More experiments ?? More $$ for lawyers First-ever Family Court associates appointed

The new positions are expected to lighten the load within the court system

First-ever Family Court associates appointed
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The first-ever Family Court associates have been appointed to lighten the load within the court system, announced Attorney-General Judith Collins.

The six new associates are set to commence in their roles on 2 April. Four will be based in Auckland, while two will operate from Christchurch.

“The associates will take responsibility for much of the initial work required to get cases to the point that a substantive decision can be made, including conducting mediation and settlement conferences and issuing pre-hearing directions”, Collins said. “These associate roles will free up Family Court judges to devote more time to hearing and determining substantive matters before the court”.

This move comes in response to the Family Court’s current caseload of over 16,000 active cases; on average, the cases are over 300 days old. In June 2023, Kiri Allan introduced the Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Bill.

The newly appointed associates are as follows:

Rachel Lohrey is a Queenstown-based barrister and a principal advisor at the Institute of Judicial Studies, She kicked off her legal career in Christchurch before relocating to Palmerston North for a stint as an in-house lawyer at Oranga Tamariki.

Rebecca Murphy is a Christchurch-based barrister who joined Walker Street Chambers as a barrister sole in 2021. She became part of the Canterbury Community Law Centre in 2017 and taught at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. She was on the legal assistance panel for the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care.

Johan Niemand is a family lawyer based in Hamilton, where he has been a partner at Niemand Peebles Hoult since 2009. He is presently deputy chair of the family law section at the Waikato/Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Law Society, of which he was once president.

Johanna Robertson is an Auckland-based barrister focusing on relationship property, family protection and parenting matters. She spent over 10 years working with family law firms in the UK before returning to New Zealand in 2005, logging stints with Gubb and Partners and Jackson Russell. She was also named to the Lawyer for Child list.

Sonya Singh works with Halcyon Chambers in Auckland, concentrating on issues related to family law and mental health. She is a part-time adjudicator for the Tenancy Tribunal, and was previously an in-house counsel with Oranga Tamariki. She has worked in the UK and Australia, and communicates in Mandarin and Hindi as well.

Mark N Tolich began practising as a lawyer with McElroy Duncan and Prebble in 1980 before heading to Oxford University to pursue post-graduate studies. On returning to New Zealand in 1986, he joined Rice Craig and then transitioned to a consultant role at Corban Revell.



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Time will tell if this venture of Hon Judith Collins
helps families get justice or not!

Forever Silented

More pals appointed to destroy families and cause more suicides in the male population in NZ


Just more Lawyers with different titles is my first thought

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