News and Events

New members - Yvonne Wang and Sarah Armstrong

  • Yvonne Wang (left) Sarah Armstrong (right)

Shortland Chambers are pleased to announce that two new members will be joining chambers in early 2020.

Yvonne Wang will be joining from 1 January 2020.

Prior to returning to the independent bar, Yvonne was a Senior Solicitor at the highly respected Auckland firm Meredith Connell. Before that, Yvonne practised as a barrister at two different sets of Chambers in Auckland.

Yvonne acts in criminal and civil proceedings with a particular interest in serious fraud, regulatory prosecutions, proceeds of crime, disciplinary proceedings and public interest litigation.

Sarah Armstrong will be joining from 1 February 2020.

Sarah is an award-winning commercial litigation specialist with over two decades of experience advising on a wide range of commercial disputes both in New Zealand and in the UK.

Sarah joins the bar after 12 years as a partner of a large New Zealand litigation practice where she has appeared for clients in complex contract and tort claims, banking and financial markets investigations and litigation, company and securities disputes, insurance, tax payer challenge proceedings, product liability and intellectual property.


New Queen’s Counsel 2019

Shortland Chambers is delighted to announce that Stephen Hunter has been appointed Queen's Counsel.

Stephen Hunter graduated with an LLB (Hons) and a BA from the University of Auckland in 1999 and an LLM from Harvard University in 2002, for which he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. He was admitted to the Bar in 1998. From 1998 to 1999, Mr Hunter served as a Judge’s Clerk to the late Sir Ivor Richardson in the Court of Appeal. In 2000, he joined Russell McVeagh as a solicitor, before moving to the United States to study and then to London in 2002 to work in the litigation team at Herbert Smith. He returned to New Zealand in 2006 to work at Gilbert Walker in Auckland, becoming a partner in 2008, acting mainly in High Court civil cases. Mr Hunter also worked as a part-time lecturer in public law at the University of Auckland from 2006 to 2008. After 8 years as a partner at Gilbert Walker, he became a barrister sole and a member of Shortland Chambers in 2016, focusing on commercial and regulatory matters in the High Court. He is a member of the Auckland Crown Prosecution Panel, the SPCA Pro Bono Panel, and the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal. Mr Hunter also serves as a faculty member of the NZLS Litigation Skills Programme, as the New Zealand member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration Board of Reporters, and as a trustee of the Hugo Charitable Trust.  


Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association Moot

The final of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association Moot was held on 3 October 2019 at the High Court, with the prizegiving hosted by Shortland Chambers later that evening.  

The third year of the AWLA Moot was very successful.  Sixteen teams from the University of Auckland and AUT University took party, grappling with a moot problem raising issues of how far is too far when it comes to lawyers publicly criticising judges. The feedback from the participants has been fantastic, with the students gaining valuable experience.  

The final was held at the High Court before a panel of Justice Hinton, Kate Davenport QC and Dr Anna Hood.  The panel of judges announced the result afterwards at Shortland Chambers, with the majority (Justice Hinton and Dr Anna Hood) allowing the appeal in what all considered to be a very close result.  Despite the weather, there was fantastic turnout of judges, AWLA committee members, participants and spectators for the prizegiving.  

The moot was well-received, with the problem even gaining national news coverage.


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.


Te Hunga Roia Maori - Student Observation Scheme

Shortland Chambers recently participated in a three day “observation scheme” that Te Hunga Roia Maori (the Maori Law Society) is developing in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) for tauira Maori (Maori students).

This scheme provides tauira with an opportunity to observe and participate in t he day-to-day workings of a lawyer.


NZBA Short Causes Working Group - feedback sought

The NZBA Short Causes Working Group, led by immediate past President Clive Elliott QC, has proposed the introduction of a procedure for shorter trials in the High Court. It is based on the Shorter and Flexible Trials Scheme recently adopted by the High Court in England and Wales.

Members of the Working Group wish to present their proposal to the profession and seek their input and feedback.  A roundtable type discussion will be held at Shortland Chambers at 5:30 pm on 1 August 2019. Drinks and snacks will be served.

If you are interested in this topic, please come along, to find out about this development and have your say.

Please RSVP if you are able to attend or if you have any questions call Alison Van Wyk at Shortland Chambers on ph (09) 309 1769. 

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