Jane has practiced law since her admission to the bar in 1990 and has appeared in a wide range of cases predominantly in the Family, District and High Courts and the Court of Appeal. Jane specialises in cases involving trusts, closely held private companies or challenges to property division agreements and has also been involved in cases concerning child care arrangements. In civil and commercial law, she has led cases on litigation involving breach of contract, breach of agency, tortious claims and claims pursuant to the Construction Contracts Act 2002.
We caught up with Jane to congratulate her on the recent completion of an LLM, with honours at Auckland University, and find out more about her role as an author for our Family Law portfolio.
1. Congratulations! You recently completed a Master of Law, how has this experience affected or informed your practice?
Having practised law for 20 years, a lot has changed since I was at Law School. The study for the LLM gave me an opportunity to update, in a very detailed way, on developments in the law. I also had the luxury of studying areas of personal interest such as comparative analysis of French and New Zealand family and contract law.
2. What is your involvement with Thomson Reuters family law products and how long have you been involved?
I am currently writing for two Thomson Reuters products. I have authored the Family Law – Family Procedure “costs” chapter since May 2007. Then in late 2008 I also joined the editing team of the child support portion of Brookers Family Law – Child Law Vol 3.
3. How do you balance your authorship responsibilities with those of being a barrister?
It is challenging given the pressure of practice to do this but the privilege of authorship is rewarding in itself as it makes you stop and focus on new cases which in turn teaches and updates you.
4. In your opinion, what is one of the most influential family cases to date?
I would have to say the Court of Appeal decision in Nation v Nation coupled with Lankow v Rose and Fortex Group Ltd (in rec and liq) v MacIntosh and Dicks v Hobson Swan Construction Ltd (in liq). It may seem strange to cite a corporate insolvency case and “leaky homes” case alongside two family cases but when considered altogether they highlight thinking that I believe will pose further challenges to trust and company structures in the future. As family property arrangements, trust or corporate, become more complicated, and are seen to be the instruments of injustice, they will increasingly come under pressure from the Courts.