The NZBA committees comprise members of the Bar Council and other NZBA members and NZBA staff.
If you are interested in serving on any particular committee(s), please contact NZBA Executive Director, Melissa Perkin.
The NZBA committees
Access to Justice Committee
Access to justice is a fundamental part of the rule of law. The NZBA supports the work of the judiciary and profession in ensuring that all sectors of the community have effective access to justice. This committee is investigating alternative ways of delivering justice as well as increasing the availability of legal representation for those who need it. Its members are: Clive Elliott QC (Chair), John Billington QC, Stuart Grieve QC, Frances Joychild QC, Julian Miles QC, Felix Geiringer, Ron Mansfield, Matthew Smith, Peter Davey, Prof. Chris Gallavin, Melissa Perkin. Please click here for more information on the members of the Access to Justice Committee.
Advisory Bar Committee
Advisory barristers are specialist lawyers assisting firms and in-house legal teams in relation to complex commercial and public law matters. This committee informs and advises the NZBA council on matters relevant to members of the Advisory Bar. Its members are: Peter Castle, Derek Johnston, Jane Meares, Michael Webb, Stephen Layburn and Mark Russell. Please click here for more information and committee member profiles.
Bar Care Panel
The NZBA recognises the pressures and emotional challenges experienced by members of the bar daily. This panel promotes initiatives designed to provide those at the Bar and their support staff with information and skills so that they can remain well while practising successfully. Its members are: David O'Neill (Chair), Lady Deborah Chambers QC, Jenny Cooper QC, Kate Davenport QC, Antonia Fisher QC, Stuart Grieve QC, Lisa Hansen (including mentoring liaison), Rachael Reed QC, Melissa Perkin. Please click here for more information on the members of the Bar Care Panel.
Conduct and Values Committee
The NZBA is committed to eliminating harassment and discrimination at the bar and ensuring professional conduct by all barristers. This starts with individual standards of behaviour, but includes workplace culture and policies. The Conduct and Values Committee is tasked with raising awareness about what constitutes harassment and discrimination, developing policy guidelines for the bar and providing information and support for people who are affected. Please click here for more information on the members of the Conduct and Values Committee.
This committee considers issues related to the administration of criminal justice and comments on matters that will affect both members and the wider public. It liaises with the training committee to ensure that the Criminal Bar members’ training needs are met. Its members are: Jonathan Eaton QC (Chair), Vicki Scott (Deputy Chair), Stuart Grieve QC, Robert Lithgow QC, John Dixon QC, Ron Mansfield, Annabel Maxwell-Scott (Criminal Bar Association liaison), Nicolette Levy, Simon Shamy, Annabel Markham (Crown Law), Todd Simmonds, Matthew Phelps. Please click here for more information on the members of the Criminal Committee.
The Diversity Committee seeks to advance the NZBA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. By developing initiatives and undertaking activities to mitigate against bias towards persons who have been traditionally underrepresented at Bar, the Diversity Committee intends to provide for the professional needs and aspirations of all persons at the independent Bar. The Diversity Committee will seek to promote inclusiveness at the Bar regardless of gender, ethnicity, culture, and physical ability. The Committee will promote the independent Bar as an opportunity to all persons seeking to practice law and assist all persons to see the Bar as a viable career choice where they will be supported to have a fulfilling legal career. Its members are: Jenny Cooper QC (Chair), Garry Williams, Yvonne Wang, Setareh Stienstra and Lara Mannis. Please click here for more information on the members of the Diversity Committee.
Gender Equity Committee
This committee investigates and recommends policy and initiatives aimed at improving the advancement of women in the legal profession and ensuring they are able to enjoy a long and fulfilling career free from harassment or discrimination. The committee in particular focuses on women lawyers with relevant expertise taking a lead in court proceedings, arbitral proceedings and major regulatory investigations. It actively pursues an equitable briefing policy. Its members are: Jim Farmer QC (Co-Chair), Jenny Cooper QC (Co-Chair), Paul Radich QC, Karen Feint, Simon Foote, Lisa Hansen, Lara Mannis, Jane Meares. Please click here for more information on the members of the Gender Equity Committee.
Intervention Rule Committee
The intervention rule is a matter of concern to all barristers. The Intervention Rule Committee was active in the reforms to the rule in 2015 and keeps a watching brief on related matters. Its members are: Chris Gudsell QC (Chair), Stephen Mills QC, Miriam Dean CNZM QC, Justin Smith QC, Brian Keene QC (ADLS Inc representative). Please click here for more information on the members of the Intervention Rule committee.
