King’s Counsel appointments 2024

Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointments of 19 King’s Counsel.  

Also known as a silk, in reference to a gown traditionally worn as part of their robes, the rank of King’s Counsel is awarded to barristers sole who have demonstrated excellence in their careers or, from time to time, other lawyers in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the field of law. 

This year, 18 barristers sole have received the rank, while Professor Philip Joseph from the University of Canterbury has been recognised for his distinguished career as a legal scholar and significant contribution to public and constitutional law. 

The barristers sole appointed – from 110 applicants – are: Wendy Aldred, Katherine Anderson, Sarah Armstrong, Douglas Ewen, Sally Gepp, Daniel Kalderimis, Zane Kennedy, Alanya Limmer, Kelly Quinn, Philip Shamy, Todd Simmonds, Timothy Stephens, Christopher Stevenson, Robert Stewart, Nura Taefi, Anne Toohey, Samuel Wimsett and Garry Williams. 

“I am delighted to see lawyers appointed from such a broad range of practice areas, including general civil, commercial, defamation, media, human rights, criminal, and environmental and resource management,” Ms Collins says.

“In addition to their exceptional legal skills, these new silks demonstrate commitment to supporting and mentoring colleagues and increasing access to justice for all New Zealanders. They are seen as leaders in setting and maintaining the standards of the profession. I congratulate them all on their appointment.”

There was no appointment round in 2023. The senior bar has also been reduced in number by retirements and some existing silks being appointed to the bench, creating additional opportunities for experienced lawyers to be recognised. 

Philip Joseph

Professor Philip Joseph is one of New Zealand’s foremost legal academics. He has an international reputation as a public and constitutional law scholar. He graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury (1973), LLM from the University of British Columbia (1982) and LLD from the University of Canterbury (2003). He was admitted to the bar in 1974. He was appointed Professor of Law at the University of Canterbury in 2001. He has an extensive academic output, including Joseph on Constitutional and Administrative Law (5th ed, 2021). He has also worked as a barrister, acted as a consultant to a national law firm and contributed to law reform.

Wendy Aldred

Wendy Aldred specialises in public law, regulatory and commercial litigation, providing advice and advocacy to a range of public and private sector clients. She has appeared as lead counsel at all levels in NZ courts, in arbitrations and major inquiries. She graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1994 and an LLM from Victoria University of Wellington in 1995. Ms Aldred was admitted to the bar in 1995, and to the UK bar in England and Wales in 2001. She worked for law firms in Wellington and London before joining the Crown Law office in 2003. She became a barrister sole in 2007. 

Katherine Anderson 

Katherine Anderson is a specialist public law and human rights lawyer. She graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1994 and was admitted to the bar in 1995, beginning her litigation career at Chapman Tripp. Following several public sector roles, Ms Anderson returned to private practice in 2017 as a partner at Anthony Harper and before becoming a barrister sole in 2019. She has also served as Deputy Chairperson of the Human Rights Review Tribunal since 2019 and was Counsel Assisting the Abuse in Care Royal Commission.

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong is a commercial barrister. She graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1995 and was admitted to the bar in 1996, followed by admission in England and Wales in 2002. Her professional practice includes three years at Bell Gully, four years at Hogan Lovells in England and 12 years as a partner at Russell McVeagh before joining Shortland Chambers in 2020. She has also held several leadership and mentoring positions within the profession. 

Douglas Ewen

Douglas Ewen is a barrister with a mixed civil/criminal practice, specialising in human rights law and the treatment of prisoners and detainees. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Waikato in 1996 and became a barrister sole that same year. His work has included cases before the Supreme Court and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. He is also involved with projects to support litigants with their pleadings and encouraging collaboration between criminal and civil practitioners in human rights cases.

Sally Gepp

Sally Gepp specialises in resource management, public and administrative, and environmental law. She graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago in 2002 and later earned her LLM (Distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington, which she joined as an Adjunct Lecturer this year in addition to her role as a barrister. She was admitted to the bar in 2003. Ms Gepp practised in both New Zealand and the UK, then served as an in-house lawyer for the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand from 2010-2019. She has been a barrister sole since 2019.

Daniel Kalderimis

Daniel Kalderimis acts in commercial and public law disputes with special expertise in international law and cross-jurisdictional issues. He graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1999 and has an LLM from Columbia University, where he also taught. He was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1999 and later in the US and the UK.  From 2011-2020 he was a partner at Chapman Tripp before becoming a barrister sole in late 2020. Mr Kalderimis is a member of the Rules Committee and an adjunct lecturer in civil procedure and advocacy at Victoria University.

Zane Kennedy

Zane Kennedy graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992 and was admitted to the bar in 1993. Mr Kennedy’s firm-based roles included nearly 16 years as a litigation partner at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts before becoming a barrister sole in 2019, as one of the founding members of Mills Lane Chambers. He is also a faculty member for the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills programme. 

