Associate Judges of the High Court
2002, based in Auckland
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.
2009, based in Auckland
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.
2014, based in Wellington
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.
2018, based in Wellington
Associate Judge Johnston holds a BA, an LLB and a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Victoria University; and an LLM (Dist.) from the College of Law of England and Wales. He was called to the Bar in early 1980. After short periods in the Crown Law Office and in London, he joined Watts and Patterson in mid 1981. That firm merged with two others to form Rudd Watts & Stone, and is now known as Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. Associate Judge Johnston was a solicitor, associate and partner until he retired to join the independent bar in late 1997, becoming a member of Lambton Chambers. He took silk in mid 2016. Associate Judge Johnston is based in Wellington.
2018, based in Auckland
Associate Judge Andrew graduated BA, LLB from the University of Otago in 1984 and the same year was admitted as a barrister and solicitor. In 1988 he received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Scholarship and in 1989 graduated LLM from the University of Kiel, Germany (Public International Law). He was employed between 1984 - 1987 as a solicitor with Meredith Connell, Auckland then from 1990-1993 with Russell McVeagh. Between 1993 - 1999 he was employed at the Crown Law Office, Wellington, and involved in judicial review and Waitangi Tribunal claims. He has been a member of the Auckland Crown Solicitor’s Prosecution Panel, part-time member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority and from 2008 - 2017 a part-time member of the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, Auckland. As a barrister, Associate Judge Andrew specialised in public law litigation with particular focus on Maori and Waitangi Treaty issues. He was appointed an Associate Judge in March 2018 and he is based in Auckland.
2018, based in Christchurch
Associate Judge Lester graduated with LLB(Hons) from Canterbury University in 1990. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 1991 and worked at White, Fox & Jones. In 1991 and 1992 he was a Judges’ Clerk to the Christchurch High Court Bench. In 1994, he was employed as a litigation solicitor at Rhodes & Co. The following year he joined Saunders & Co, initially as a litigation solicitor and then an associate before joining the partnership in 1998. Associate Judge Lester left Saunders & Co in 2003 to join the Bar and co-founded Canterbury Chambers in 2007. His principal areas of practice were contract, commercial, insolvency and estate litigation. He was appointed an Associate Judge in 2018 and he is based in Christchurch.