Congratulations to distinguished alumni Justice Susan Thomas, announced as new High Court Chief Judge

MinterEllisonRuddWatts congratulates Justice Susan Thomas, who has been named the new High Court Chief Justice.

Justice Thomas succeeds Justice Geoffrey Venning, who will step down from the role on 31 May 2020.

Chair of MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Sarah Sinclair said “We are incredibly proud of our distinguished alumni and former partner, Justice Susan Thomas.

“The appointment is excellent and well-deserved recognition of her commitment to the justice system, and further adds to her already distinguished career.

“Justice Thomas is a role model and inspiration for all lawyers, particularly for women seeking to progress their careers to the highest levels of the legal system.”

Justice Thomas graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from Auckland University and practised as a solicitor for a year before moving to London. She was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and spent nearly a decade practising as both an in-house counsel and partner in a London law firm.

Returning to New Zealand in 1995, Justice Thomas joined MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ property practice in Wellington as a Senior Associate before being promoted to Partner in 1996. She was with the firm for nine years before being appointed as a District Court Judge in 2005 and was later promoted to the High Court.

A legal innovator, Justice Thomas started a Special Circumstances Court in Wellington focusing on the most challenged and marginalised offenders, and has chaired the Judicial Reference Group, responsible for working with the Ministry of Justice to plan for and oversee technological innovation in New Zealand courts.

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