The Judges and Associate Judges of the High Court
There are currently 46 judges available for sitting. However the Chief High Court Judge is not fully rostered due to the heavy administrative burden. The practical High Court sitting complement is therefore of 45 Judges comprising 38 High Court judges and seven associate judges.
Justice Venning completed a double major B Comm in 1978 at the University of Canterbury followed by an LLB (1st Class Hons) in 1981. From 1982 to 1986 he tutored part-time in commercial law at the University. He became a litigation partner at the Christchurch law firm of Wynn Williams and Co in 1986. He was appointed a master of the High Court in 1995 based in Christchurch. He subsequently moved to Auckland in November 2002 to take up a position as a High Court judge. Justice Venning was a member of the High Court Rules Committee from 1999 – 2005, a member of the Council of Legal Education from 2004 – May 2015 (Chair from March 2010) and served two terms as the list judge in the Auckland High Court. Justice Venning was appointed Chief High Court Judge with effect from 1 June 2015.
- The Honourable Justice Heath – 2002
- The Honourable Justice Fogarty – 2003
- The Honourable Justice Simon France – 2005
- The Honourable Justice Lang – 2005
- The Honourable Justice Mallon – 2006
- The Honourable Justice Woodhouse – 2007
- The Honourable Justice Duffy – 2007
- The Honourable Justice Dobson – 2007
- The Honourable Justice Wylie – 2008
- The Honourable Justice Joseph Williams – 2008
- The Honourable Justice Ellis – 2009
- The Honourable Justice Brewer ONZM – 2010
- The Honourable Justice Peters – 2010
- The Honourable Justice Woolford – 2010
- The Honourable Justice Whata – 2011
- The Honourable Justice Toogood – 2011
- The Honourable Justice Gilbert – 2012
- The Honourable Justice Collins – 2012
- The Honourable Justice Katz – 2012
- The Honourable Justice Gendall – 2013
- The Honourable Justice Mander – 2013
- The Honourable Justice Dunningham – 2014
- The Honourable Justice Thomas – 2014
- The Honourable Justice Moore – 2014
- The Honourable Justice Muir - 2014
- The Honourable Justice Hinton - 2014
- The Honourable Justice Nation - 2015
- The Honourable Justice Edwards - 2015
- The Honourable Justice Clark - 2015
Associate Judge / Commencement date
- Associate Judge Sargisson – 2002
- Associate Judge Christiansen – 2003
- Associate Judge Doogue – 2005
- Associate Judge Osborne – 2009
- Associate Judge Bell – 2009
- Associate Judge Matthews – 2011
- Associate Judge Smith – 2014
Justice Paul Heath graduated LLB in 1978 from the University of Auckland. He was admitted to the bar in 1978 and joined the Department of Justice at Auckland as an investigating solicitor. In 1981 he moved to Stace Hammond Grace and Partners and became a partner of the firm in 1983. He was admitted to the Australian Capital Territory bar in 1990. He retired as a partner of Stace Hammond Grace and Partners in 1995 but continued his association with the firm as a consultant until commencing practice as a barrister sole in 1998. Justice Heath was a consultant to the New Zealand Law Commission from 1997 to 1999 and was then appointed a part-time Commissioner for three years. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1998 and a High Court judge in 2002. Justice Heath is based at the Auckland High Court.
Justice John Fogarty graduated LLB (Hons.) from the University of Canterbury in 1971 and LLM from the University of Toronto in 1974. Between 1974 and 1985 he practised in the firm of Weston Ward & Lascelles in Christchurch, becoming a partner of the firm in 1978. Justice Fogarty went to the bar in 1985, was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1990, and became a High Court judge in 2003. He is based at the Auckland High Court.
Justice Patricia Courtney graduated LLB from the University of Auckland in 1982. She joined the Department of Trade & Industry as an investigating officer in November 1982 and in 1983 became a staff solicitor at Heaney Jones & Mason. In 1986 Justice Courtney moved to McElroy Milne and became a partner of the firm in 1989. In 1992 she was a founding partner of the firm of McElroys and was senior partner from 1998 until her appointment as a High Court judge in 2004. Justice Courtney is based in Auckland.
