QC appointed as High Court judge

The seasoned lawyer was the national managing partner of a top firm

QC appointed as High Court judge
Kenneth Johnston QC has been appointed as an associate judge of the High Court of New Zealand. He will sit in Wellington.

The lawyer finished his BA, LLB and human resource management graduate diploma from Victoria University of Wellington. He has also earned an LLM from the College of Law of England and Wales.

Johnston has worked both at the Crown Law Office and in private practice, specialising in criminal law in London. In 1981, he joined Watts & Patterson, which later merged to become Rudd Watts & Stone, the legacy firm that formed MinterEllisonRuddWatts.

He was with the firm for 17 years, with the last four years serving as its national managing partner. He then joined the independent bar in 1997, taking silk in 2016.

The judge is a specialist in criminal law, both as a prosecutor and as a defence counsel in jury and appellate trials. He is also experienced in civil work, including in general civil and commercial litigation, trusts and estates, construction, employment, family, and professional disciplinary litigation.

Johnston has regularly been appointed as arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator in civil and commercial disputes.


Kenneth Johnston QC


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High Court gets new judge
New Court of Appeal judge appointed
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