9 Geoffrey Palmer, QC
Last Year: No. 13
Eminence gris of the Bar the redoubtable Sir Geoffrey Palmer remains as engaged in legal affairs as ever, never afraid to place his opinion where it may find a home.
Sir Geoffrey made a rapid rise up the rankings last year with his Aotearoa Constitution work with Russell McVeagh partner Andrew Butler, resurrecting discussion regarding a written constitution for New Zealand. This year he made some bold claims regarding the ACC scheme.
The constitutional debate secured modest traction, but in September he stirred the law world again with his claim that the Accident Compensation Corporation should cover people incapacitated by sickness and disability – and not just accidents.
He was a law professor in the United States and New Zealand before entering New Zealand politics as the MP for Christchurch Central in 1979 and in Parliament he held the offices of Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Leader of the House, Minister for the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister.
A founding partner of Chen & Palmer Public in 1994 where he remained until 2005 when he was appointed President of the Law Commission, a position he occupied until 2010.
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