chambers

47. Deborah Chambers QC

Lady Deborah Chambers QC is a prominent and powerful lawyer within the profession, as well as being heavily involved in numerous legal organisations.

Lady Deborah has been a prominent member of the bar for some years, casting her elegant and stylish shadow upon a range of cases in the relationship property and trusts arena, as well as co-writing a handbook on domestic property law and a guide to trusts.

The late Justice Chambers & Deborah Chambers

Her star rose with the marriage to the dashing and late Supreme Court Justice Sir Robert Chambers who died suddenly in 2013. Having accumulated the entitlement to “Lady Chambers”, a title she uses sparingly after her late husband was posthumously knighted, she became embroiled in legal proceedings involving her late husband’s son, a Silicon Valley software engineer.

The case saw the High Court reject much of the son’s claim for a payout from the late Judge’s substantial estate, but ruled that Ms Chambers was a ‘constructive trustee’ for her stepson, with an obligation to act in his best interests.

She also continued a high profile career specialising in relationship property and related issues, including the Clayton wrangle involving a $28 million fortune, but holding significant importance in terms of trusts and relationship property, involving issues as to ownership of a power of appointment.

She continues to make waves in the matrimonial property stakes with cases such as those involving the Chambers family (non-related) where a valuable Mount Maunganui property lead to a dispute between siblings and the rewriting of a will as well as speaking with law students in an address in August 2016 that saw her describe how her early punk rock beginnings from “deepest Glenfield” had lead to her role as a high profile, glamour QC.

Other cases in the trust and relationship property area, among others, have also shown the ability and sheer grit of a woman who was born of working class parents in a State house and risen to the top of the profession, earning respect and privilege, without forgetting her origins or sense of commitment to justice.

She is a member and served as a past-President of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association, a member of the Auckland Law School’s Innovation and Development Fund Campaign Committee, the New Zealand Law Society Practice Approval Committee and a member of the Advisory Board for the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal.

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