Two new Queen’s Counsel with Faculty of Law connections

Two of the eight new Queen’s Counsel appointed by Attorney-General David Parker last week have strong links to the Faculty of Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Wellington harbour aerial view

Simon Foote QC is a PhD candidate at the Faculty, while practising as a barrister sole at Bankside Chambers in Auckland. Alumna, Professor Janet McLean QC graduated with her Bachelor of Laws with Honours at the Faculty, and has had a long career as a specialist in constitutional and administrative law. She is currently a Professor of Law and Associate Dean (Research) at the University of Auckland.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law Professor Mark Hickford is delighted for both Mr Foote and Professor McLean. “The rank of Queen’s Counsel recognises those who have excelled at the highest level of law.

“Professor McLean has been recognised under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of her extraordinary and longstanding contribution to, and development of, the law. We are extremely honoured to have played a part in her stellar career.”

Professor McLean says, “I was completely taken by surprise by this appointment, but I am really glad that the contribution of the legal scholar-teacher has been recognised in this way by the wider profession, and grateful for the support of my colleagues.

“Studying at Victoria University of Wellington was life-changing and mind-expanding. I had a series of wonderful teachers. The late Professor Quentin-Baxter, as well as Professor Gordon Orr and now-Emeritus Professor Ken Keith were my teachers in Public Law, which was the subject that really grabbed me. In fact it was Emeritus Professor Keith that suggested I pursue an academic career.”

Professor Mark Hickford says Simon Foote is an excellent scholar noting, “Mr Foote is an outstanding practitioner of law, who has chosen Victoria University of Wellington to lead him in his PhD on the use of corporate nationality. His appointment as QC is a wonderful reflection of his hard work and dedication to the law.”

Mr Foote says, “I became a lawyer to be an advocate, and the rank of Queen’s Counsel recognises excellence in advocacy at the independent bar. I hope to inspire younger lawyers and students from all backgrounds to come to the independent bar and advance our system of justice and the rule of law.”

Throughout his career, Mr Foote has enjoyed the challenge of oral and written advocacy. He says, “I aspire in time to appear as an advocate in international tribunals and be appointed as arbitrator in domestic and international arbitration and advance New Zealand’s excellent reputation in arbitration matters led by the University’s Professor Campbell McLachlan QC and Auckland’s Sir David Williams QC.

“My doctorate and appointment as a silk are both very helpful platforms on which to make some impact in this area both domestically and internationally.”

Both Mr Foote and Professor McLean are Auckland-based.