Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

QC Simon Moore made High Court judge

Simon Moore.
Simon Moore.

One of the country's top criminal lawyers is set to take on his biggest courtroom role yet - as a High Court judge.

It was announced yesterday that Simon Moore, QC, had been appointed a Judge of the High Court and would sit in Auckland, where he has held the position of Crown Solicitor for many years.

Justice Moore, as he will now be referred to, began his legal career in 1980, when he graduated from Auckland University with a bachelor of law degree.

His first job as a law clerk at Meredith Connell led to a role as a staff solicitor in 1982. Three years later he was made a partner at the firm and has been chairman of partners since 2003.

In June 1994 Justice Moore was appointed Crown Solicitor for Auckland, a role which gave him overall responsibility for the prosecution of all indictable crime in the region. He has been a familiar face at the High Court since then, appearing for the Crown in most of the major criminal trials in the Auckland region.

He added an international accolade to his curriculum vitae in 2000 when the British Government appointed him public prosecutor for Pitcairn Island. In that role he was responsible for the prosecution and conviction of 12 island men for historical sexual offending.

In 2008 Justice Moore was appointed general counsel to the Eden Park Redevelopment Board in anticipation of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The same year he was also appointed senior counsel, becoming Queen's Counsel in 2012 when the title was restored.

Justice Moore, who has been married to his wife, Jane, for more than 30 years and has three sons, has been at the helm of some of New Zealand's biggest criminal trials.

These include the cases of Centrepoint commune founder Bert Potter, rapist Malcolm Rewa, RSA murderer William Bell, samurai sword attacker and murderer Antonie Dixon and the trials over the deaths of Peter Plumley-Walker, who was killed in a bondage session and dumped over the Huka Falls, and baby twins Chris and Cru Kahui.

He also acted for the Crown at the trial of disgraced MP Taito Phillip Field, who was charged with corruption, and was appointed lead counsel for police at the royal commission on the 2010 Pike River mining tragedy.

Justice Moore will be temporarily replaced as Crown Solicitor by a fellow partner at Meredith Connell before a permanent replacement is decided on.

Legal achievements

* 1980 Graduated with an LLB from Auckland University.
* 1994 Appointed Crown Solicitor for Auckland.
* 2001 Appointed by the British Government to oversee and prosecute 12 men on Pitcairn Island for historic sexual offending.
* 2008 Appointed senior counsel, becoming Queen's Counsel when the title was restored in 2012.
* 2008 Appointed general counsel to the Eden Park Redevelopment Board in anticipation of the Rugby World Cup 2011.
* 2014 Appointed High Court judge, now to be known as Justice Simon Moore.

- NZ Herald

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