District Court Judges appointed

Auckland barrister Clare Bennett and Napier barrister Jonathan Krebs have been appointed as District Court Judges, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.

Clare Bennett, who will have jury jurisdiction and be based on the North Shore, has been in chambers as a barrister in Auckland and Manukau since 1999. She was appointed a Youth Advocate in 1989 and in recent years has focussed her practise primarily in that jurisdiction.  

Earlier in her career she conducted several jury trials, including for murder, as well as judge-alone defended hearings. She holds approval for all categories with the Legal Services Agency. From 1989 to 1999 she practised as a barrister in Hamilton.  

Ms Bennett has an interest in continuing legal education, having been a member of the Litigation Skills Faculty since 2004. She has chaired the last two triennial National Youth Advocates Conferences as well as contributing to other seminars throughout her career. 

Judge Bennett will be sworn in on 3 October 2019 in Manukau.

Jonathan Krebs, who will have jury jurisdiction and be based in Palmerston North, has been a barrister sole since late 2006 and has chambers in Napier and Auckland. 

He was with Langley Twigg Solicitors (Napier) from 1988 to 1998. From late 1998 he was a Senior Prosecutor with Meredith Connell (Auckland). He commenced practice as a barrister in 2001 and for eight months he was a panel member of the Auckland Crown Solicitor. 

He was a partner of the Hawke’s Bay Crown Solicitors, Elvidge & Partners, from 2002 to 2006 before being seconded to the Attorney-General’s Office in Apia, Samoa, for two months at the end of 2006.

The principal focus of his career has been criminal and civil litigation. He was the Convenor of the NZLS Criminal Law Subcommittee for 10 years and is a past President of the Hawke’s Bay District Law Society.

In 2012 he was Director of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills programme.

Judge Krebs will be sworn in on 1 October 2019 in Napier.