Alan Ritchie’s quiet power rests with his influence within the legal community following his long-standing role as Executive Director of the New Zealand Law Society, from which he resigned in 2007 and following his post-retirement elevation to the position as Judicial Conduct Commissioner in July 2015. Ritchie’s influence over law society affairs has been pronounced.
His influence in the “selection” of NZLS presidents, his role in pay freezes and restructures have seen his role within the Society highly influential, but he has also played a major role in the way in which the entire profession works.
He oversaw the implementation of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act with its wide ranging changes to law practice in New Zealand and his influence barely reduced following his 2007 retirement as he remained in an unspecified role and figure of influence within the NZLS on a reported (by LawFuel) salary of a District Court Judge.
Although he seldom appeared prominently in any Law Society publications or reports and shuns publicity, the power remains and has been enhanced with his elevation to the post as Judicial Conduct Commissioner. Doubtless as discrete and almost shadowy as ever, his public position in a post-retirement role as a ‘judge of the judges’ sees Alan Ritchie’s power and influence within the profession continue unabated.