New Supreme Court and Court of Appeal appointments

  • Christopher Finlayson
Attorney-General

The Honourable Justice Dame Ellen France has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court and the Honourable Justice Stephen Kós will replace her as President of the Court of Appeal, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The Honourable Justice Raynor Asher and the Honourable Justice Brendan Brown have been appointed Judges of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Ellen France graduated from Auckland University in 1981 and completed her Masters at Queen’s University in Ontario in 1983. After working at the Department of Justice, she joined Crown Law in 1992 and was appointed Team Leader of the Treaty Team in 1993. She was later Team Leader of the Bill of Rights Team before being appointed Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law) in 1998.

Justice Ellen France was appointed a High Court Judge in 2002, a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2006 and President of the Court of Appeal in 2014.

Justice Kós graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University in 1984 and LLM from Cambridge University in 1985. He became a partner in Perry Wylie Pope & Page in 1985 before joining the partnership of Russell McVeagh in 1988. Justice Kós joined the independent bar in 2005 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2007. He was also an honorary law lecturer at Victoria University and a former Pro-Chancellor of Massey University.

Justice Kós was appointed a High Court Judge in 2011 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2015.

Justice Asher graduated from Auckland University with a BA LLB (Hons) and went on to complete an LLM at Berkeley, graduating in 1974 before joining and becoming a partner at Kensington Haynes & White, now known as Kensington Swan. He joined the independent bar in 1986 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1992. As a barrister, Justice Asher’s principal areas of practice were commercial litigation, administrative law, intellectual property and relationship property.

In 2005 Justice Asher was appointed a Judge of the High Court.

Justice Brown graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury in 1976. He joined the law firm Bell Gully in 1977 becoming a partner in 1982. In 1992 he joined the independent bar specialising in intellectual property law, competition law, taxation and Treaty of Waitangi issues. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997. Justice Brown was appointed Senior Counsel to assist the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification in 2000 and has also served on District Court and High Court Rules Committees.   

In 2013 Justice Brown was appointed a Judge of the High Court.

The appointments of Justice France, Justice Kós and Justice Asher will take effect on 22 July 2016. The appointment of Justice Brown will take effect on 15 August 2016.