Appointment of Queen’s Counsel
Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointments of 10 Queen’s Counsel.
The newly appointed Silks are:
- Auckland – Lynda Kearns, Stephen McCarthy, Ronald Mansfield, Alan (Fletcher) Pilditch, Davey Salmon, Laura O’Gorman
- Wellington – Greg Arthur, Michael Colson, Victoria Heine
- Christchurch – Kerryn Beaton
“The criteria for appointment recognise that excellence and leadership in the profession should be viewed through a wider, community lens. I am pleased to see that the profession continues to make a good contribution to access to justice,” David Parker said.
Brief biographical information about the new Queen’s Counsel is attached below.
Media contact: Vernon Small +64 21 849 517
Lynda Kearns graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1980 and was admitted to the bar in 1981. She began her career as a law clerk at Langley Twigg Solicitors in Napier, before joining Chapman Tripp in 1981 as a litigation staff solicitor. In 1984 she moved to London and worked as an in-house legal adviser. She returned to New Zealand in 1985 to work at Simpson Grierson as a senior staff solicitor heading the family law team. Ms Kearns then worked in specialist family law firms, first Pratt & Co, then becoming a partner at Gubb & Partners from 1994 to 2003. Since then she has practised as a specialist family law barrister from Bastion Chambers in Auckland, primarily focusing on relationship and trust property cases. She is one of six New Zealand members of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, an associate member of AMINZ, and a member of the NZLS Family Law Section.
Stephen McCarthy graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1981 and was admitted to the bar the same year. He worked as a litigation solicitor at Sellar Bone & Partners from 1980 to 1983 and at Sheffield Young & Ellis from 1983 to 1984. He moved to Price Voulk Brabant & Hogan (later Price Voulk McCarthy) in 1984 and became a partner the following year. Between 1991 and 1998 he taught a Master’s Degree course in Immigration Law through the Department of Commercial Law at Auckland University. Since 2006 Mr McCarthy has been a barrister sole at Cavendish Chambers in Manukau, specialising in family law, trusts and estates. He is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the NZLS Family Law Section and the NZLS Property Law Section.
Greg Arthur graduated with an LLB and a BSc from Victoria University in 1986 and an LLM from University of London, King’s College in 1990. He became a registered patent attorney in 1988. He started at AJ Park & Son as a trainee patent attorney in 1986 and aside from his Master’s study in London, remained there until 2014, including 22 years as a partner and seven years as managing partner. He commenced practice as a barrister sole in 2014 and practises from Clifton Chambers in Wellington specialising in intellectual property litigation. Mr Arthur is a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand and the NZLS Intellectual Property Law Committee, and a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys.
Ronald (Ron) Mansfield
Ron Mansfield graduated with an LLB and a BCom from the University of Otago in 1989 and was admitted to the bar the following year. From 1989 to 1994 he worked as a Crown prosecutor at Preston Russell Law in Invercargill, before moving to Meredith Connell where he stayed as a Senior Crown Prosecutor until 1998. He then worked in civil litigation as an Associate at McElroys in Auckland before going to the independent bar in 2000, where he has practised primarily in criminal defence, although still a member of the Auckland and South Auckland Crown Solicitor panels. Mr Mansfield was a co-author of the first edition of Criminal Procedure in New Zealand. He is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the Criminal Bar Association, the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association Aotearoa New Zealand and a founding committee member of the newly formed Defence Lawyers Association.
Michael Colson graduated with an LLB and a BCA from Victoria University in 1991 and was admitted to the bar the same year. He began working at Bell Gully in 1991 as a litigation solicitor. He spent two years in London at Herbert Smith between 1994 and 1996, before returning to Bell Gully where he became a litigation partner in 2001. In 2017 Mr Colson went to the independent bar and has practised from Stout Street Chambers in a range of commercial and public law litigation including insolvency, property, negligence, energy, and te Tiriti and iwi-related work.
