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Judges

 

The Honourable Justice Kós

The Honourable Justice French

The Honourable Justice Miller

The Honourable Justice Cooper

The Honourable Justice Brown

The Honourable Justice Clifford

The Honourable Justice Gilbert

The Honourable Justice Joseph Williams

The Honourable Justice Courtney

The Honourable Justice Collins

 

Justice KosThe Honourable Justice Kós

Justice Stephen Kós graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1981 and LLM from Cambridge University in 1985. He became a partner in Perry Wylie Pope & Page in 1985, and in Russell McVeagh in 1988.  He joined the independent bar in 2005, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2007.  His principal fields of practice were commercial and environmental litigation.  He is an Honorary Fellow at the Victoria University Law School, where he taught restitution, evidence and civil procedure, and was formerly Pro-Chancellor of Massey University and Chairman of the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal.  Justice Kós was appointed to the High Court in April 2011, and to the Court of Appeal in September 2015. He was appointed President of the Court of Appeal with effect from 22 July 2016.

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The Honourable Justice French

The Hon Justice French was educated in Invercargill and achieved an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Otago in 1981. She was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford (United Kingdom) and graduated BCL in 1983. On return to New Zealand she practised in the legal firm of French Burt Partners in Invercargill. She has been a member of various Law Society committees. Justice French was appointed to the Court of Appeal on 6 August 2012.

 

The Honourable Justice Miller

Justice Forrie Miller (LLM, Toronto: BA/LLB (Hons), Otago) was appointed to the High Court of New Zealand in 2004, and to the Court of Appeal in 2013.  He was formerly chairman of Chapman Tripp, solicitors, where he had a commercial litigation practice focused on securities, regulatory and competition law.  He was chairman of Unison Networks Ltd, the electricity distributor for the Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Taupo regions, and the Wellington Girls College Board of Trustees.

In the High Court the Judge was executive Judge for the Wellington circuit.  He designed and until 2013 managed the Earthquake List for the many cases arising from the Christchurch earthquakes.  For this work he shared the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Award for Excellence in 2013.

In the Court of Appeal the Judge has been responsible for developing electronic casebooks for use in criminal and civil jurisdictions.  He chairs the Judicial Reference Group, a cross-bench committee working with the Ministry of Justice on an electronic content management system which will lead to electronic filing and case management systems in all New Zealand courts.  He also chairs the Judicial Libraries Management Board, which exercises governance responsibilities over judicial libraries.

 

The Honourable Justice Cooper

Justice Cooper is of Ngati Mahanga descent, a hapu of Waikato. Justice Mark Cooper studied law at the University of Auckland, graduating LLB (Hons), MJur (Dist) and winning the Fowlds prize in law in 1979. He commenced practice with the firm Butler White & Hanna, which later merged into Simpson Grierson, and was principal legal advisor for the Auckland City, North Shore City and Rodney District Councils, advising on a wide range of laws affecting local government, including resource management, rates and valuation. Justice Cooper became a barrister sole in 1997, and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 2000. He was appointed to the High Court bench in Auckland in 2004 and to the Court of Appeal in 2014.top

 

The Honourable Justice Brown

Justice Brown graduated LLB (Hons) in 1976 from the University of Canterbury and was admitted to the Bar in 1977 in New Zealand and to the Bar of the Australian Capital Territory in Canberra in 1990.  He was employed as a law clerk in a firm at Christchurch in 1976 and as a solicitor at Bell Gully, Wellington, from 1977-1982 before becoming a partner until 1992.  He commenced practice as a barrister sole in Wellington in March 1992 and was appointed a QC in 1997. Justice Brown was   appointed a High Court Judge in 2013 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal in August 2016.

 

The Honourable Justice Clifford

Justice Denis Clifford graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1978.  He joined the Wellington law firm Buddle Anderson Kent & Co, leaving in 1980 to take up a position as Visiting Fellow at the University of Illinois Law School.  Justice Clifford returned to New Zealand to work for Buddle Findlay in 1982, went overseas again in 1984, working with London firm Slaughter and May, and on return to New Zealand in 1986 became a partner of Buddle Findlay, a position he held until 2001.  From 1998 to 2000 Justice Clifford was on secondment from his law firm as a member of the Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  Justice Clifford joined the independent bar in 2002.  He was appointed a Judge of the High Court bench in April 2006. In April 2017 he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

 

The Honourable Justice Gilbert

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. Justice Gilbert was appointed to the Court of Appeal in June 2017.

 

The Honourable Justice Joseph Williams

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.  He has also held academic positions. Justice Williams is of Ngati Pukenga, Waitaha and Tapuika descent. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2008 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal in February 2018. 

 

The Honourable Justice Courtney

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 was appointed to the Court of Appeal in February 2019.

 

The Honourable Justice Collins

Justice Collins graduated with an LLB (Hons) (First Class) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, subsequently gaining an LLM in 1976 and an LLD in 1993, both from Victoria University of Wellington.   He also obtained an LLM-JS from Duke University in the United States.  In 1985 Justice Collins became a partner in the firm now known as Rainey Collins.   In 1996 he left the partnership to join the Independent Bar and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2000.  He was appointed Solicitor-General in September 2006.  Prior to that Justice Collins held positions as President of the Wellington Law Society, Chairman of the Accident Compensation Corporation, Chairman of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and Executive Vice President of the World Association of Law and Medicine.  Justice Collins was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2012 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal in April 2019.