Justice Simon France graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and worked briefly as a solicitor at Nicholson Gribbin before undertaking overseas study culminating in an LLM from Queen's University, Ontario in 1983. In 1984 Justice France joined Victoria University of Wellington as a lecturer, later becoming senior lecturer and at various times dean of students and deputy dean of the law faculty. In 1995 he moved to the Crown Law Office as a Crown Counsel, becoming team leader to the human rights team in 2002. Justice France was appointed a High Court judge in January 2005 and is based in Wellington.
Justice Graham Lang attended Otago University and graduated LLB (Hons) (1st Class) in 1980. He was awarded the New Zealand Law Society’s Cleary Memorial Prize in 1981. Justice Lang was a Staff Solicitor at Robinson Toomey & Partners, Napier from 1980, becoming a partner of the firm in 1982. In 1987 he moved to partnership at Elvidge & Partners, and was appointed Crown Solicitor at Napier from 1995 to 2002. He was appointed a Master (now Associate Judge) of the High Court in April 2002 and became a Judge of the High Court in August 2005. He is based at the Auckland High Court.
Justice Jillian Mallon graduated LLB Hons from Otago University in 1988 and LLM from Cornell University in 1993. She joined the litigation team at Bell Gully in Wellington in 1988, becoming a partner of the firm in 1998. Justice Mallon specialised in general commercial litigation at Bell Gully with most recent emphasis on competition, media and public law. In addition, she taught competition law at Victoria University from 1999 to 2005 and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2005. Justice Mallon was appointed a judge of the High Court in July 2006 and she is based in Wellington.
Justice Woodhouse graduated from Auckland University. He joined the law firm Glaister Ennor & Kiff, becoming a partner in that firm in 1976. Justice Woodhouse joined the independent bar in 1993 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002. Justice Woodhouse was appointed a Judge in 2007 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Duffy graduated LLM (Hons) from Auckland University. Justice Duffy first practised as a solicitor at the Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office from 1981 to 1985. She became head solicitor in 1983. From 1985 to 1988 she practised as a barrister in Auckland. Between 1988 and 1996 she practised as Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office. From 1991 to 1996 she was team leader of the Crown Law Office commercial regulatory team. Justice Duffy returned to the independent bar in 1996 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998. She practised in civil and public law. Justice Duffy also conducted a number of statutory committees of inquiry including serving as the Chair of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into the Under-reporting of Cervical Smear Abnormalities in the Gisborne region. Justice Duffy was appointed a Judge in 2007 and is based in Auckland.
The Hon Justice Dobson was educated in Gisborne and completed his LLB degree in 1971. He became a partner in Stone and Co in 1976 (now Minter Ellison) until 1990 when he became a barrister sole, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1998. He has been a member of various Law Society committees and was president of the New Zealand Bar Association from 2002-2004. He was appointed a High Court Judge in 2007 and is based in Wellington.
The Hon Justice Wylie achieved his LLB degree (First Class Honours) from University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in 1975 and PhD in Administrative Law from University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in 1980. He became a partner in Ronaldson Averill & Co. in the same year and was a partner in Lane Neave Ronaldson from 1983 until 1990. He became a barrister sole in 1991 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2002. He was appointed a Judge in 2008 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Joseph Williams graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1986 and LLM (Hons.) in 1988 from the University of British Columbia. He was admitted to the Bar in 1988 and employed by Kensington Swan, Auckland in 1988, becoming a partner in 1992. He was a partner in the firm of Walters Williams from 1994 until 1999 before being appointed Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court in December 1999. Justice Joseph Williams has also held academic positions. Justice Williams is of Ngati Pukenga, Waitaha and Tapuika descent. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court on 15 September 2008. He is based in Wellington.
