​Prominent Christchurch barrister appointed Queen’s Counsel.

by The REJIGIT Blog

The New Zealand Attorney General recently announced the appointment of Mr A.J.F.Wilding as a Queen’s Counsel. Mr Wilding QC is a member barrister of Clarendon Chambers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Some of the roles Mr Wilding has discharged include;

  • Convener of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
  • Former District Inspector of Mental Health.
  • Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.
  • Former Deputy Chair of the Canterbury Medical Ethics Committee.
  • Former member of the Lincoln University Human Ethics Committee.
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society Rule of Law Committee.
  • Member of the Government's Legislation Design and Advisory Committee (external sub-committee) and appeared for both bodies before Parliamentary Select Committees.
  • Former deputy convener District Law Society Disciplinary & Canterbury Branch Standards Committees.
  • Past chairman of Odyssey House Trust.
  • Amicus curiae in the High Court and the Supreme Court.

Distinguished barristers who are appointed Queen’s Counsel are deemed to have demonstrated an overarching requirement of excellence in advocacy in the higher Courts, showed length and depth of experience in the legal profession and demonstrated the personal qualities of integrity, trustworthiness and excellence.

A Queen’s Counsel wears a particular silk gown in Court, hence the appointment process is known as “taking silk”.

In New Zealand, Queen’s Counsel appointments are made by the Governor-General acting on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice.

The appointment of Queen’s Counsels (or King’s Counsels in the event there happens to be a male monarch) dates back to 1594 when Queen Elizabeth I exclusively reserved Francis Bacon as her legal adviser whereupon he became the first Queen's Counsel. Queen’s Counsel appointments are made in British Commonwealth countries.