About Chambers

Shortland Chambers was established in 1986 and is one of New Zealand’s largest set of barristers’ chambers.  We have 34 members (19 of whom are Queen's Counsel) and a team of junior barristers.

Shortland Chambers’ members offer expert advice and advocacy in many practice areas. Their specialisations cover a broad range of commercial, civil, criminal and regulatory fields. Some members accept appointment as mediators and arbitrators.

Shortland Chambers has a distinguished record of achievements through its current and past members. A number of former members have been appointed as judges of the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Courts.

Past and present members have been active in the administration of the bar and legal practice in New Zealand through serving on the executives of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society, the Auckland District Law Society, the Legal Research Foundation and various specialist professional groups.

Chambers has a number of Associate Members who are based outside Auckland.  In Australia: David Shavin QC (Melbourne), David Russell QC (Brisbane) and Dr Matthew Conaglen (Sydney).  In the United Kingdom, Francis Barlow QC (London). In Wellington Bill Wilson QC.

How we work

Shortland Chambers’ members are independent practitioners who share facilities and resources in a collegial environment.  Their key drivers are ethics, professionalism and a desire to best serve the interests of clients.

Members are retained by a wide range of solicitors from leading law firms to sole practitioners and corporate counsel throughout New Zealand and overseas.  Given that many leading litigators practise from Shortland Chambers, it is not uncommon for members to act as opposing counsel.

The breadth of experience within chambers enables cross-disciplinary teams of barristers to be assembled at different levels of experience to manage complex disputes.

Shortland Chambers is supported by a group of junior barristers who provide research and analysis as required.  Many of the juniors are former judges’ clerks and all are highly regarded.

Instructing our barristers

In most circumstances, barristers must be instructed by solicitors although there are some exceptions.  Specific enquiries may be directed to individual barristers or to their personal assistants. More detailed information can be found on our FAQs page.

Shortland Chambers does not operate with clerks. Rates and briefs are negotiated directly with counsel.

If in any doubt, please contact our Chambers Manager for assistance.


News and Events

2019 Annual Cocktail Party for the Auckland Legal Profession

On 19 September 2019 Shortland Chambers held its 13th Annual Cocktail Party for the Auckland Legal Profession at the Northern Club.

We were honoured to have the Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann, an alumna of Shortland Chambers, speak at the event.  The Chief Justice reflected on her first six months in the role and the challenges that lie ahead.  Her speech ranged from the very practical, pulling back the curtain on what Supreme Court justices read before hearings and how they approach allocation of judgment writing, to the aspirational, discussing the Youth Adult List pilot currently taking place in the District Court that recognises the age cut-off for the Youth Court is arbitrary.  

Justice Winkelmann said the time for tinkering was over and it was time for radical change.  She emphasised the need for increased access to justice which pro bono work alone cannot solve, the need to recognise that prison often does more to harm than help and a move towards more visibility of goings-on in court, perhaps through live-streaming of Supreme Court argument.  

Her speech was very well received – well enough to earn her an invite back to Friday night drinks at Shortland Chambers from Jane Anderson QC.

It was wonderful to enjoy the company of several hundred members of the legal profession.  We look forward to seeing you all again in 2020.



Level 9-13
70 Shortland Street
Auckland, New Zealand
PO Box 4338, Auckland 1140