Chapman Tripp’s Wellington managing partner joins the District Court bench

The leading lawyer is one of nine new appointments to the court’s judgeship

Chapman Tripp’s Wellington managing partner joins the District Court bench
Andy Nicholls

Chapman Tripp’s Wellington managing partner Andy Nicholls has joined the District Court bench as judge.

He joins eight other new appointments announced by Attorney-General David Parker yesterday. Nicholls will sit in Wellington after he is sworn in on 9 December.

Nicholls focuses on legal matters involving competition and regulatory change. He has guided Tonga’s energy sector reform and advised the Samoan government on reforms to enhance the economic use of customary land.

He was first named to Chapman Tripp’s partnership in 2004, and ascended to the role of Wellington managing partner in 2015. That same year, he joined the firm’s board.

Nicholls serves as Chapman Tripp’s relationship partner for the Wellington City Mission, and chairs the Newtown Festival Trust.

Meanwhile, Auckland barrister and solicitor Charles Martin Treadwell takes the bench on 18 November. As District Court judge, the immigration specialist will have a general jurisdiction.

Treadwell has also been named chair of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, having served as deputy chair since its 2010 founding. He is currently the secretary of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges.

Sitting in Auckland will be barrister Kathryn Maxwell of Sentinel Chambers. She concentrates on criminal matters, and has been involved in many jury trials.

She was previously a senior lawyer for Auckland’s Public Defence Service before joining the independent bar. She will be sworn into the judgeship on 14 December.

The Christchurch District Court will see two additions this month as Traicee Eugene McKenzie and Paul Shearer join the bench. McKenzie will be sworn in on 15 November, while Shearer will be sworn in on 30 November.

As the criminal and family litigation specialist who established McKenzie Law, McKenzie will have Family Court jurisdiction. She is a lawyer for child, and is a member of the Ministry of Justice Hague Convention panel.

Shearer also has Family Court jurisdiction. He has represented clients for over 25 years in Family Court trials, and spent 15 years as a youth advocate in the Youth Court.

Maria Pecotic and Terence Singh will have jurisdiction in Waitakere. Pecotic steps into her new role on 16 December, while Singh will be sworn in on 19 November.

Pecotic’s practice focuses on criminal and youth-related issues. She launched Verus Chambers in 2012, and is part of the Criminal Bar Association (executive member), the Bar Association Criminal Committee, the  NZLS Standards Committee and the NZLS Youth Justice Committee.

Hamilton barrister and solicitor Singh worked with the NZ Police as a senior prosecutor in 2004 and logged a stint at the Public Defence Service in Hamilton in 2011. He presently serves as the Hamilton District Court’s duty lawyer supervisor, and recently completed a term as president of the New Zealand Law Society’s Waikato Bay of Plenty branch.

Tauranga barrister and former Crown prosecutor Taryn Bayley will sit in Whangarei. She focuses on criminal defence, and began serving as a youth advocate in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Tauranga in 2011.

She was named Counsel assisting the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, and takes up the District Court judge position on 2 December.

Jacqueline Blake will have Family Court jurisdiction in Hastings following her swearing-in ceremony on 4 December. As a barrister and solicitor in Gisborne, she has taken on governance positions at Whangara Farms, Tapuwae Whitiwhiti incorporation and Gisborne Holdings Limited.

She is affiliated with Ngati Konohi, Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and Te Whanau a Kai as iwi. Since 2003, she has served as a lawyer for child.

The nine new judges will succeed current judges who are set to retire.

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