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New Zealand Law Society law reform committee members, 2011-13

The following are the new NZLS committees, appointed for a two year-term for 2011 to 2013.

Law Reform Committee

The Law Reform Committee oversees all of the NZLS law reform work. The committee reviews all bills before Parliament, as well as government agency and Law Commission law reform proposals. Members of the committee draft the Law Society’s submissions on bills and discussion papers, with assistance from the specialist committees and the sections.

Paul Rishworth (Convener)

The law faculty Dean at Auckland University from 2005-2010, Professor Rishworth is particularly well known for his writing on human rights. His work on the New Zealand Bill of Rights has been widely cited by peers, practitioners and judges. He has worked over the years as a consultant and advisor for government agencies and groups, including the Human Rights Commission, in New Zealand and overseas, on issues ranging from restrictions on hate speech to the autonomy of religious organisations to hire and ordain leaders. His research interests are in human rights and comparative constitutional law, and South Pacific legal studies.


  • Jo Appleyard
  • Andrew Beck
  • David Blacktop
  • Donna Buckingham
  • Liz Bulger
  • Andrew Butler
  • David Cochrane
  • Alison Douglass
  • Rachel Dunningham
  • Graeme Edgeler
  • Clive Elliott
  • Austin Forbes QC
  • Michael Gardam
  • Rodney Harrison QC
  • David Jones QC
  • Jonathan Krebs
  • Stephen Layburn
  • Christopher Littlewood
  • Aaron Lloyd
  • Alastair Logan
  • Antony Mahon
  • John McBride
  • Chris Moore
  • Kristina Muller
  • Andy Nicholls
  • Margo Perpick
  • Casey Plunket
  • Michael Quigg
  • Donald Rennie
  • Edward Scorgie
  • Liesle Theron
  • Jesse Wilson

Accident Compensation Committee

The Accident Compensation Committee monitors the application of the accident compensation scheme and makes submissions on proposed legislative changes which impact on the scheme.

Don Rennie (Convener)

Don has been involved with ACC law since he joined the Accident Compensation Commission in 1974 after 14 years in private practice. He was the author of Brooker's Accident Compensation and Thomson's Personal Injury in New Zealand. He has been consultant to the Victorian and South Australian State governments on the development of workers compensation schemes and has written and spoken widely both in New Zealand and overseas on the ACC scheme. He has been a member of the Society’s ACC Committee since its inception, and convener since 2002.


  • Hazel Armstrong
  • Alistair Barnett
  • John Miller
  • Peter Sara
  • Phil Schmidt
  • Ross Wilson

Civil Litigation and Tribunals Committee

The Civil Litigation and Tribunals Committee considers and makes recommendations on all issues relating to the administration of civil justice. It regularly liaises with the Rules Committee which has responsibility for procedural rules in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and District Courts.

Andrew Beck (Convener)

Andrew specialises in tax, commercial, and public law litigation. His particular interest in appellate work has seen him conduct many appeals in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has written extensively in contract, company law, tax and general litigation. He is a co-author of McGechan on Procedure, Introduction to Advocacy, Civil Remedies in New Zealand, and Relationship Property on Death. Among the work he has done for the Law Society has been an opinion on the retention of records. Andrew is currently an NZLS representative on the Rules Committee. 


  • Frazer Barton
  • Mark Beech
  • David Campbell
  • Kevin Clay
  • Allison Ferguson
  • Sarah Katz
  • Dean Russ

Commercial and Business Law Committee

The Commercial and Business Law Committee monitors reform proposals in all areas of commercial and consumer law. 

Stephen Layburn (Convener)

Stephen has more than two decades’ experience in commercial and business law, particularly in the areas of corporate advisory, transactional (M&A), securities markets and venture capital/private equity matters. In addition, he advises on regulatory and governance matters, including managing the interests of multiple stakeholders and advising boards and a broad spectrum of interest groups. He is also experienced in the SME sector, and has had significant involvement with growth businesses and investors as they seek to develop new products, enter into strategic relationships such as joint ventures to develop new technologies, explore new markets and fund the development lifecycle.