The NZBA has links with or is a member of several international associations. We are a member of the International Council for Advocates and Barristers (ICAB), which is the forum for members of independent referral bars around the world. We also are represented on the committee for the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA), whose principal objectives include research into judicial administration and the development and conduct of educational programmes for judicial officers, court administrators and members of the legal profession in relation to court administration and judicial systems. We have strong links with the Australian Bar Association and its training body, the Advocacy Training Council. Our international liaison is Kate Davenport QC.
Junior Members Committee
A Junior is a barrister with less than seven years’ post admission experience. The seven years may include time spent in a legal firm/public sector or other legal role. The NZBA recognises that juniors are the future of the profession and it is committed to promoting and supporting them. The Junior Members Committee investigates ways to do so. Its members are: Lara Mannis (Auckland) and Tiho Mijatov (Wellington). Please click here to view our Junior Members profiles.
Law Reform Committee
The NZBA maintains an active role in aspects of Law Reform. In particular, the Law Reform Committee informs the membership of relevant proposals, consults members on these proposals, considers their responses and submits views to the relevant agency or Select Committee. Its members are: Paul Radich QC (Chair), Tim Castle, Gillian Coumbe QC, Maree Cross, Maria Dew, John Dixon QC, Dennis Jenkin, John Land, Dale Lester, Suzanne Robertson QC, Matthew Smith, Dean Tobin. Please click here for more information on the Law Reform Committee members.
Kate Davenport QC (Chair), Jonathan Eaton QC, Lisa Hansen, David O'Neill, Melissa Perkin. Please click here for more information on the NZBA Management Committee.
Member Benefits Committee
The NZBA Member Benefits Committee is tasked with maintaining the portfolio of member benefits, which includes a wide range of products and services that are available to members of the NZBA and in some cases, their families and support staff. Its members are: David O'Neill (Chair), Melissa Perkin. Please click here for more information on the members of our Member Benefit Committee.
The NZBA Mentoring Programme provides an opportunity for less experienced practitioners and members who are new to the Independent Bar to receive valuable support and guidance in their professional development from a senior member of the NZBA. Its members are: Maria Dew, Lisa Hansen, Lara Mannis, Melissa Perkin. Please click here for more information on the members of our Mentoring Committee.
The NZBA produces a newsletter called At the Bar. It contains articles relating to the practice of law as well as of general interest items. The Newsletter Committee compiles and publishes this magazine. Its members are: David O'Neill (Chair), Melissa Perkin, Jacqui Thompson. Please click here for more information on the Newsletter Committee.
Annual Conference Committee
The Annual Conference Committee is tasked with running the NZBA annual conference, including deciding on the conference venue, programme and speakers. Its members are: Simon Foote (Chair), Lisa Hansen, Paul Radich QC, Rob Stevens, Melissa Perkin, Jacqui Thompson, Lisa Mills. Please click here for more information on the members of the Annual Conference Committee.
NZBA Representative - Rules Committee (Civil)
The Rules Committee is a statutory body which has responsibility for procedural rules in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and District Court. The purpose of the rules is to facilitate "the just, speedy, and inexpensive dispatch of the business" of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as the administration of justice. NZBA's representative is Andrew Barker QC.
Promotion of Bar Committee
The Promotion of the Bar Committee is tasked with promoting the briefing of members of the Bar as an effective option for legal representation, both within the wider legal profession and to members of the public. Its representatives are: Lisa Hansen (Chair), Jenny Cooper QC. Please click here for more information on the Promotion of the Bar Committee members.
Strategic Planning Committee
The Strategic Planning Committee administers the development and updating of the NZBA Strategic Plan, which enables the NZBA to better serve members and the wider community. Its representative is: Dean Tobin
The NZBA Training Committee presents practical CPD training. Its programme focuses on the core skills that advocates need to successfully represent their clients, whether in dispute resolution situations or advice in the specialty Bars. Its members are: Christopher Gudsell QC (Co-Chair), James Rapley (Co-Chair), Damian Chesterman, Phillip Cornegé, Shane Elliott, Stephanie Grieve, Dennis Jenkin, Dr Derek Johnston, Lara Mannis (Junior Representative), Asishna Prasad, Philip Shamy, Garry Williams, Sarah Wroe, Yelena Yelavich, Melissa Perkin (Executive Director), Jacqui Thompson (Training Director) and Lisa Mills (Administrator). Please click here for more information about the Committee and profiles of its members.