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Appointment of Queen’s Counsel

Hon Christopher Finlayson

2 June 2017 Media Statement
Appointment of Queen’s Counsel

Thirteen lawyers have been appointed Queen’s Counsel this year, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson QC announced today.

They are:

Auckland – John Dixon, Suzanne Robertson, Rachael Reed, Paul Borich, Adam Ross, Jennifer Cooper, Simon Mount, Andrew Barker, Greg Blanchard, Campbell Walker;

Tauranga – Grant Brittain;

Wellington –James Every-Palmer, Tony Angelo.

“The appointment to the rank of Queen’s Counsel recognises individuals who have excelled at the highest level of law,” Mr Finlayson said. “I am pleased to be able to announce the newest silks to be admitted to the inner bar.

“Professor Tony Angelo of Wellington has been appointed under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the law, particularly to legal education and to constitutional development in the South Pacific.”

Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice.

Biographies of Queen’s Counsel

Professor Tony Angelo is currently Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. Professor Angelo holds a BA and LLM from Victoria University and an Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Chevalier). Professor Angelo’s research focus is on comparative law and private international law, with a particular focus on the law of small states. He has published extensively on the laws of Mauritius, the Seychelles and other small nations of the Pacific. Professor Angelo’s connection to Mauritius began in 1968 and he was formerly the Special Advisor to the office of the Attorney-General. He has also made a valuable contribution to constitutional development in South Pacific states and is currently the constitutional advisor to the Government of Niue and Legal Advisor to the Government of Tokelau.

John Dixon graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and a LLM from the University of Chicago. He was admitted in 1992 and practised in New York from 1994 to 2003, first at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell and then as a prosecutor for the Kings County District Attorney in Brooklyn. After returning to New Zealand he joined Meredith Connell and was a partner in that firm from 2007. Mr Dixon joined the independent bar in 2015 and specialises in competition and consumer law, and criminal prosecution and defence.

Suzanne Robertson graduated with a BCom, LLB (Hons), and a LLM (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland. She was admitted in 1990 and joined Chapman Tripp, before spending some time in the United Kingdom in an in-house counsel role and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton. Ms Robertson joined the independent bar in 1997. She specialises in competition law, relationship property law and disputes concerning land tenure, contract and trusts.

Rachael Reed graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University, and was admitted in 1996. She worked at Chapman Tripp and the Serious Fraud Office before joining Meredith Connell in 2003. After spending some time in the London firm Byrne and Partners, Ms Reed returned to Meredith Connell in 2006 and joined the independent bar in 2012. Ms Reed specialises in serious and complex fraud and is a member of the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel and the Crown Panel (Auckland and Manukau).

Paul Borich graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland was admitted in 1988. He joined the Auckland firm Rice Craig and became a partner in that firm in 1996. In 2014 Mr Borich joined the independent bar. He specialises in criminal law, including criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Adam Ross graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, and an LLM from the University of Virginia. He was admitted in 1989 and joined Kensington Swan, before becoming a partner in Chapman Tripp in 1996. Mr Ross joined the independent bar in 2015. He specialises in commercial and corporate litigation, commercial crime and regulatory offences, and liability insurance.

Jennifer Cooper graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago, and a BCL (first class) and MPhil from the University of Oxford. She was admitted in 1995 and worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1998 to 2002, which included working with international courts and tribunals as Second Secretary at the British Embassy in The Hague. Ms Cooper joined Bell Gully in 2003, becoming a partner in that firm in 2009. In 2011 Ms Cooper joined the independent bar and specialises in financial markets, securities law, competition and fair trading, and insolvency.

Simon Mount graduated with a LLB (Hons) and a LLM (distinction) from the University of Auckland and a LLM from Columbia Law School. He was admitted in 1995. He joined Meredith Connell as a Crown prosecutor in 2000 before going to the independent bar in 2010. Mr Mount has held teaching positions at Columbia Law School and University of Auckland. Since 2015 he has been the Attorney-General for the Pitcairn Islands. His practice focuses on public inquiries, public and regulatory law, and professional disciplinary proceedings.

Andrew Barker graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from the University of Toronto. He was admitted in 1995 and joined Russell McVeagh. Following post-graduate study, Mr Barker joined the Law Faculty at the University of Otago in 1999 where he lectured in Tort law and Civil Procedure. He joined the independent bar in 2002. He practices in commercial litigation with a particular specialty in trusts, construction litigation and financial services regulation.

Greg Blanchard graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland. He was admitted in 1996 and joined Kensington Swan. After two years at the London office of Baker & McKenzie, he returned to Kensington Swan in 2003 where he became a partner in 2004. Mr Blanchard joined the independent bar in 2008 and has a general commercial litigation practice, specialising in insolvency and taxation.

Dr Campbell Walker graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, a LLM from Yale University, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was admitted in 1992, and between 1998 and 2003 he practised international arbitration in the Paris and London offices of Shearman & Sterling. In 2004 he returned to New Zealand and was a founding partner of Auckland firm Gilbert Walker. In 2014 he joined the independent bar and specialises in arbitration, contract, insurance and professional negligence.

Grant Brittain graduated with an LLB and was admitted in 1991. Before joining the independent bar in 2002, he practised civil and commercial litigation in Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga. Mr Brittain is based in Tauranga and has a general civil practice, specialising in claims in contract and tort arising out of construction issues.

Dr James Every-Palmer graduated with a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago, a LLM from Harvard Law School, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He was admitted in 1994 and gained international experience at the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the New York firm Sullivan & Cromwell before joining Russell McVeagh in 1998. He became a partner in that firm in 2001 and joined the independent bar in 2013. Mr Every-Palmer specialises in commercial litigation with a focus on economic regulation and competition law.


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