Leading Legal Figure Dies Days After Special Court Sitting

Leading Legal Figure Dies Days After Special Court Sitting
Leading Legal Figure Dies Days After Special Court Sitting

Leading legal identity and criminal lawyer Jock Blathwayt died on Tuesday, just days after his farewell at his local Masterton district Court.

Blaythwayt was well known and respected through both his Wairarapa and Wellington legal community and beyond with the special court sitting honouring his work and commitment to his clients.

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He spent 60 years in the law but is part of a legal dynasty that goes back to the very commencement of the legal profession in New Zealand.

Blathwayt, 79, was celebrated by family, friends, and courtroom adversaries in the town’s court last Friday.

Police prosecutor Tom Andrews said Blathwayt was a courtroom opponent who became a close friend, as reported in the Wairarapa Times-Age.

“He was my adversary, he was my friend, he was somebody I held in the highest regard.

“He fought passionately for the rights and interests of his clients and we respected him immensely for that.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear he died only four days later.”

The Carterton lawyer was part of a legal dynasty which spans back to 1842, and the very birth of the New Zealand legal system.

His sister Judith Fyfe, the former writer and broadcaster, is also a prominent lawyer, as was their brother Gerald, who died in 2013.

Masterton District Court One was packed last week for the final appearance of the barrister who was a central figure in high profile Wairarapa cases throughout his career such as Phillip Smith’s 1996 trial, the trial of Stephen Williams over the murder of Coral Burrows, and the death of Lou Tawhai in 1992.

Blathwayt was a keen sportsman, a golfer, tennis player, and cricketer.

His love of cricket was lifelong, and he also a Code of Conduct commissioner for Wairarapa Cricket for many years.

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