8 September 2006
Coup for Chen Palmer
Chen Palmer has strengthened its government relations capability with the appointment of two former Cabinet Ministers – the Hon Jim Sutton and the Rt Hon Wyatt Creech – as consultants.
Chen Palmer Partner, Mai Chen, said the appointments were a coup and would secure Chen Palmer’s status as New Zealand’s only specialist public law firm.
“Chen Palmer has gone from strength to strength since its foundation in 1994 and is experiencing its most successful year yet. We have been steadily increasing the size of our team and the skills areas we cover and now have a staff of 29, including 15 lawyers and a senior media consultant.
“Hon Sutton and the Rt Hon Wyatt Creech will be real assets to Chen Palmer. Both are highly accomplished politicians, Mr Sutton for Labour and Mr Creech for National, and both have strong business backgrounds and a reputation for problem-solving.
“Few Ministers can claim the depth and breadth of Ministerial experience of Wyatt Creech and Jim Sutton is one of the highest achieving Ministers of Trade Negotiations in New Zealand’s history. These attributes will be invaluable to Chen Palmer clients,” Mai Chen said.
Wyatt Creech was elected Deputy Leader of the National Party in 1997 and became Deputy Prime Minister with the collapse of the National-New Zealand First Coalition in 1998. He has held the portfolios of Revenue, Health, State Owned Enterprises, Education, Employment, Associate Finance, Customs, Senior Citizens, Associate Social Welfare and Minister responsible for the Education Review Office, the Public Trust Office and the Government Superannuation Fund.
As Minister for Trade Negotiations, Jim Sutton completed the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership, started and completed the Thailand CEP and the P4 Strategic Economic Relationship with Brunei, Singapore and Chile, initiated the negotiations with China and Malaysia and did the early work on setting up a trade agreement with Egypt. He also played a significant role in kicking off the Doha Round in Qatar in 2001 and reviving it in Geneva in 2004.
The other portfolios he has held in his Ministerial career reflect his rural background and expertise and include Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Affairs and Biosecurity.