Alanya Limmer

Alanya Limmer currently acts and advises on all aspects of the Resource Management Act (RMA) including large-scale resource consent applications. She graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 2000 and was admitted to the bar in 2001. Before joining Bridgeside Chambers in 2020, Ms Limmer had most recently been a partner with Buddle Findlay, and Tavendale and Partners before that. She regularly delivers seminars and presentations on the RMA and is a Faculty Member for the NZLS Litigation Skills course.

Kelly Quinn

Kelly Quinn is a commercial barrister and construction law specialist based in Auckland. He was admitted to the bar in 1993 and holds with an LLB and LLM (Hons) degrees from the University of Auckland. Mr Quinn practised in Hong Kong from 1997-2005 before returning to New Zealand as a partner at a small firm and then joining Bankside Chambers in 2007. He is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Bar Association, a Fellow (Arbitration) of AMINZ, and regularly publishes and presents on construction law issues.

Philip Shamy

Philip Shamy has a particular focus on criminal defence work. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1984 and was admitted to the bar in 1985. His professional experience includes roles with several Christchurch firms, including 20 years as a partner at Raymond Donnelly before joining Bridgeside Chambers in 2014. Mr Shamy is committed to the mentoring and support of young lawyers and provides pro bono advice through the Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Todd Simmonds

Todd Simmonds specialises in criminal and regulatory litigation, appearing regularly as both defence and prosecution counsel. He graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1989 and was admitted to the bar in 1990. He was a senior prosecutor with Meredith Connell until 2004, when he became a barrister sole. He is a member of the Crown Solicitor’s panel, the Serious Fraud Office panel and the New Zealand Defence Force court-martial panel. He has acted as a pro bono prosecutor for the SPCA and has been a frequent presenter at Continuing Legal Education events.          

Timothy Stephens

Tim Stephens has a broad litigation practice encompassing public, commercial, and regulatory cases, as well as Māori rights and interests and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. He graduated with a BA/ LLB (First Class Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1994, was admitted to the bar in 1995, and obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford in 1999. Mr Stephens has been a barrister sole since 2017, following 11 years as a partner at Simpson Grierson. He represents a wide range of public and private sector clients.

Christopher Stevenson

Christopher Stevenson is a defence barrister, specialising in trial and appellate advocacy. He graduated with an LLB and BA from the University of Otago in 1996 and was admitted to the bar in 1998. Since 2003, he has been a barrister sole, and in 2016 was a founder of Pipitea Chambers. Mr Stevenson is also a founder of Te Matakahi, New Zealand Defence Lawyers Association, and is involved in criminal justice law reform.

Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart is a barrister with a diverse civil and commercial litigation practice, specialising in defamation and media law. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury and was admitted to the bar in May 1991. He joined Izard Weston and became a partner in 1998, after overseas experience in two London-based firms. He became a barrister sole in 2018 and practises from Auckland’s Shortland Chambers.

Nura Taefi

Nura Taefi has a broad civil litigation practice. Her areas of expertise include commercial law, relationship property, trusts, intellectual property, employment and human rights. She also carries out independent investigations and reviews. Ms Taefi has a BA/LLB from the University of Auckland and an LLM (Distinction) from University College London. She was admitted to the bar in 2009 and worked as a solicitor for three years at Kensington Swan (now Dentons). Ms Taefi joined the independent bar in 2012, first as a junior barrister, and in 2015 as a barrister sole. 

Anne Toohey

Anne Toohey is a barrister who practises in public, civil, employment and criminal law. She graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago and was admitted to the bar in 1996. Before becoming a barrister sole in 2014 she had 11 years with Raymond Donnelly, where her practice was a mix of employment, civil and criminal litigation. Ms Toohey is a Serious Fraud Office Panel Prosecutor has also provided training to Police and departmental prosecutors. She is currently acting as a senior counsel for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  

Garry Williams

Garry Williams’ practice covers all aspects of intellectual property, media, and entertainment litigation, as well as a broad range of commercial disputes. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1992 and was admitted to the bar later that year, also earning admission as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1998. He joined the independent bar in 2014 following 11 years at Bell Gully. Mr Williams is a member of Richmond Chambers in Auckland and has also published the New Zealand Copyright Reports amongst many other articles and presentations.  

Samuel Wimsett

Samuel Wimsett is a barrister acting primarily in criminal, criminal proceeds and professional/sports disciplinary litigation. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 2003 and was admitted to the bar the same year. He has been a barrister sole since 2012, following private practice roles including at Gibson Sheat and Meredith Connell. He is a criminal and civil legal aid provider and member of several legal assistance panels, including for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.