Auckland barrister Tracey Walker, this week appointed to the High Court bench, has seen a lot since her days catwalk modelling during legal studies, to working with media lawyer Willie Akel in the Kim Dotcom defence
A media law expert herself, Justice Walker intended to become a journalist before becoming a lawyer.
“I would have loved to be a court reporter. All the journalists I worked with at TVNZ wanted to be lawyers because they loved the debate and argument,” she said during an interview in 2014.
She worked with Willie Akel advising TVNZ, TV3 and other media organisations, as well as authoring
Reputation Matters: A Practical Legal Guide to Managing Reputation Risk.
She has also been a proponent for reform of defamation law and issues relating to liability and responsibility that have arisen with the development of the Internet.
She graduated BA and LLB from the University of Auckland in 1988 and became a partner at Simpson Grierson in 1997.
She also worked for a year for Slaughter and May in London in 1990.
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In 1991 she obtained an LLM from the University of London, and returned to New Zealand to re-join the Auckland office of Simpson Grierson in 1992.
She spent 16 years as a litigation partner at Simpson Grierson specialising in general dispute resolution and intellectual property, then a further three years as a consultant Special Counsel with a focus on media and intellectual property litigation.
In January 2019 she joined the Auckland Bar, co‑founding Sangro Chambers with Willie Akel, Earl Gray and others. She is married to Invenco CEO Gavin Lennox.