Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Briefcase Blog - Scarfie Hell & Dean of the People

By John Bowie - LawFuel.co.nz

Scarfies Hell

I'm flatting for the week with some Scarfies, including my daughter, which is a bit like a grimy reality tv show without the cameras. Try as I might to focus on key issues like the LCA, the structure of the Privileges Committee and of course my ongoing concern over judicial superannuation I'm instead focused on reaching the bathroom without incurring a fatal injury. The flat looks like an explosion in a mattress factory. The fridge needs dropping in a vat of detergent for a week. I can see why these guys burn their couches. My God, it's positively life-threatening. They join the casino club to get cheap meals.

The Dean-of-the-People

I managed to tear myself away to see Mark Henaghan, Dean of the Otago LawSchool, who kindly and with contagious passion showed my son around the law school to whet his appetite for its offerings. Mark's very much a Dean-of-the-people and clearly highly popular with the students. He's a keen enthusiast for the unadorned teaching of law and has developed a good team who enjoy their job and some fun. Indeed his 'take' on the legal profession, coming as it did in the aftermath of the final Otago Law Society dinner commemorting the transition of the Society to its new status under the LCA, revealed a refreshingly candid view of an overly-hierarchical and status-obsessed profession. He's not one for stuffy pomposity, Professor Henaghan.

Deep South

I've only been to Southland three times in my life, all in recent years, but on each occasion the weather has been sublime. As I wandered along Oreti Beach at sunset, where Burt Monroe tested his Indian, I thought it had to be one of the finest sweep of beaches I've seen in New Zealand. In fact, Invercargill is in particularly good fettle and the legal scene is as busy as ever with a strong local economy continuing to drive business the lawyers' way. Interestingly, a Dunedin lawyer told me that in his city there had been around a dozen Australian lawyers, mainly those with greater experience, coming to town in the past year or so, either for education, lifestyle or climate reasons. You may find the climate argument hard to believe, particularly when it was Queenslanders who made the call, but Queensland's climate is generally hateful at the best of times.

Senior Exports

Last Friday Simpson Grierson commercial lawyer Andrew Lewis had his farewell afternoon tea in the Shortland Street offices before heading to Norton Rose, Dubai to join Bell Gully's Andrew Abernethy, both of whom had been shoulder-tapped for the mid-east office of he fast-expanding City-based firm. The number of roles for senior lawyers continues to expand with expertise sought in a variety of these outposts. Commercial barrister Michael Webb runs the Financial Centre Regulatory Authority in Quatar (under kiwi Chairman and CEO Phillip Thorpe), there's former Chapman Tripp partner Paul O'Regan in Japan with Clifford Chance and the everready-battery powered James Willis in Melbourne with his long time client Geoffrey Albers, the team who brought you Southern Petroleum and Cue Petroleum et al in the good old days.

Lakeside views

While there's much talk of retrenchment and keeping lids on pots, Galllaway Cook Allan, the result of the 2006 merger of the Dunedin firm and Wanaka's Blake Horder Gowing, are looking forward to next Friday's launch of their new, Wanaka digs, a purpose-built, four-partner office with expansive lake views. The new move demonstrates the firm's confidence in the expanding Wanaka market, notwithstanding a significant property downturn in the lakes district, along with the rest of the country. The firm are also looking forward to a 150-year anniversary for the firm next year.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog