Briefcase – John Bowie – Brought to you by Staedtler Pens – The Pens Successful Lawyers Use
At the time of writing Jacinda Ardern is the lost love of the media luvvies and the holder of the Labour Party’s poisoned chalice, otherwise known as its leadership. Things could change however as politics and democracy is very much a movable feast these days.
I missed “The Project” this week when host Jesse Mulligan mentioned the baby word to Jacinda Ardern in the context of ‘raising a family’. It was a moment that evidently didn’t so much refer to the fading youth of Ms Ardern and its consequences for potential breeding, but to the whole question of how or when a career politican or a careery anything could actually have a baby. Doubtless in the not-too-distant future the question will become gender-neutral as the unravelled genome will permit everyone and anyone will be able to procreate, regardless of gender or even age.
The issue set off the inevitable storm, which is one that has swept the shores of the legal profession for years with increasing ferocity. It also reminded me of the last time Jesse Mulligan Jacinda and I were in company. In fact it was the only time we were in company, and it wasn’t a threesome as former Labour star-in-the-making Darren Hughes was also there.
It was no closet Labour meeting but a comedy festival performance in the capital some years ago where the talented Mr Mulligan was performing and I attended, very late and very misty as I recall. Also in attendance were the Ardern/Hughes Labour bloc and we gathered briefly at the conclusion of the performance where I happened to mention my connection to the politicos via my Left-leaning son.
Darren Hughes overlooked the parentage and commented that the boy had “some way out right wing father” a fact that I needed to correct to reference myself and as someone more libertarian than “way out right winger”. He laughed iin a good humoured manner, his face flushed in the darkened theatre. This, though, is how politicians can so easily misinterpret things, no?
Jacinda’s Legal Priorities
As Justice spokesman, a role now taken the changed seating arrangements in Labour with Andrew Little taking over Jacinda’s role, it will be more social action-focused law reform that receives Labour’s blessing.
Jacinda Ardern has firmly expressed her views to achieve greater access to justice generally, including reform of family law to ensure faster and more efficient access for families in need, a reform of adoption laws and a liberal view on cannabis use for medical and general use.
She also expressed a strong interest in enhancing mediation and arbitration efforts to reduce court loads.
So if we see a Labour government under an Ardern leadership, with Winston obviously, then that’s what you can expect.
And as the funds role in for Labour, attracted by Jacinda’s apparent star power we can expect a more feisty debate. Rich lawyers are among the donors and even before the elevation, Ms Ardern oversaw such successful fund-raisers as that hosted by Chapman Tripp Chief Executive Partner Nick Wells and his wife at their Grey Lynn historic home. Such events are more akin to a Nats fund-raiser, so the game has changed in that respect at least.
The Richest Lawyer
While there are many rich lawyers in the generic sense, as distinct from Labour’s view that anyone with two cars is “rich”, then the richest by far on NBR Rich List is Keegan Alexander consultant Michael Friedlander, who comes in at number 6 with $1.6 billion.
The Friedlander empire is based on property, like so many, via his Samson Corporation which has recently also been heavily involved in litigation with failed Mainzeal Corporation’s parent company Richina Pacific in respect of a failure to complete a robotic car parking facility.
Kiwifruit Class Action
The long-awaited kiwifruit class action, funded by Litigation Funding Group, is set to begin in Wellington last Monday.
The claim alleges that negligence from Biosecurity New Zealand (now part of the Ministry for Primary Industries) failed to protect kiwifruit growers from the 2010 PSA-v outbreak, which lead to $885 million in losses.
The group of 212 in the claim is represented in the course of a trial that is set down for up to 13 weeks, by Alan Galbraith QC and Matt Dunning QC, along with LeeSalmonLong’s Davey Salmon and Michael Heard. Opposing is Jack Hodder QC and team.
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