Associate Judge of the High Court appointed

Appointment of Associate Judge of the High Court 

Wellington Queen’s Counsel Kenneth Johnston has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. 

Associate Judge Johnston first graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 1979.   

He holds a BA, an LLB and a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from that University, and an LLM (Dist.) from the College of Law of England and Wales.   

Following periods at the Crown Law Office in Wellington and practising criminal law in London, in 1981 Associate Judge Johnston joined the Wellington Office of Watts & Paterson, one of three firms that merged to form Rudd Watts & Stone, which is now part of the Australasian Minter Ellison Group.  

He remained with that firm for 17 years, the last four as its National Managing Partner.  

Associate Judge Johnston retired from Minter Ellison to join the independent bar in September 1997, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016. 

He has experience in criminal work, as both a prosecutor and defence counsel in jury and appellate trials, and in civil work, including general civil and commercial litigation, trusts and estates, construction, employment, family and professional disciplinary litigation.    

Between 2005 and 2016 Associate Judge Johnston was Chair of the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal, and since mid-2014 he has been a Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

He is regularly appointed as an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator in civil and commercial disputes.

The new Associate Judge will sit in Wellington.