AG and SG appointed QCs

December 13th, 2012 at 12:34 pm by David Farrar

John Key has announced:

Prime Minister John Key today announced Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson and Solicitor-General Michael Heron have been appointed Queen’s Counsel. The rank of Queen’s Counsel recognises outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

The appointments are the first to be made under recent amendments to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, which restored the title of Queen’s Counsel.

“Both Mr Finlayson and Mr Heron have been appointed Queen’s Counsel due to their career achievements and the leading positions they hold among New Zealand’s legal profession,” says Mr Key.

“In New Zealand, it is recognised the Attorney-General, as first Law Officer, is the leader of the legal profession. The office’s responsibilities are of constitutional significance.”

Before entering Parliament in 2005, Mr Finlayson practised law in Wellington for over 25 years, including as a partner at Bell Gully, and became a barrister sole in 2003. He has represented clients in all of New Zealand’s courts and tribunals, including nine appearances in the Privy Council.

“Christopher Finlayson is one of this country’s finest legal minds,” says Mr Key. “His achievements speak for themselves. He is an outstanding barrister and this appointment reflects the responsibility he holds on behalf of the Crown.”

Mr Heron was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1990. He was a partner in Meredith Connell from 2000 to 2007 and then in Russell McVeagh from 2007 to 2012, when he was appointed Solicitor-General.

“Subject only to the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General is the Government’s chief legal adviser and advocate in the courts. A key responsibility of the Solicitor-General is to advise the Government of the day on constitutional questions,” says Mr Key.

“Like Mr Finlayson, Mr Heron is a respected lawyer in the profession and this appointment is a reflection of the responsibility of the office he holds.”

Notes: 
Previous Attorneys-General appointed Queen’s or King’s Counsel:

Rt Hon Paul East, – 1995
Hon Dr Martyn Finlay, QC – 1973
Hon Sir Clifton Webb, QC – 1954
Hon Henry Mason, KC – 1946.

I’m delighted with this long overdue appointment for . As noted, he was one of the pre-eminent NZ litigators with a near record nine appearances before the Privy Council.

QCs are effectively approved by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General, and recommended by a panel consisting of the Presidents of the Law Society and Bar Association.

Finlayson was recommended by the panel in 2005, approved by the Chief Justice, but vetoed by then Attorney-General Michael Cullen (a non-lawyer) on political grounds. It was one of the more malicious acts done by Cullen (whom I generally respect)).

I’m very pleased to see Chris made a QC. He will not remain in Parliament for life, and I am sure will make a great contribution as a QC in future.

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21 Responses to “AG and SG appointed QCs”

  1. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    It was one of the more malicious acts done by Cullen (whom I generally respect)).

    I blame Cullen for the squandering of millions of dollars during the boom years, and have not a shred of respect for him.
    In fact, the socialist deserves to be despised.

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  2. PaulP (143 comments) says:

    Congratulations Chris. Very well deserved.

    Cullen really was a pr*ck to veto it when her did!

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,830 comments) says:

    PaulP

    What do you mean ‘was?’

    He still is.

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  4. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    Finlayson is Minister of Treaty Settlements and an ex-Ngai Tahu lawyer. A Masters degree and 25 years as a lawyer and he still does not know what ‘conflict of interest’ is.

    We will see how popular he is once his plan to gift thousands of kilometers of our coast to his cuzzie bros comes to fruition.

    And yes, Cullen is a nasty little prick who should be in jail for the billions of our money he has wasted.

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  5. Viking2 (11,263 comments) says:

    he was one of the pre-eminent NZ litigators

    So how many did he win?

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  6. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Sickening.

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  7. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    A Masters degree and 25 years as a lawyer and he still does not know what ‘conflict of interest’ is.

    Apparently it’s public knowledge, so where exactly is the issue?

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  8. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    I’ll not comment on the Cullen veto, it appears odd. Almost as odd as Paul East being made a QC. What was his non-parliamentary legal career remarkable for?

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  9. MD (62 comments) says:

    Given the timing of the QC I’ve got to assume that was related to his work as AG regarding Nuclear testing (International Court of Justice / UN). Unless being a lawyer in Rotorua counts?

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  10. flipper (3,838 comments) says:

    Was that silly bint McGregor leaking something when she referred, publicly, to C.Finlayson as a “Queen”, at the recent labour party talk-fest?

    Can we call in the SSC to investigate the obvious leak?

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  11. David Garrett (6,734 comments) says:

    Ah, the janitor from the NSW TAFE has joined us…do tell us what about your legal career was “remarkable” (even in the true sense of the word…the brighter contributors will get my drift on that)

    As for Finlayson, all I will say is that if he did not have the power to do me ill I would be making a comment on his appointment. but he can, so I won’t.

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  12. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    As for Finlayson, all I will say is that if he did not have the power to do me ill I would be making a comment on his appointment. but he can, so I won’t.

    C’mon DG, please do tell.

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  13. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    David, you ran rings around Finlayson in Parliament in the foreshore and seabed campaign when he was trying so desperately to avoid saying the words “free public access” while attempting to hoodwink journalists that his legislation provided exactly that.

    Reading those Hansard transcripts of your stoushes really established his dishonesty in my eyes.

    Eventually, thanks in large part to your relentless harrying, he was forced to guarantee the free public access to the beaches that this so-called champion of plain English had tried every linguistic trick in the book to imply, but not actually do.

    The appointment of this traitor as a QC is a travesty that makes the Binnie finding look like a work of investigative genius.

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  14. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    I can only presume that if DG had something positive to say about it, he wouldn’t be worried about potential retribution.

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  15. David Garrett (6,734 comments) says:

    Well Paul, that just shows what a dickhead you are….or an agent provocoteur for any of a number of interests…

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  16. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Chris Finlayson well deserves this honour from his profession. reminders of Paul East’s elevation still bring as chuckle, so it is nice to see this go to someone who has made a genuine contribution to his profession as well as politically. Sir Christopher next and maybe a Supreme Court seat?

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  17. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Yeah? What does Sir [mild] Mikey Cullen think about that?

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  18. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Who care what a retired history lecturer thinks about the incestuous manoeuvring of the legal profession?

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  19. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    ^^ @mikey, who can be sure? He did control it [the QC-bit] for some time though (as Finlayson knows.)

    As for the incestuous legal profession bit, what are you intimating about him and his brother?

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  20. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    Yeah? What does Sir [mild] Mikey Cullen think about that?

    By the way, which spineless and unprincipled government elevated the loathsome Michael Cullen to Sir?

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  21. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    By the way, why isn’t Manolo consulted on whom to make knights or QCs?

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