  • Grant Fraser
  • Gayatri Jaduram
  • Ross Johnston
  • Rae Nield
  • Nic Scampion
  • Stephen Ward
  • Sarah-Jane Weir

Courthouse Committee

The Courthouse Committee monitors the building works being carried out at courthouses throughout the country and liaises closely with the Ministry of Justice regarding any issues affecting the courts.

Warren Pyke (Convener)

Warren is a barrister who specialises in appeal work. He has conducted around 70 appeals in the Court of Appeal, together with two full hearings in the Supreme Court. He has appeared for defendants in a wide variety of criminal proceedings, including homicides, conspiracy and sexual offence cases. Warren has worked at the independent bar since 1994, after working as a solicitor in general litigation practice for a number of years in Wellington and the Bay of Plenty. He has a mixed civil and criminal practice, and has appeared before a wide variety of tribunals, including more recently as counsel for the Law Society in lawyers disciplinary proceedings. Warren was President of the Waikato Bay of Plenty District Law Society in 2005 and 2006 and was a Vice-President of the New Zealand Law Society from 2007 to 2009.


  • Piers Davies
  • Iain Hutcheson
  • Kenneth Johnston
  • Prue Robertson

Criminal Law Committee

The Criminal Law Committee has practitioners from all sides of the criminal bar. It considers and makes recommendations on all issues touching on the administration of criminal justice.

Jonathan Krebs (Convener)

Jonathan specialises in criminal and civil litigation. His nearly 24 years of practice have included being a Crown prosecutor for a decade. Mr Krebs is President of the NZLS Hawke’s Bay branch, is on the Hawke’s Bay Standards Committee, is a member of the Chief High Court Judge’s criminal rules sub-committee that will write the rules under the new Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Act and is a member of the Legal Aid Tribunal. Jonathan plays the trumpet, guitar, bagpipes and bass guitar, cycles, treads the boards of the theatre and is a public speaker.


  • John Anderson
  • Janine Bonifant
  • Kelvin Campbell
  • Professor Jeremy Finn
  • Mark Harborow
  • Christopher Macklin
  • Mike Ruffin
  • Sarah Saunderson-Warner
  • Simon Shamy
  • Todd Simmonds

Employment Law Committee

The Employment Law Committee makes submissions on proposed changes to employment legislation. The committee also maintains a close relationship and dialogue with important parties in the employment law arena.

Michael Quigg (Convener)

Michael is a partner in Quigg Partners that specialises in all areas of employment related law. Michael has been convener of the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee for the past three years. He chaired NZLS CLE’s biennial Employment Law Conference in 2000,, has been a member of the various Employment Law Conference planning groups,  and is currently a member of the Wellington branch Employment Law Committee. Michael has a special interest in board and CEO issues. Michael has served on a number of boards and is currently President of Wellington Cricket.


  • Peter Cullen
  • Maria Dew
  • Joanna Holden
  • Hamish Kynaston
  • Stephen Langton
  • Professor Paul Roth
  • Andrew Scott-Howman
  • Andrew Shaw

Environmental Law Committee

The Environmental Law Committee makes submissions on proposed changes to environmental and resource management legislation.

Margo Perpick (Convener)

The new convener of the Environmental Law Committee, Margo is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished resource management and local government lawyers. She has been the main external legal advisor to the Canterbury Regional Council since 1995, in relation to resource management, local government, civil litigation, and biosecurity issues. As well as her law degree, Margo has a degree in agricultural engineering, encompassing elements of both civil and mechanical engineering, as well as agricultural matters such as irrigation schemes, groundwater movement, and soil classification. This training has given her a heightened ability to deal with engineering and scientific evidence which is ubiquitous in environmental law cases.