Justice Ellis graduated BA (English major) from Victoria University in 1982 and LLB in 1986. She was admitted to the Bar in 1989 and was a Legal Advisor with the Law Reform division of the Department of Justice from 1987-1992 and a Senior solicitor in the litigation department of the firm of Chapman Tripp in Wellington from 1992-1996. Justice Ellis then joined the Crown Law Office and was employed as Crown Counsel in that office until her appointment as Director, Legal Services at the Ministry of Economic Development in 2004. In 2005 she rejoined Crown Law and in 2006 became the Team Leader of the Tax and Commercial Team and during 2008-2009 was the Manager of the Crown’s Structured Finance Litigation, before being appointed a Judge of the High Court on 1 November 2009. She is based in Wellington.
Justice Brewer graduated LLB (Honours, 1st class) from Victoria University in 1979. He was admitted to the Bar in 1980. Between 1980 and 1987 he practised predominantly commercial and property law at Govett Quilliam, New Plymouth.
Justice Brewer was then appointed New Plymouth Crown Solicitor, an appointment he held from 1988-2010. From 1990-2010 he was the senior litigation partner in the firm which became Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen. From 1997-2001 he was a part-time Commissioner of the Law Commission.
Justice Brewer joined the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army in 1976; appointed a member of the Courts Martial Panel of Advocates in 2001; Judge-Advocate from 2004-2009 and a Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand from 2009. He retired in 2009 as Director-General Reserve Forces with the rank of Brigadier. Justice Brewer was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003. Justice Brewer is based in Auckland.
Justice Peters graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1985 and was admitted to the Bar the same year. She was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1991. Between 1983 and 1987 she was a solicitor with Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young in Wellington. Justice Peters was a solicitor with Arthur Andersen & Co in New York in 1988 and with Allen & Overy in London from 1990 1995. Justice Peters returned to Auckland to work for Russell McVeagh in 1995. She was a partner with that firm from 1997 2004. Justice Peters moved to the independent bar at the end of 2004. Justice Peters is based in Auckland.
Justice Woolford graduated LLB (Hons) from Auckland University and BA in Japanese in 1977 as well as attaining a BCL from Oxford University in 1981. He was admitted to the Bar in 1977. He held positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Wellington, Singapore and New York 1981-85. Justice Woolford returned to Auckland to work for Meredith Connell in 1986 and became a partner with that firm from 1987 until the current appointment. Justice Woolford is based in Auckland.
Justice Whata is from Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Tamateatutahi - Kawiti of Te Arawa. Justice Whata graduated from Auckland University in 1992 and was admitted to the bar in the same year, obtaining an LLB (Hons) in 1994. He commenced working with the Auckland firm of Simpson Grierson until 1993 when he took up a position in the general litigation team at Kensington Swan until 1995. He obtained an LLM (1st class) from the University of Cambridge, then took employment with Russell McVeagh from 1997-2001, becoming a partner in 2001. He specialised in resource management law and Maori issues. Justice Whata was appointed a High Court Judge on 1 March 2011, initially based at the Christchurch High Court. He is now based in Auckland.
Justice Toogood graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1972 and was admitted to the bar in 1973. He initially joined the Wellington firm of Craig Morgan and Co in 1972 and from 1977-1985 was a Crown Prosecutor with Luke, Cunningham and Clere. From 1985-86 he was a litigation partner in Young, Swan, Morison, McKay in Wellington and from 1986-90 with Kensington Swan. After working as a barrister sole in 1990 and a move to Auckland in 1992, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in May 1999. Since 1992 he specialised in civil and commercial litigation, employment, sports and criminal law as well as arbitration and mediation. Justice Toogood was appointed a High Court Judge on 8 March 2011 and is based at the Auckland High Court. Justice Toogood acknowledges his Ngai Tahu whakapapa.
Justice Gilbert graduated LLB from Auckland University in 1977. He was appointed a High Court Judge, sitting in Auckland, in 2012. He was a partner at Kensington Swan from 1985 to 1996, Chapman Tripp from 1996 to 2004 and Gilbert/Walker from 2004 to 2012. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2008 and a High Court Judge in February 2012. He is based in Auckland.
