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Family Court Judge appointed

Family Court Judge appointed

Attorney-General Margaret Wilson has announced the appointment of Mary O’Dwyer of Christchurch as a Family Court Judge. Judge O’Dwyer will sit in Dunedin after her swearing in on 1 November.

Mary O’Dwyer graduated from Birmingham University in England with an honours degree in law in 1977. She then practised as a barrister sole in London for 16 years before emigrating to New Zealand. She joined the firm of Cuningham Taylor in Christchurch in 1994, becoming a partner in 1997.

In England her practice included family law, crime, employment, mental health, education and general common law. Her recent practice has been exclusively family law, predominantly Counsel for Child, Hague Convention and relationship property work.

Mary O’Dwyer has made a significant contribution to the Law Society, in particular to the Womens’ Consultative Group, of which she is currently Convenor, to the Family Law Section, and as a member of the Canterbury District Family Law Committee. She has given numerous presentations on family law topics to groups in the profession as well as in the community in both England and New Zealand.

Her interest in family and women’s issues is also reflected in her community involvement in both countries. She worked voluntarily in community law centres in London and is currently a trustee of the Family Help Trust in Christchurch.

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