Faculty of Law

Supreme Court

The Honourable Justice McGrath

Justice John McGrath graduated LLM from Victoria University of Wellington in 1968. He was a partner in Buddle Findlay, in Wellington, until he moved to the separate bar in 1984. He became Queen's Counsel in 1987 and he was Solicitor-General between 1989 and 2000. Justice McGrath was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2000 and to the Supreme Court in 2005. In 2007 Justice McGrath was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The appointment was redesignated Knight Companion of that Order in 2009.

The Honourable Justice Arnold

Justice Terence Arnold graduated from Victoria University (BA and LLM) and New York University (LLM). He taught criminal law at Victoria University in Wellington as well as at several Canadian universities, including Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary. He was a partner of Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young between 1985 and 1994. He became a barrister sole in 1994 and shortly thereafter, was appointed Queen’s Counsel. He was Solicitor-General between 2000 and 2006. He was appointed a judge of the High Court and the Court of Appeal in 2006 and judge of the Supreme Court in 2013.

Court of Appeal

The Honourable Justice O’Regan

Justice Mark O’Regan graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 1977. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 1977 and became a partner with the firm Chapman Tripp in 1984. He became a judge of the High Court in 2001 and a judge of the Court of Appeal in January 2004.

Justice O'Regan was appointed as President of the Court of Appeal in July 2010.

The Honourable Justice Harrison

Justice Harrison graduated LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1971. He worked for McAlister Mazengarb before working a year in Kampala, Uganda. He returned to Auckland and was for some years a partner in Milne Meek (later McElroy Milne). He went to the bar in 1988 and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1994. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Auckland in 2001 and was appointed a Court of Appeal Judge in 2010.

The Honourable Justice Wild

Justice John Wild graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 1969. He joined Bell Gully & Co in 1967 initially as a law clerk and then solicitor, and in 1969 was awarded the Timothy Cleary Memorial Prize. Justice Wild commenced practice at the independent bar in 1976 and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1993. He joined the Council of the New Zealand Bar Association in 1992 and was its President when, in 1998, he was appointed a judge of the High Court. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2011.

The Honourable Justice White

Justice Douglas White graduated LLM with 1st class Honours from Victoria University. He was admitted to the Bar in 1969 and was a legal assistant with the Law Commission in London from 1970-71. He was a litigation partner in Young Bennett & Co, later Young Swan McKay & Co (now Kensington Swan) from 1972-1986 when he moved to the separate bar. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1988. While at the bar he conducted inquiries for the State Services Commissioner into the Defence Force and the Civil Aviation Authority and for the Prime Minister into matters relating to Te Whanau o Waipareira and Hon John Tamihere. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2009 and to the Court of Appeal in 2012.

 

High Court

The Honourable Justice Chisholm

Justice Lester Chisholm graduated Victoria University of Wellington with an LLB in 1967, and LLM in 1968. He joined the Napier firm of Wills Toomey Robinson in 1968, becoming a partner in 1970. Justice Chisholm was President of the Hawkes Bay District Law Society between 1987 and 1990, a member of the NZ Law Society Council from 1988 to 1990, and member of the NZ Law Society Executive from 1989-1990. He was appointed to the High Court bench in 1996 and is based in Christchurch.

 The Honourable Justice Keane

Justice Patrick Keane graduated from Victoria University with a BA (1968) and LLB (Hons) (1969). In practice (1970 - 1987) he was a member of Izard Weston and Company, Watts and Paterson and the Crown Law Office. In April 1987 Justice Keane was appointed a district court judge and Taxation Review Authority. He was seconded to the Law Commission as a Law Commissioner in May 2001 and appointed a High Court judge in October 2003. Justice Keane is based at the Auckland High Court.

The Honourable Justice MacKenzie

Justice Alan MacKenzie received a BA from Victoria University in 1966 and an LLM (Hons) in 1971.

He joined Chapman Tripp & Co in Wellington in 1967 as a staff solicitor, moving to Stone Kurta & Co in 1970. He became a partner of the firm, now Stone & Co., in 1971.

He continued as a partner when the firm became Rudd Watts & Stone in 1983. In 2001 he became a barrister sole. He was appointed to the bench of the High Court in 2004 and is based at the Wellington High Court.

The Honourable Justice Clifford

Justice Denis Clifford graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1978. He joined the Wellington law firm Buddle Anderson Kent & Co, leaving in 1980 to take up a position as Visiting Fellow at the University of Illinois Law School. Justice Clifford returned to New Zealand to work for Buddle Findlay in 1982, went overseas again in 1984, working with London firm Slaughter and May, and on return to New Zealand in 1986 became a partner of Buddle Findlay, a position he held until 2001. From 1998 to 2000 Justice Clifford was on secondment from his law firm as a member of the Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Justice Clifford joined the independent bar in 2002. He took appointment to the High Court Bench in April 2006 and is based at the Wellington High Court.

The Honourable Justice Andrews

Justice Pamela Andrews graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1982. Prior to undertaking her law degree, she had worked in a number of roles including with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, External Aid Division, and as a translator in Bern, Switzerland. She initially joined the Wellington law firm Luke Cunningham and Clere, moving to Kensington Swan in 1985. She became a partner of the firm in 1988, and a consultant from 2002. Justice Andrews became a part-time member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority from July 2003. She was a co-author of Civil Litigation Practice and Procedure, a Brookers publication, and is based at the Auckland High Court.

The Honourable Justice Dobson

The Hon Justice Robert Dobson was educated in Gisborne and completed his LLB degree in 1971. He became a partner in Stone and Co in 1976 (now Minter Ellison) until 1990 when he became a barrister sole, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1998. He has been a member of various Law Society committees and was president of the New Zealand Bar Association from 2002-2004. He was appointed a High Court Judge in 2007 and is based in Wellington.

The Honourable Justice Joseph Williams

Justice Joseph Williams graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1986 and LLM (Hons.) in 1988 from the University of British Columbia. He was admitted to the Bar in 1988 and employed by Kensington Swan, Auckland in 1988, becoming a partner in 1992. He was a partner in the firm of Walters Williams from 1994 until 1999 before being appointed Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court in December 1999. Justice Joseph Williams has also held academic positions. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2008. He is based in Wellington.

The Honourable Justice Ellis

Justice Ellis graduated BA (English major) from Victoria University in 1982 and LLB in 1986. She was admitted to the Bar in 1989 and was a Legal Advisor with the Law Reform division of the Department of Justice from 1987-1992 and a Senior solicitor in the litigation department of the firm of Chapman Tripp in Wellington from 1992-1996. Justice Ellis then joined the Crown Law Office and was employed as Crown Counsel in that office until her appointment as Director, Legal Services at the Ministry of Economic Development in 2004. In 2005 she rejoined Crown Law and in 2006 became the Team Leader of the Tax and Commercial Team and during 2008-2009 was the Manager of the Crown’s Structured Finance Litigation, before being appointed a Judge of the High Court on 1 November 2009. She is based in Auckland.

The Honourable Justice Brewer ONZM

Justice Tim Brewer graduated LLB (Honours, 1st class) from Victoria University in 1979. He was admitted to the Bar in 1980. Between 1980 and 1987 he practised predominantly commercial and property law at Govett Quilliam, New Plymouth.

Justice Brewer was then appointed New Plymouth Crown Solicitor, an appointment he held from 1988-2010. From 1990-2010 he was the senior litigation partner in the firm which became Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen. From 1997-2001 he was a part-time Commissioner of the Law Commission.

Justice Brewer joined the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army in 1976; appointed a member of the Courts Martial Panel of Advocates in 2001; Judge-Advocate from 2004-2009 and a Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand from 2009. He retired in 2009 as Director-General Reserve Forces with the rank of Brigadier. Justice Brewer was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003. Justice Brewer is based in Auckland.

The Honourable Justice Peters

Justice Mary Peters graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1985 and was admitted to the Bar the same year. She was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1991. Between 1983 and 1987 she was a solicitor with Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young in Wellington. Justice Peters was a solicitor with Arthur Andersen & Co in New York in 1988 and with Allen & Overy in London from 1990 1995. Justice Peters returned to Auckland to work for Russell McVeagh in 1995. She was a partner with that firm from 1997 2004. Justice Peters moved to the independent bar at the end of 2004. Justice Peters is based in Auckland.

The Honourable Justice Gendall

Justice David Gendall graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1973. In 1974 he joined the Hamilton law firm Chapman Feenstra & Cartwright, and in 1975 was admitted to the partnership of that firm, later renamed McCaw Lewis Chapman, In 1997 he retired from partnership and joined the School of Law at the University of Waikato as a senior lecturer. He was appointed Professor and Dean of the School of Law in 2000. Justice Gendall was appointed a Master of the High Court in 2002 and became an Associate Judge of the High Court when the title changed in 2004. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2013.