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Home-cooked steak and kidney pie fuels undaunted human rights champion

With degrees from three countries and, despite the Chief Justice’s praise for a landmark Privy Council win over Court of Appeal judges, human rights barrister Dr Tony Ellis hasn’t made Queen’s Counsel yet. Proud of his contribution to the law, primarily through a succession of landmark cases challenging the justice system,…

Lawyer was acting as trustee

Names used in this article are fictitious The Legal Complaints Review Officer (LCRO) has upheld a lawyers standards committee decision to take no further action against a lawyer accused of wrongly holding himself out as a trustee (LCRO 160/2017). Both the complainant, Mr Grayper, and the lawyer, Lenville, owned properties that, along…

The philosophy of life without retribution according to Professor Martha C. Nussbaum

Professor Martha C. Nussbaum has quite a collection of honorary degrees from universities throughout the world – 60, in fact. The professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago visited Victoria University of Wellington’s Law School as the 2018 Borrin Fellow in June, delivering a lecture entitled ‘Anger, Powerlessness…

Censured for undermining court

Auckland lawyer Bruce McNiece has been censured and fined by a lawyers standards committee after arranging for loans of funds days before a High Court judgment ruling that the money should be paid out. Mr McNiece was the sole executor and trustee of the estate of Mr A. He also considered…

Lawyer claimed lien over passport

Names used in this article are fictitious A lawyer who claimed a lien over a New Zealand passport has been fined $2,000 by a lawyers standards committee. When finding unsatisfactory conduct on the part of the lawyer, the committee quoted Justice Laurenson in Vallant Hooker & Partners v Proceedings Commissioner [2001] 2…

Victim statement given to defendant's partner

Names used in this article are fictitious A lawyer who provided a victim’s statement to a defendant’s partner has been censured by a lawyers standards committee. The lawyer, Gulpidge, acted for a person defending charges of aggravated assault. After a bail application was denied, Gulpidge appealed the decision to the High Court. One…

Fined for communicating with witness

Two in-house lawyers have each been fined $2,000 for communicating with a witness between cross-examination and re-examination. The lawyers standards committee considering a complaint against the lawyers found that this constituted unsatisfactory conduct. Rule 13.10.7 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 states that “a lawyer…

Josh Nyika: The pugilistic practitioner

Hamilton-based lawyer Josh Nyika is now using his hands in a different way after a spell as New Zealand’s best amateur boxer in his weight division, and a one-time contender to fight at the 2016 Olympic Games. Nyika competed at the World Boxing Championships after becoming Oceania champion when he outclassed…

Clear conflict of interest

Names used in this article are fictitious A lawyer who acted for two people amid a separation has been fined $3,000 by a lawyers standards committee due to the “clear breach of conflict” that ensued. The lawyer, Crewler, had acted for Mr Landless and Ms Squeers on a number of matters while…

Mahafrin Variava

The first lawyer in her family, Mahafrin Variava was raised in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and it’s safe to say that her childhood was a unique experience. “I grew up among sandstorms, sheikhs and a blend of cultures and languages,” says Ms Variava, an immigration lawyer with Turner Hopkins in…
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