Justice Collins graduated LLB (Hons 1st class) in 1975; LL.M. in 1976 and LL.D. in 1993 from Victoria University, Wellington. He was admitted to the NZ Bar in 1976, State of Victoria Bar and High Court of Australia Bar in 1986 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2000. He was appointed New Zealand Solicitor-General on 1 September 2006. He has held a variety of roles in the Wellington District Law Society and New Zealand Law Society. Justice Collins has been an Honorary Fellow at the Faculty of Law at Victoria University and Executive Vice President, of the World Association of Law and Medicine. He was appointed to the High Court on 16 March 2012 and sits in Wellington.
Justice Katz achieved her LLB degree from the University of Otago in 1987 and was admitted to the NZ Bar that year. She was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1992 and graduated LLM from the University of London in 1993. Justice Katz commenced her career as a Teaching Fellow at Otago University, followed by several years at Chapman Tripp, Wellington. She then worked for Herbert Smith in London before returning to NZ where she joined the firm of Buddle Findlay, becoming a partner in 1997. Justice Katz moved to Russell McVeagh in 2003 where, prior to her appointment to the High Court in August 2012, she was a senior litigation partner. She sits in Auckland.
Justice David Gendall graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1973. Previously he worked as a law clerk at Luke Cunningham & Clere, and then Buddle Anderson & Co in Wellington. In 1974 he joined the Hamilton law firm of Chapman Feenstra & Cartwright, and in 1975 was admitted to the partnership of that firm (later McCaw Lewis Chapman). In 1988 he retired from partnership and joined the Law School at the University of Waikato as a Senior Lecturer. He was appointed Dean of the Law School in 2000, and then joined the High Court Bench as a Master in March 2002. He became an Associate Judge of the High Court when the title changed in May 2004 and was appointed a High Court Judge in 2013. He is based at the Christchurch High Court.
Justice Cameron Mander graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1985 and subsequently LLM (Hons) in 1991. He was employed as a solicitor at Luke Cunningham and Clere before travelling to London, where he was admitted to the roll of solicitors for England and Wales and employed as a litigation solicitor with Clifford Chance. While in England, he obtained a LLM (Hons) from Cambridge University. He returned as a partner to the firm of Luke Cunningham and Clere where he practised as a senior Crown prosecutor and litigator. In 2007 he joined the Crown Law Office as a Deputy Solicitor-General. Justice Mander is based at the Christchurch High Court.
Justice Rachel Dunningham graduated BA (Hons) 1st class from Massey University and a Diploma of Teaching from the Palmerston North Teachers’ College in 1981. She then graduated LLB (Hons) 1st class from the University of Canterbury in 1996 and was awarded the Canterbury District Law Society Gold Medal in that year. She was a Teacher at Awatapu College in Palmerston North from 1982-1992 She was then employed in the law firm of Buddle Findlay in Christchurch and became a partner in 2005. She undertook a number of roles with the New Zealand Law Society, including as President of the Canterbury-Westland Branch in 2012-13. Justice Dunningham was appointed a High Court Judge in January 2014 and is based at the Christchurch High Court.
Justice Thomas graduated in 1982 BA/LLB (Hons) Auckland University, Senior Scholar in Law. She was admitted to the Bar in New Zealand in 1982 and later as a Solicitor of England and Wales. She was employed as a solicitor at the firm of Holmden Horrocks (Auckland) in 1982 before working in London from 1983 for almost 10 years as in house counsel and as a solicitor and partner in a legal firm. On return to New Zealand in 1995, she joined Minter Ellison Rudd Watts where she was a partner before appointment as a Judge of the District Court in 2005. Justice Thomas was appointed a High Court Judge in January 2014 and is based in Wellington.
