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Gisborne-based lawyer elected President of NZ Law Society

New Zealand Law Society appoints Gisborne-based lawyer as President of New Zealand Law Society

24 October 2018

Kiri Allan, Labour MP

Kiri Allan, Labour MP based in the East Coast praises the election of Tiana Epati, a senior Gisborne-based practitioner, on being elected as President of the New Zealand Law Society.

“The appointment of Ms Epati, a Pasifika woman, signals a monumental sea-change for the legal profession. Tiana has an impressive career in criminal law with immense success acting for both prosecution and defence. Tiana is as a relatively young woman of Samoan heritage who was raised in Samoa until she migrated to New Zealand as a child and is now a regional-based Partner and practitioner. Tiana’s election marks a clear shift in the status quo and signifies the generational, cultural and values-based shift the profession has been seeking.

“We have seen the immense diligence, expertise and effort that Tiana puts into every single client that comes across her desk, regardless of their class, race or creed. This is evidenced in a series of successes in the Court of Appeal in recent years.

“She is a valued member of the bar in Gisborne and partner at Rishworth Wall & Mathieson. To have someone of Tiana’s talent and reputation based in Gisborne and leading the New Zealand Law Society is a credit to her intellect, capacity and ability to reflect the contemporary bar and its members today. It is also a signal of the health and vibrancy of the profession in the regions.

“I am excited for the next generation of young women and men, from diverse backgrounds, entering into the legal profession that might see themselves reflected in the leadership of the profession. I welcome the contributions Tiana will make at the helm of the New Zealand Law Society, both for issues that impact smaller regions with particular demands such as Gisborne, to some of the critical cultural issues facing the profession that have been highlighted in the recent Bazely Report.

Ms Epati commenced her practice as a Crown prosecutor with the well-respected firm Meredith Connell, continuing her practice with high calibre firms Luke Cunningham Clere, Izard Weston and Crown Law before moving to Gisborne with her young family.

Tiana Epati will take up her role as President of the New Zealand Law Society in April 2019.


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