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Christopher Finlayson

17 September, 2009

Judicial appointments announced

Auckland High Court Judge Hon Justice Helen Winkelmann has been appointed Chief High Court Judge to replace Hon Justice Anthony Randerson when he joins the bench of the Court of Appeal next year, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today. 


Mr Finlayson also announced the appointment of Wellington lawyer Rebecca Ellis as a Judge of the High Court.


Justice Randerson's appointment as a Judge of the Court of Appeal will take effect from 1 February 2010, when Justice Winkelmann's appointment as Chief High Court Judge will also take effect.


Justice Randerson has been Chief High Court Judge since December 2004, and a Judge of the High Court since 1997. He practised with Wallace McLean Bawden and Partners, which later became Kensington Swan where he was a senior litigation partner. Justice Randerson left the firm for the independent bar in 1989 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1996. 


Justice Winkelmann will be only the second woman to head the High Court. The current Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, headed the High Court until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2004.


Justice Winkelmann has been a Judge of the High Court since 2004. A graduate of the University of Auckland, she was for a partner with Phillips Fox for a number of years before commencing practice at the independent bar in 2001.


Justice Ellis joined the Law Reform Division of the Department of Justice as a Legal Advisor in 1987 after graduating from Victoria University of Wellington.  In 1992 she joined Chapman Tripp as a senior solicitor before joining the Crown Law Office as Crown Counsel. After a stint as Director of Legal Services at the Ministry of Economic Development, she returned to Crown Law and in 2006 became Team Leader of the Tax and Public Law Team. 


Justice Ellis's appointment will take effect on 1 November 2009 and she will sit in Auckland. 

  • Christopher Finlayson
  • Attorney-General