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1990 - 1996

Staff Solicitor/Associate, Luke Cunningham & Clere, Wellington

Luke, Cunningham & Clere is a medium-sized law firm, and is the Wellington Crown Solicitor's Office.  I worked on the litigation side of the firm, litigating for a mixture of Crown and private clients in civil and criminal cases.  I was classified as "intermediate counsel" under the Crown Solicitors Regulations in November 1990, and as "senior counsel" in March 1995.  I became an associate of the firm in October 1993. 


My work included:

  • Preparing and prosecuting about 150 to 200 jury trials in relation to a wide variety of offences in the District and High Courts
  • Conducting numerous pre-trial applications relating to the admissibility of evidence for jury trials, both under the Common Law and under the Evidence and New Zealand Bill of Rights Acts
  • Preparing and conducting general civil litigation on behalf of Crown and private clients, in areas including product liability, defamation, debt collection, declaratory judgments, guarantees, contract disputes and false imprisonment.  Types of action undertaken include ordinary civil proceedings, summary judgment applications, injunctions, judicial review proceedings, and various interlocutory applications
  • Insolvency law actions for government departments and some of the larger accountancy firms in disputed bankruptcy/winding up actions, actions for recovery of assets of insolvent estates which have been transferred to defeat creditors, actions against officers of insolvent companies for reckless trading/trading while insolvent, actions to restore struck-off companies to the register, a declaratory judgment on the priority between preferential and secured creditors in group company liquidations and an application for directions as to the duties of the Official Assignee where a secured creditor, whose secured debt exceeds available assets, refused to appoint a receiver
  • Preparing and appearing for the Police and Crown Departments on High Court appeals from summary District Court prosecutions, in well over 200 appeals
  • Preparing and appearing for Crown Departments in defended summary prosecutions
  • Preparing and appearing for the Crown in the Court of Appeal on criminal appeals