Victoria Heine graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1992, after having completed a BSc in 1989. She obtained an LLM from the University of Chicago in 1997 on a Fulbright Scholarship. She was admitted to the bar in 1993 and worked as a litigation solicitor at Russell McVeagh until 1996. On her return from Chicago, she worked as a junior barrister until joining the partnership at Chen Palmer in 2002. From 2005 to 2018, Ms Heine worked at Chapman Tripp, including ten years as partner and four years on the board, including as deputy chair and chair. Since 2018 she has practised from Thorndon Chambers specialising in commercial litigation.
Kerryn Beaton graduated with an LLB from the University of Otago in 1995 and was admitted to the bar the same year. She worked at Eagles, Eagles & Redpath in Invercargill from 1996 to 1998 and then at Preston Russell Law as a Crown prosecutor until 2000. She then travelled to the United Kingdom and worked at the Environment Agency of England and Wales between 2000 and 2001. From 2002 to 2011, Ms Beaton worked at Raymond Donnelly in Christchurch as a Crown prosecutor. She was seconded to be Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Disaster, and continued in that role once she joined the bar later in 2011. From 2012 to 2014 she was the Deputy Public Defender for Christchurch at the Public Defence Service. She was then appointed by the United Nations to provide assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia. On her return to New Zealand in 2016 she recommenced her practice as a barrister sole in Christchurch specialising in criminal defence and in 2018 was an establishing member of Walker Street Chambers. Since 2019 she has worked as Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. Ms Beaton serves on Te Kāhui Tātari Ture/Criminal Cases Review Commission’s interim panel of specialist advisors. She is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association, the New Zealand Defence Lawyers Association, the Canterbury Women’s Legal Association, and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.
Alan (Fletcher) Pilditch
Fletcher Pilditch graduated with an LLB and a BA from Victoria University in 1994 where he also worked as a tutor and research assistant during his studies. He was admitted to the bar in 1995, after which he travelled to London where he worked as a litigation paralegal at Ashurst Morris Crisp between 1996 and 1998. On his return to New Zealand, he worked as a Crown prosecutor at Davys Burton in Rotorua from 1998 to 2001, and then at Meredith Connell until 2005. During this time he was admitted to the Pitcairn Island Supreme Court and conducted trials off and on the island between 2003 and 2005. Mr Pilditch was appointed Crown Solicitor for Rotorua in 2006. In 2014 he moved to the independent bar and was a founding member of Richmond Chambers in Auckland, where he specialises in criminal, regulatory and public law. In 2019 he was appointed Senior Magistrate of the Pitcairn Islands. He is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association and the Auckland District Law Society. He was the inaugural convenor of the ADLS Health and Safety Committee, of which he remains a member.
Davey Salmon graduated with an LLB (Hons) in 1994 and was admitted to the bar in 1996. After four years in a firm he went to the bar in 1999. He was a founder and partner of LeeSalmonLong from 2002 until 2019. He returned to the independent bar in 2019 and joined Mills Lane Chambers, where he practices primarily in civil litigation, particularly commercial, environmental and media law as well as arbitration.
Laura O’Gorman graduated with an LLB (Hons) and a BCom from the University of Auckland in 1996 and was admitted to the bar in 1997. She completed an LLM from the University of Cambridge in 1999, assisted by a Link Foundation Chevening Cambridge Scholarship and a Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship. After spending three months in the intellectual property and litigation departments at Drew & Napier in Singapore, she worked at Buddle Findlay in Auckland from 1996 to 1998. On finishing her LLM at Cambridge, in 2000 she worked in commercial litigation at Carey Olsen Jersey LLP in the Channel Islands. In 2001 she returned to New Zealand and to Buddle Findlay, where she remained until 2019, including 14 years as a partner. She then joined Bankside Chambers, where she specialises in commercial litigation. She is a member of the Rules Committee, the Restructuring, Insolvency and Turnaround Association of New Zealand, the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association, the Legal Research Foundation and the Auckland District Law Society.