New Zealand Law Society - Our Profession, Our People

Our Profession, Our People

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Auckland lawyer Denis McNamara becomes President-Elect of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) at this year’s IPBA Conference, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 13 to 16 April. A consultant with Lowndes Law, Mr McNamara has been an IPBA member since the organisation was founded in 1991. He became involved with this international society of business lawyers after his interest was piqued about the first IPBA meeting in Japan. He was in the area at the time, decided to attend the event, and has been with the organisation since. Some years ago, he was asked to go onto the IPBA Council and served two terms from 2004 to 2010. He was elected Vice-President in 2015, and will become President when the 2017 IPBA Conference is held in New Zealand. Mr McNamara is the second New Zealand lawyer to become the association’s President. While he was a partner of Simpson Grierson his former fellow partner, now Supreme Court judge Justice Glazebrook, served as the IPBA President. Mr McNamara specialises in commercial law, corporate advisory, banking, energy and commercial property. A major focus of his practice has been foreign direct investment in New Zealand.

Christchurch lawyer Dr Maria Pozza is one of five international young lawyers to win a 2016 Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Young Lawyers Scholarship. This scholarship gives Dr Pozza a fee waiver for this year’s IPBA Conference. It also provides return air fares and accommodation for the conference together with a three-year IPBA membership. Dr Pozza is a consultant with Helmore Ayers. She advises on general New Zealand and international law with a particular focus on international space law. She also deals with aviation law, drone and cyber law.

Rotorua lawyer Ngaroma Tahana has been appointed to the council of the new Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council. The new institution brings together the Waiariki Institute of Technology and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. Ms Tahana has been with Gordon & Pilditch since 2010, specialising in criminal and regulatory work. Before that she was an associate at Simpson Grierson in Auckland.

Top legal executives

Denise Roux is the top graduating student from the 2015 Legal Executive Diploma examinations.

Conducted by the New Zealand Law Society, these exams were held at 26 New Zealand venues as well as at 12 overseas venues in Australia, Malaysia, Japan, UK and Philippines in late October 2015.

Ms Roux, who studied for the diploma at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, is a legal executive with Langton & Co on Auckland’s North Shore.

She joined the firm after emigrating from South Africa in 2010. Before that, she worked in a medium-sized law firm in Durban, where she was predominantly involved in conveyancing and client liaison.

In the latest round, 683 candidates sat 1181 examinations covering the six subjects that make up the diploma.

As a result of these examinations 125 students will graduate this year and receive their diplomas at ceremonies organised by local Law Society branches.

Each year the students who gained the highest mark nationally in each of the six subjects are awarded a $150 prize from the Law Society. The winners are:

  • Introduction to the Legal System, Sophia Burton, Open Polytechnic.
  • Introduction to Law Office Practice, Joanne Columbus, Open Polytechnic.
  • Property Law and Practice, Emma Simmons, Open Polytechnic.
  • Business Law and Practice, Tracy Kelly, Open Polytechnic.
  • Estates Law and Practice, Eleanor Howell, Open Polytechnic.
  • Litigation Law and Practice, Courtney McHugh, Open Polytechnic.

Students ‘on target’ in forensic law

The Wellington Pistol Club hosted students from Otago University last month, as part of their summer school course on forensic law.

After a safety briefing, the students were given the opportunity to fire a .22 automatic pistol and either a Glock 9mm automatic pistol or a .38 revolver at a static target. The Glock is the pistol used by New Zealand Police.

A number of students did exceptionally well with the task and were right on target.

The Pistol Club members then demonstrated the different effects of shooting objects with bullets of different calibre. Two notable examples were the shower of baked beans that resulted from the disintegration of a baked bean can that was shot with a metal tipped bullet, and the exit hole when a pumpkin was shot using a soft nosed bullet.

The students were then given the opportunity to see distinctive marks, which can identify the weapon fired. These were the rifling marks on the bullet, the firing pin marks on the shell cases and the distinctive marks on the shell cases made by the ejector systems of the automatic pistols.

The forensic law course was taught by New Zealand forensic anthropologist Dr Robin Watt and by Dunedin barrister Len Andersen.

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