(Hon Justice Joe Williams, Hon Justice Susan Glazebrook, Right Honourable Helen Winkelmann, Chief Justice, Hon Justice Mark O'Regan, Hon Justice Stephen Kós, Hon Justice Ellen France)
The Judges of the Supreme Court
The Right Honourable Helen Winkelmann, Chief Justice
The Rt Hon Helen Winkelmann (GNZM) was sworn in as New Zealand’s 13th Chief Justice on 14 March 2019. She is the second Chief Justice since introduction of the Supreme Court Act 2004 which ended appeals to the Privy Council.
A graduate from Auckland University, Justice Winkelmann began work as a law clerk with Auckland firm Nicholson Gribbin (later Phillips Fox, now DLA Piper). She was admitted to the bar in 1985. In 1988, she became the first female partner and one of the youngest ever in the firm’s then 117-year history. Justice Winkelmann remained at the firm until 2001 when she began practice as a barrister sole specialising in insolvency, commercial litigation, and medical disciplinary litigation. In 2004 she was appointed as a High Court Judge; followed by Chief High Court Judge in 2010 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2015.
She is the New Zealand representative on the Board of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and from November 2012 – November 2019 was Chair of the Institute of Judicial Studies – the body responsible for providing continued education to judges. As Chief Justice she retains a keen interest in judicial education.
Justice Winkelmann’s speeches are available on the Courts of New Zealand website.
Justice Susan Glazebrook is a judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand/Te Kōti Mana Nui and the President of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). Before being appointed to the Bench, Justice Glazebrook was a partner in a large commercial law firm and a member of various commercial boards and government advisory committees. She served as the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association in 1998. Since becoming a judge, Justice Glazebrook has served as a member of the Advisory Council of Jurists for the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (from 2002 to 2010) and from 2007 to 2012 chaired the Institute of Judicial Studies, the body responsible for judicial education in New Zealand.
In 2014 Justice Glazebrook was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the judiciary.
Justice Mark O'Regan graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1977. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 1977 and became a partner with the firm Chapman Tripp in 1984. He became a judge of the High Court in 2001 and a judge of the Court of Appeal in January 2004. Justice O'Regan was President of the Court of Appeal from 1 July 2010 to August 2014. He was appointed a Supreme Court Judge effective 1 September 2014.
Justice Ellen France has an LLB (Hons) from Auckland University and an LLM from Queen’s University, Ontario. Before being appointed to the High Court in April 2002 she was a senior legal adviser in the Department of Justice Law Reform Division; Crown Counsel and then Deputy Solicitor-General in the Crown Law Office. She was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal in June 2006. She was made President of the Court of Appeal with effect from 1 September 2014. On 22 July 2016 she was appointed Supreme Court Judge.
Justice Williams has an LLB from the Victoria University of Wellington and an LLM (Hons) from the University of British Columbia. He became a partner at Kensington Swan in 1992 and went on to co-found Walters Williams & Co in 1994. In 1999 he became Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal shortly after in 2000. He was made Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2004. Justice Williams was appointed a judge of the High Court in September 2008, a judge of the Court of Appeal in February 2018, and a judge of the Supreme Court in May 2019.
Justice Williams’ iwi are Ngati Pūkenga, Waitaha and Tapuika.
Justice Stephen Kós graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1981, where he won the Chapman Tripp Prize. He lectured at the Law School for three years before graduating LLM from Cambridge University in 1985. He became a partner in Perry Wylie Pope & Page in 1985, and then 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, equity and environmental litigation. Prior to judicial appointment he was the Pro-Chancellor of Massey University, Chairman of the NZX Disciplinary Tribunal and director of a number of private companies.
He was appointed to the High Court in April 2011, sitting at Wellington, and for two years also acted as an earthquake List Judge in Christchurch. He was appointed Judge of the Court of Appeal in September 2015, President of that Court in July 2016 and a Judge of the Supreme Court in April 2022.
Justice Kós has particular interests in the fields of contract, equity and legal history. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Victoria University Law School, having taught restitution, evidence and civil procedure there part-time. He also co-teaches a course on equity at Melbourne University Law School, where he is the James Merralls Visiting Fellow 2022/23.
Former Supreme Court Judges