Gender balance, the long-sought after objective in the Law, has been achieved with the latest Queens’ Cunsel appointments. The 10 appointments announced by the Attorney General today are a 5-all gender split, a move welcomed by the Bar Association and others.
Whether politically-inclined objectives are necessarily the best way to appoint the country’s leading counsel is another matter, but few are household names with Dunedin hippy-turned-advocate Anne Stevens (pictured) and Auckland’s Paul Dale and Maria Dew being the two nearest to the mark.
Paul Dale graduated with an LLB in 1974. He was admitted to the Bar in 1975. He joined the firm Terry & Frankovich in 1974 and moved to Dale Nicholson & Pollard in 1976. In 1982 he travelled to Hong Kong to work for the government as a Crown Counsel. After 11 months he was promoted to Senior Crown Counsel and appeared on a daily basis in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
He returned to the senior litigation partner at Grove Darlow & Partners, where his responsibilities included a wide range of civil and commercial litigation. He joined the independent bar in 2006 and specialises in civil and commercial litigation.
Maria Dew graduated with an LLB from the University of Otago in 1987 and an LLM from Victoria University in 1999. She was admitted to the Bar in 1987 and joined the Christchurch firm RA Young Hunter & Co. She moved to Wellington in 1989 and worked for Morrison Morpeth doing civil litigation. In 1991 Maria Dew travelled to the United Kingdom and worked first as a construction litigation solicitor and then as a prosecution solicitor working under the former Financial Services Act 1986 (UK). In 1993 she returned to Wellington and to Morrison Morpeth as a senior associate and then moved to the Bank of New Zealand as in-house counsel in employment law. In 1998 she moved to Auckland. She joined the independent bar in 2000, first at Princess Chambers and then at Bankside Chambers. She specialises in employment law. Since 2013 Maria Dew has been the Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and in 2017 she was elected to the Council of the New Zealand Bar Association.
Vivienne Crawshaw graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1988. She was admitted to the Bar in 1988, then worked as a staff solicitor at McElroy Milne. In 1990 she joined Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law working in civil, criminal and family litigation. From 1995 she worked for Mangere Community Law Centre. In 1999 she joined Mahon & Associates as a staff solicitor and then a senior associate specialising in family law and employment litigation. In 2003 she became a partner at Gubb & Partners, where she led the family law team. She joined the independent bar in 2008 specialising in family law with a particular focus on relationship property matters and cases involving children, at first instance and appellate levels.
Belinda Sellars graduated with a LLB (Hons) and a BA in 1995. She was admitted to the Bar in 1994. In 1994 she was a junior employed barrister for Michael Harte Barrister. From 1996 to 2002 she was a solicitor and then senior solicitor in general litigation at Russell McVeagh. In 2004 she joined the Public Defence Service and was an original member of the Public Defence Service pilot in the Auckland office. In 2009 she joined the independent bar, specialising in criminal law. Belinda Sellars was admitted to the Bar in Samoa in 2012.
Robert (Bob) Hollyman
Bob Hollyman graduated with a LLB (Hons) and BA from the University of Auckland. He was admitted to the Bar in 1995 and was a Judge’s Clerk at the Court of Appeal before moving to Crown Law. Mr Hollyman then completed an LL.M. at the University of Toronto and worked as Legal Counsel to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. He returned to New Zealand to take up a position at Bell Gully, before joining the independent Bar in 2006. His specialist areas of practice are contract, company, insolvency, property and equity. He has lectured on Advanced Torts at the University of Auckland, and is the author of Falsehood and Breach of Contract in New Zealand.
James Rapley graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1989 and an LLM (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1999. He was admitted to the Bar in 1990. He worked for several Auckland law firms before joining the Serious Fraud Office as a prosecutor between 1992 and 1994. After a period working overseas, he returned to the Serious Fraud Office in 1996 and then moved to Christchurch in 1999 as a Crown prosecutor for Raymond Donnelly & Co. James Rapley joined the independent bar in 2004 and practices from Christchurch’s Bridgeside Chambers. He specialises in criminal litigation and has significant experience in regulatory prosecutions. He has been a part-time law lecturer at the University of Canterbury since 2003 and from 2012, a visiting law lecturer at the University of South Pacific, Vanuatu. He is a member of both the NZLS’s Criminal Law Committee and Lawyers Standards Committee. In 2013 he co-authored the Thomson Reuters text, Advocacy and is Criminal Course Director for the NZBA’s Mastering Advocacy Programme.
Anthony (James) Wilding
James Wilding graduated with an LLB and BA from the University of Canterbury. He was admitted in 1993 and worked for Cameron and Company. He joined the independent bar in 1996, with Riverlands Chambers then Clarendon Chambers, where he is now. His work includes public and constitutional, trust, relationship property and medical issues. From 1999 to 2011 he was a District Inspector of Mental Health, for Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast. He convenes the New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunal
Andru Isac graduated with a BA and an LLB(Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1994 and a BCL from the University of Oxford in 2001. He was admitted in 1994 and began his legal career at Chapman Tripp before working as a Crown prosecutor at Preston Russell in Invercargill. From 1999 to 2001 he completed a Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford and worked for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in London. In 2001 he returned to New Zealand and lectured at the University of Canterbury. Between 2005 and 2013 he was a litigation partner at Fitzherbert Rowe and Gibson Sheat. Andru Isac joined the independent bar in 2013 and specialises in commercial, public and criminal litigation.
Margaret (Anne) Stevens
Anne Stevens graduated with an LLB in 1987. She was admitted to the Bar in 1988 and was an employed barrister for J. M. Conradson. In 1994 she moved to Mitchell & Mackersy. In 1998 she returned to the bar as a barrister sole, specialising in criminal law and associated mental health law. She has appeared as lead counsel since 1998 in over 140 jury trials, all of which have carried the risk of lengthy terms of imprisonment. From 1998 she has been a guest lecture in law and psychiatry at the University of Otago and to mental health staff at the Forensic Mental Health Unit at Wakari Hospital. In 2005 and 2006 she was also a guest lecturer on ethics in the role of defence lawyers. From 2006 to 2012 Anne Stevens was Vice-President on the NZLS Board, representing the South Island. From 2012 she has been the chair of the NZLS’s Practice Approval Committee. Since 2001 she has been a faculty member and presenter at the NZLS Litigation Skills programme including Director of the programme in 2005.
Fiona Guy Kidd
Fiona Guy Kidd graduated with an LLB(Hons) (First Class) from the University of Otago in 1992 and an LLM from the University of Virginia in 1995. She was admitted to the Bar in 1992. She worked first as a solicitor in the litigation department of Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co in 1992. After completing her study at the University of Virginia, she returned to Auckland in 1995 and was an employed junior barrister for David A R Williams QC. From 1997 to 2000 she was a Crown Prosecutor at Luke Cunningham and Clere.
Fiona Guy Kidd then moved to the criminal team at the Crown Law Office where she worked from 2000 to 2011, holding the role of Team Leader in 2005-2006. From 2011 to 2016 she was an associate and then partner of AWS Legal in Invercargill. She joined the independent bar in 2016 and specialises in criminal law. She is a former Convenor of the Wellington Women Lawyers Association, current Vice President of the Criminal Bar Association and member of the NZLS Criminal Law committee.