  • Bronwyn Arthur
  • Stephen Brownhill
  • Jayne Macdonald
  • Robert Makgill
  • Gregory Milner-White
  • Phil Page
  • Paul Rogers
  • Elizabeth Toomey

Health Law Committee

The Health Law Committee makes submissions on proposed changes in the area of health law.

Alison Douglass (Convener)

A health law and bioethics specialist, Alison has practised as a litigation lawyer for 20 years in Wellington and recently moved to Dunedin. She was a partner, then consultant to Tripe Matthews and Feist before going to the independent bar in August 2008. Alison’s areas of practice are civil litigation, ACC and family law, specialising in health and disability law (PPPR Act and IDCCR Act). Alison was a part-time lecturer in health law and bioethics at the Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago. She has recently been appointed by the Minister of Health as the legal member of the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART).


  • Fraser Goldsmith
  • Professor Mark Henaghan
  • Fiona McCrimmon
  • Dr Jennifer Moore
  • Cordelia Thomas

Human Rights and Privacy Committee

The Human Rights and Privacy Committee monitors adherence to international human rights covenants and obligations in New Zealand and overseas, and makes submissions on matters which impact on human rights and privacy.

Andrew Butler (Convener)

Andrew is a leading authority in public statute compliance, human rights protection and the judicial review of legislative and executive action. He has extensive litigation experience at trial and appellate level, in both public and commercial law. He has appeared frequently in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Andrew is general editor of Equity and Trusts in New Zealand (Thomson Reuters, 2009) and a co-author (with his wife, Petra) of New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: A Commentary (LexisNexis, 2006).


  • Nerissa Barber
  • Kathryn Dalziel
  • John Edwards
  • Robert Hesketh
  • Andrew Holgate
  • Frances Joychild
  • Benjamin Keith

Immigration and Refugee Law Committee

The Immigration and Refugee Law Committee monitors and makes recommendations on proposed legislative reforms relevant to immigration and refugee law. It also liaises with Immigration New Zealand on immigration policy issues.  The committee was established in August 2010 and its initial focus has been on draft regulations under the new Immigration Act 2009.

John McBride (Convener)

Based in Auckland, John provides advice and representation across a wide range of immigration matters, from skills and business applications through to refugee cases. He is also involved in litigation and dispute resolution relating to commercial and property transactions and leases, intellectual property, trade practices and employment.


  • Marcus Beveridge
  • Carole Curtis
  • Rob Davidson
  • Richard Small
  • Mark Williams
  • Rowland Woods

Intellectual Property Law Committee

The Intellectual Property Law Committee assists in intellectual property law reform, by reviewing proposed legislation and by identifying the need for new legislation.

Clive Elliott (Convener)

Clive is a registered patent attorney, barrister and arbitrator. Before going to the bar, he was a partner and headed the litigation team at Baldwin Shelston Waters/Baldwins. He is an immediate past council member of the Legal Practice Division of the International Bar Association (IBA) and past co-chair of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee of the IBA. He is president and a member of the management board of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the New Zealand Bar Association Council.


  • Andrew Brown QC
  • Douglas Calhoun
  • John Glengarry
  • Warwick Smith
  • Paul Sumpter

Legal Services Committee

The Legal Services Committee monitors proposals that affect the operation of the legal aid system, including proposed legislative reforms. Members are typically practitioners who are criminal, civil, family, Waitangi and refugee legal aid providers. 

Liz Bulger (Convener)

Liz’s practice is principally in the criminal area although she does undertake work in the Youth Court, the Coroner’s Court and in other quasi-judicial tribunals. She also undertakes Parole Board assignments and has on several occasions been appointed as Counsel to assist the Court at Youth Court, District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal levels. She was a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee from 2002 until this year and has been the NZLS representative on the Inter-Agency Court Improvement Group, chaired by the Chief District Court Judge, since 2006. Liz has been a faculty member of the Litigation Skills Programme since 2000 and was the director this year.