Justice Moore graduated BA (Hons) from Otago University in 1978 and LLB in 1980 from the Auckland University. He was admitted to the Bar in 1982 and became a solicitor in the firm of Meredith Connell, Auckland and then a partner in 1985. He was appointed Crown Solicitor for Auckland in 1994 and took silk in 2008. Justice Moore is based in Auckland.
Justice Muir graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Auckland University in 1981 and became a staff solicitor with Holmden Horrocks & Co in Auckland. In 1984 he took leave from Holmden Horrocks for postgraduate studies at the University of Virginia, graduating with an LLM. In 1985 Justice Muir joined the partnership of Holmden Horrocks, working in civil litigation. He left that firm in 1988 to join the partnership of Buddle Findlay, based in their Auckland office and specialising in commercial and banking litigation. Justice Muir went to the independent bar in 1994 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013. Justice Muir was appointed a High Court Judge in 2014 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Hinton graduated with an LLB(Hons) from Auckland University in 1975 and became a staff solicitor with Grierson Jackson & Partners in Auckland. In 1982 Justice Hinton joined the partnership of Hesketh Henry, working in civil litigation. She left that firm in 1989 to join the partnership of Simpson Grierson in their Auckland office and headed the civil litigation and matrimonial property team of five lawyers. Justice Hinton went to the independent bar in 1997 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002. Justice Hinton was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2014 and she is based at the Auckland High Court.
The Hon Justice Gerald Nation graduated LL.B (Hons) from the University of Canterbury, in 1974 and admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1975. He was employed with the firm of Wynn Williams in Christchurch and became a partner in 1979. He has 35 years' experience appearing in the High Court in both criminal and civil litigation, as well as the Court of Appeal and all lower courts. Justice Nation was appointed a High Court Judge in February 2015 and is based in Christchurch.
Justice Davidson graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1971 and became a barrister and solicitor with Duncan Cotterill & Co. in Christchurch. In 1974 he left that firm to join Young Hunter & Co, becoming a partner in 1975.
Justice Davidson went to the independent bar in 1988 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996. He has led teams across a wide range of civil and prosecution litigation including representing the Serious Fraud Office in the Commission of Inquiry into various tax related matters (the Wine Box Inquiry). He was also counsel before the Royal Commission of Inquiry for the families of those men who died in the Pike River Mine Disaster in 2010.
Justice Davidson was appointed Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Sports Disputes Tribunal in 2003 for a term ending in 2011 and is National Commissioner for New Zealand Cricket. He is a member of the disciplinary structures within SANZAR and the IRB and the Code of Conduct Commission for the International Cricket Council based in Dubai. Justice Davidson was appointed a High Court Judge in June 2015 and he sits in Christchurch.
Justice Edwards graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1993 and commenced work as a solicitor with the Auckland office of Russell McVeagh. In 1996 she graduated with an LLM from the University of Virginia.
In 1997 Justice Edwards took a position with Herbert Smith in London, before returning to Russell McVeagh as a senior solicitor in 1998. Justice Edwards left Russell McVeagh in 2003 to commence practice as a barrister sole specialising in commercial civil litigation with a particular focus on contract, shareholder and insolvency related disputes.
Justice Edwards was admitted to the permanent bar in the Cook Islands in 2010 and subsequently represented the respondents in the first two Cook Islands appeals to the Privy Council. Justice Edwards was appointed a High Court Judge in June 2015 and she is based in Auckland.
Justice Clark graduated with an LLB from Victoria University, Wellington in 1986. A former Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law) Justice Clark went to the independent bar in 2007 where she continued to specialise in judicial review, civil and commercial litigation and public and constitutional law. Justice Clark appeared in first instance and appellate jurisdictions including the Waitangi Tribunal, Supreme Court, Privy Council and the Supreme Court of Tonga. Justice Clark also undertook and appeared before inquiries involving significant public interest issues such as the Coronial Inquiry into the circumstances of the deaths of those who died in the CTV Building and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy. Justice Clark was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2007. She was appointed a Judge of the High Court on 29 September 2015 and is based in Wellington.
