Webinar: Life at the Bar

Date:   Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Time:   5:00 - 6:30pm

Venue:   Online

Price:   Free


On 22 June 2022, there will be a second webinar titled “Taking the plunge: Employing a junior barrister”.   Members of NZ Asian Lawyers will be able to attend this event at a 50% discount.


Life at the Bar (CPD 1.5 hr)

Have you ever wondered what life as a barrister is like? What do we mean by “the independent bar”? Do you have to be a litigator to be a barrister? How would being at the bar work for you? This webinar will look at life at the independent bar, and the key differences between being a barrister sole compared to being a barrister and solicitor. Our panel comprises chair, Paul Radich QC, barristers Augustine Choi, Iswari Jayanandan, Dhilum Nightingale, Kingi Snelgar and Setareh Stienstra. They will talk about:
  • Common misconceptions and fears about practising at the bar;
  • What skills do you need to be a barrister?
  • Is it all about litigation?
  • How to get started (including options such as starting as an employed barrister);
  • Flexibility and practice (physical chambers v virtual chambers, lifestyle balance);
  • Surviving your first three months at the bar; and
  • Where can the bar take you?
The panel will also address questions sent by attendees. Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to move to the independent bar, this is a good opportunity to find out more about how it works and to satisfy your curiosity. Our Panel: Paul Radich QC specialises in commercial and public law litigation. He has represented government departments, public sector organisations and corporate entities in Royal commissions of inquiry and in government inquiries. In addition to his role as President of the New Zealand Bar Association, Paul is Chair of the Legal Aid Performance Review Committee, an immediate past board member of te Kura Kaiwhakawā / the Institute of Judicial Studies, and a past Chair of the New Zealand Law Society’s Continuing Legal Education Committee.   Paul joined the bar in 2012, having been a litigation partner with Izard Weston, Bell Gully and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. He has been recognised as a leading litigation lawyer for successive years in Chambers Global and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.
Augustine Choi is a general civil litigator with particular familiarity with relationship property, trust and contract issues. He also has significant experience assisting arbitral tribunals, especially in rent reviews. He is a contributing author to Fisher on Matrimonial and Relationship Property and the New Zealand edition of Cross on Evidence. Augustine studied at the University of Auckland Law School, where he was co-editor in chief of the Auckland University Law Review and a Senior Scholar in Economics. Prior to joining Bankside Chambers as a member in April 2019, Augustine worked for the Hon. Robert Fisher QC and other members of Chambers.
  Iswari (Ish) Jayanandan - Ish was born in Sri Lanka but moved to New Zealand as a child. She has been a barrister sole since 2010 and she practises in South Auckland. Her trial work is varied in nature and includes single/ multiple defendant homicides, multi-accused Police operations (be it serious drugs, aggravated robberies, or serious violence), sexual offending, assaults of varying degrees, fraud matters and cases that are governed by the Criminal Procedure Mental Impaired Persons Act. Ish is a Legal Aid PAL 4 provider and is on the Duty Lawyer, PDLA and Amicus Panel for Manukau District Court. Iswari is on the Bar Council of the NZBA. She is also a member of  ADLS, AWLA, South Auckland Bar Association (SABA), IBA and CLA. Ish co-chairs both the NZBA Criminal Committee and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.   Dhilum Nightingale joined the independent bar in 2021. Before joining the bar, Dhilum practised in large organisations in the private and public sectors. She has extensive experience in resource management, employment, immigration and public law. Dhilum has a strong sense of social justice, cultural awareness and sensitivity, and is immensely proud of her Sri Lankan heritage.  Dhilum’s tikanga and mahi are guided by the cross-cultural values of karunawa (kindness), yuktiya (justice), anukampawa (compassion), rangatiratanga (self-empowerment) and manaakitanga (caring for and supporting others). Dhilum also works as a contractor at Creative HQ where she is experienced with design thinking facilitation and project management of acceleration programmes for entrepreneurs including in the Middle East.
Kingi Snelgar (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Whakatohea, Ngai Tahu) is an experienced litigator who recently joined Bankside Chambers in Auckland. He has appeared before the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Kingi began his career at Meredith Connell specialising in criminal prosecution before completing a Masters of Law at Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. He joined the bar, practising in Manukau as a Youth Advocate and defence lawyer. Kingi was appointed as an inaugural Commissioner on Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, Criminal Cases Review Commission. Kingi is also counsel to assist the Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care. He is available for roles as both senior and junior counsel.  
  Setareh Steinstra is an experienced litigator, who practises in public and administrative law (with a sub-specialisation in environmental, planning and local government law), property, civil litigation and regulatory crime. She has represented public sector agencies, corporate clients, iwi and hapu trusts, and private individuals. Setareh began her legal career in 1999 as a Legal and Policy Adviser at Infrastructure Auckland, a statutory body. Prior to joining the independent bar in 2014, she was a senior practitioner at two leading national law firms, Dentons Kensington Swan and Simpson Grierson.
Setareh was elected to the Council of the New Zealand Bar Association (NZBA) in 2019 and again in 2020 for a two-year term. She co-chairs the Association's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is also a member of te Ao Māori Komiti of the NZBA.    
This webinar is free, but you will need to register your interest here.

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