When I was fourteen years old I interviewed a solicitor for a school project on careers. She showed me the shelves of bound law reports in her firm’s library and I asked her what the books contained. She replied “people’s stories”. From that moment I wanted to be a lawyer.
By the the final year of my law degree I was working every Friday for a small inner city law firm in Christchurch, specialising in debt disputes and conveyancing. This turned into a full time job.
I then took up a position with a large national law firm, specialising in civil litigation; employment law; and privacy law. During this time I became a certified seminar leader for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
Around the births of my two daughters, I had the opportunity to lecture and teach at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and the University of Canterbury, covering professional practice, legal ethics, employment law, and privacy law. I continue to lecture in the UC School of Law to this day.
In 2005 I started work for the Crown Solicitor's Office in Christchurch. I achieved the rank of senior crown counsel specialising in criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, employment and privacy law.
In 2009 I moved to a boutique inner city law firm in Christchurch and became a partner, supervising the civil litigation, employment and privacy law team.
In July 2018, I was invited to join Walker Street Chambers as a barrister sole where I now practice specialising in civil litigation; employment law; and privacy law.
I have a wide range of experience across many areas of law and I have appeared in the District Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court, the Family Court, the Environment Court, and the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
I am known nationally and internationally as one of New Zealand's leading experts in Privacy Law and Employment Law.
In 2009, I authored 'Privacy in Schools'. I also wrote the chapters on Health Information and Employment Law in 'Health Care and the Law 4th Edition', and co-authored 'Ethics, Professional Responsibility and the Lawyer, 3rdEd' Webb, Dalziel & Cook.
I am regularly asked to comment on privacy and employment matters on national television, radio and in print media.
See my latest article in Legalwise News: Legal challenges with Privacy in Education Sector.
Helping others includes doing things for free!
I regularly present papers and address conferences on privacy and employment matters.
I am an active participant in New Zealand Law Society matters, including Professional Standards and Legal Ethics, regularly providing advice on professional ethics. I am a member of the NZ Bar Association.
I am on the Board of the Lexis Nexis Employment Law Bulletin, and the Committee of the Privacy Foundation of New Zealand.
I am a deputy chairperson of St John of God Hauora Trust Board, a director of the Isaac Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation Board, a member of the Catholic Cathedral of Christchurch Management Board, and a co-opted member of the Kirkwood Intermediate Board of Trustees.
As well as my work on these Boards I am a member of Christchurch South Rotary and a duty solicitor for the Canterbury Community Law Centre.
I also take part in charity fundraising events such as entertainment debates.
Click here to listen to my discussion with Chris Lynch on Pathways to Swimmable Rivers.