Justice Palmer graduated BA (Economics and Political Science) (1983) from the University of Canterbury, LLB (Hons 1st class) (1987) from Victoria University of Wellington, LLM, Master of Laws, Yale Law School (1990), JSD, Doctor of Laws, Yale Law School (1994).
He was admitted to the NZ Bar in 1987 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014. He has held positions as manager in the Treasury, Deputy Secretary for Justice, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Law at Victoria University and was Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law) at Crown Law Office from 2008-2012. Justice Palmer was the New Zealand Law Foundation 2005 International Research Fellow while Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law and Fulbright Senior Scholar at Yale Law School. He was appointed to the High Court on 14 October 2015 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Davison graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1975 and commenced as a staff solicitor with Glaister Ennor & Kiff, Auckland. He commenced with Keegan Alexander Tedcastle & Friedlander in 1977 and became a partner in 1978.
Justice Davison went to the independent bar in 1990 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996. He has been involved in various high profile cases and Royal Commissions of Inquiry. Justice Davison was appointed a High Court Judge in December 2015 and is based in Auckland.top
Justice Cull graduated LLB (Hons) in 1977 from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted to the Bar in 1978 . She was employed as a law clerk and then Staff Solicitor in the firm of Brandons, Wellington from 1976-1983 before becoming a litigation partner in Tripe Matthews and Feist from 1983-1990. She commenced practice as a barrister sole in Wellington in 1990 and was appointed a QC in 1997. Justice Cull has held the positions of Cease and Desist Commissioner under the Commerce Act, Senior Advisory District Inspector under the Mental Health Act and Chair of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. Justice Cull was appointed a High Court Judge on 28 June 2016 and is based in Wellington.top
Justice Downs graduated LLB (Hons) in 1993 from Otago University, LLM (Hons, 1st class) from Cambridge University in 2001, and a PhD from Otago University in 2011. The Judge was admitted to the Bar in 1994. He was employed as a junior solicitor at Brewer Mazengarb (New Plymouth) in 1994 and then Assistant Crown Counsel at Crown Law from 1994-96. From 1996-2005 he prosecuted indictable crime, first at Ben Vanderkolk & Associates (Palmerston North) and then at Meredith Connell (Auckland). He rejoined Crown Law in 2005. He appeared regularly in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He is the editor of Cross on Evidence and a co-author of its new edition. Justice Downs was appointed a High Court Judge on 11 August 2016 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Fitzgerald graduated LLB (Senior Scholar) in 1992 from Victoria University. She was admitted to the Bar in 1992 in New Zealand, as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1999 and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2003. She was employed as a litigation solicitor at Russell McVeagh in Wellington from 1992 to 1994, before a move to Clifford Chance in London as a Senior Solicitor from 1994 to 1997 and then at Debevoise & Plimpton in London from 1998 to 2001. Justice Fitzgerald returned to Russell McVeagh, Wellington from 2001 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2006 was a Senior Associate, Dispute Resolution at the firm of Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney. She returned to Auckland in 2006 and in 2007, joined the partnership of Russell McVeagh, where she remained until her current appointment on 22 August 2016. Justice Fitzgerald is based in Auckland.
Justice Gordon graduated with a BA in History from Otago University in 1974 and completed an LLB from Auckland University in 1983. She joined Russell McVeagh in 1984 and worked primarily in the area of resource management law. In 1986, Justice Gordon joined the Auckland Crown Solicitor’s office, Meredith Connell, where she specialised in criminal law. She became a partner in October 1987 and remained at the firm until 2015. Justice Gordon was appointed a Senior Counsel (now Queen’s Counsel) in 2008. She held the office of Deputy Prosecutor for the Pitcairn Islands from 2001 until 2014 when she was appointed Public Prosecutor for the Pitcairn islands. In 2015 Justice Gordon joined the independent bar and later that year was made Special Counsel at the Manukau Crown Solicitor’s office Kayes Fletcher Walker. Justice Gordon was appointed a High Court Judge on 8 December 2016 and is based in Auckland.