  • Steve Bonnar
  • Jennifer Braithwaite
  • David More
  • Grant Powell
  • Ingrid Squire
  • Robert Stevens
  • Michele Wilkinson-Smith

Public and Administrative Law Committee

The Public and Administrative Law Committee monitors reform proposals in public and administrative law. The committee was established in August 2010 and had a busy first year, with submissions on a number of bills and Law Commission papers. 

Dr Rodney Harrison QC (Convener)

One of New Zealand's leading public law and employment law specialists, Rodney also has extensive experience in general commercial litigation, including contract, equity, defamation and insurance law. In the criminal law sphere, he has broad experience as a defence counsel, in particular in both prosecuting and defending Serious Fraud prosecutions. Rodney was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and also holds the equivalent rank in the Kingdom of Tonga. He has appeared in numerous leading cases in that and other Pacific jurisdictions. He is a member of the bars of New Zealand, the Kingdom of Tonga and the Cook Islands. He was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in 1995, and was a member of the Serious Fraud Office Prosecutors' Panel from 1996 to 2007. 


  • Matthew Andrews
  • Mai Chen
  • Nick Crang
  • Una Jagose
  • Jason McHerron
  • Kim Murray
  • Hayden Wilson

Rule of Law Committee

The Rule of Law Committee was established in 2007 to monitor and respond to rule of law issues and to assist the legal profession in meeting its fundamental obligation to uphold the rule of law (as set out in s4(a) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006). The committee is actively involved in monitoring the rule of law in New Zealand and overseas, and its work demonstrates the Law Society’s strong commitment to the rule of law.

Austin Forbes QC (Convener)

A former New Zealand Law Society President, Austin is a Christchurch-based barrister who specialises in commercial and civil litigation. In 1997, he was made a Companion of the Order of New Zealand for services to the legal profession. From 1991 to 1997, Austin was a member of the Law Society Board, serving as vice-president from 1991 to 1993 and President from 1994 to 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he was a member of the executive committee and council of LAWASIA (the law association for Asia and the Pacific). He is currently a board member of Justitia Mutual Association Inc, which operates a lawyers’ mutual professional indemnity insurance scheme in New Zealand. He also currently chairs the Christchurch International Jazz Festival.


  • Douglas Bailey
  • Cheryl Gwyn
  • Grant Illingworth QC
  • Professor Philip Joseph
  • Professor Tony Smith
  • James Wilding

Taxation Law Committee

The Taxation Law Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with Inland Revenue and makes submissions on proposed changes to taxation law.

Casey Plunket (Convener)

As well as being convener of the Law Society’s Taxation Law Committee, Casey chairs the New Zealand branch of the International Fiscal Association. He is also a member of the Government’s Rewrite Advisory Panel. A partner of Chapman Tripp in Auckland, Casey has lectured in taxation at both Auckland and Sydney Universities and is a co-author of Income Tax in New Zealand (Brookers 2004).


  • Brendan Brown
  • Geoffrey Clews
  • Maria Deligiannis
  • Mike Lennard
  • Bevan Miles
  • Grant Pearson
  • John Peterson
  • Neil Russ
  • Sybrand van Schalkwyk
  • Tony Wilkinson

Youth Justice Committee

The Youth Justice Committee monitors proposals that affect the operation of the youth justice system, including proposed legislative reforms.

Michael Gardam (Convener)

Mike has been in practice for 18 years and has been a Youth Advocate for 12 years. Mike has worked in private practice and has been a Police Legal Adviser and an Institute of Professional Legal Studies Instructor. He was a presenter at the NZLS 2011 Youth Advocates Conference and was also on the organising committee. For a number of years Mike has been involved in the NZLS CLE Duty Solicitor Training Programme and is a member of the Legal Aid Provider Selection Committee. Mike currently practises as a barrister sole in Whangarei.


  • Sonja Cooper
  • Don Kennedy
  • Aaron Lloydd
  • Vicki Thorpe
  • Geoff Wells


Last updated on the 11th May 2012