislation in New Zealand (LexisNexis 2013), and co-authoring (with Ross Carter) Statutory Interpretation – a 2012 Guide, an NZLS CLE seminar booklet. Mr McHerron was also a co-presenter of NZLS CLE’s nationwide seminar and webinar on this topic.

He has been appointed an investigator under the Gas Governance (Compliance) Regulations 2008 and an adjudicator for the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.

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