Justice Faire graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1971 and joined the Hamilton law firm of Stace Hammond Grace and Partners as a common law partner. In 1972 he was admitted to the partnership of Stace Hammond Grace & Bishop and between 1972 and 1977 was also senior lecturer part-time at the Business Management Faculty, University of Waikato. Justice Faire was managing partner of Stace Hammond Grace and Partners when he joined the High Court Bench as a Master in June 1996. He became an Associate Judge of the High Court when the title changed in May 2004 and was appointed a Temporary High Court Judge on 28 February 2011 until 3 June 2011. He was then appointed a permanent High Court Judge on 11 December 2013. Justice Faire retired on 6 December 2016. He has been appointed an Acting Judge with effect from 24 April 2017 with the term ending on 23 July 2017. He is based primarily in Wellington and Christchurch.
Associate Judges of the High Court
Associate Judge Hannah Sargisson graduated LLB (Hons) from Auckland University in 1975. She joined Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co the same year and in 1980 moved to Brookfield Prendergast & Co where she became a partner in October 1982. In 1985, following the merger of two Wellington and two Auckland firms, Judge Sargisson became a partner of Brandon Brookfield. She continued as a partner at Brookfields from 1991, while holding additional positions as President of the Auckland District Law Society 2000-2001 and Vice-President, New Zealand Law Society from 2001 until appointment as a Master of the High Court in 2002. Judge Sargisson became an Associate Judge of the High Court when the title changed in May 2004 and she is based at the Auckland High Court. Judge Sargisson is of Ngati Raukawa descent.
Associate Judge Jeremy Doogue graduated LLB from the University of Auckland in 1973. He was employed by McCaw Lewis Chapman, Solicitors of Hamilton from 1974 and was a partner of the firm for eight years before taking up sole practice as a barrister from 1987. In 1996 he was appointed a District Court judge based in Auckland. Judge Doogue was Executive Judge, Northern Region, District Courts from 1999 to 2002, standing in as Acting Chief District Court Judge for various periods form 2002 to 2004. He became an associate judge of the High Court in December 2005 and is based at the Auckland High Court.
Associate Judge Osborne graduated LLB (Hons) and LLM from Canterbury University. He was employed by the firm of Young Hunter and Co as a solicitor from 1976 and with Duncan Cotterill in 1978. He became Crown Counsel (and later Senior Crown Counsel) with the Hong Kong Government from 1980-1985. In 1986 he returned to the firm of Duncan Cotterill as a partner and became a barrister sole from April 2007. He was appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court from 29 January 2009.
Associate Judge Bell graduated LLB (Hons)/BA from Auckland University. He studied at Keble College, Oxford University obtaining a BCL degree before returning to New Zealand to be employed by the firm of Simpson Coates & Clapshaw in Auckland from 1978 to 1980. After a Volunteer Service Abroad assignment in Kiribati establishing the office of Peoples’ Lawyer he returned to Buddle Weir in Auckland from 1983 to 1985 and then became a partner in Webb Ross at Whangarei from 1986 until his appointment as an Associate Judge of the High Court from 27 November 2009. He is based in Auckland.
Associate Judge Matthews graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1972 and was admitted to the bar in 1973 at Christchurch. He tutored at the University of Canterbury for a few years and was Chairman of the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal from 1988-2004. He was a partner with Lane Neave from 1975 to 1987 involved in all aspects of the law. He commenced practice as a barrister sole on 1 April 1987, based in Christchurch until 2005 and then in Queenstown until 2010. Associate Judge Matthews was appointed on 7 February 2011 and is based at the Christchurch High Court.
Associate Judge Warwick Smith graduated BA in 1973 and LLB from Otago University in 1974. He studied at University College, London obtaining a Master of Laws (Intellectual Property) in 2009. He was employed as a solicitor and partner in various firms including as a partner in Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young from 1989-99. He became a Barrister Sole in January 2000 until his appointment as an Associate Judge of the High Court in January 2014. He is based in Wellington.