Eight New Zealand lawyers, including a prominent University of Auckland professor, have been appointed Queen's Counsel under a new process that includes a commitment to improving access to justice.

Attorney-General David Parker said the appointment process "emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community lens."

The new silks include Auckland lawyers Stephen Hunter, Julie-Anne Kincade, Simon Foote and Professor Janet McLean.

Wellington's Nicolette Levy and Karen Feint were also appointed, along with Leonard Anderson of Dunedin and Jonathan Temm of Rotorua.

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Parker said Prof McLean was appointed under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of her extraordinary and long-standing contribution to, and development of, the law.

The appointments bring the list of appointed King's and Queen's Counsel to 315 out of 35,000 people who have been admitted as lawyers in New Zealand.

Janet McLean: After being admitted to the Bar in 1986 Professor McLean has spent the majority of her career at the University of Auckland, teaching since 1991. She is currently Professor of Law and Associate Dean (Research) at the University of Auckland and a visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne where she teaches in their Masters programme. Professor McLean has also acted as an adviser for the New Zealand Government, serving on the Legislation Advisory Committee and on a ministerial inquiry into Human Rights Protection in New Zealand (2000).

Stephen Hunter: Hunter was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in September 1998. From Harvard he went to London in 2002 to work in the litigation team at Herbert Smith. He returned to New Zealand in 2006 to work at Gilbert Walker in Auckland, becoming a partner in 2008 and acting mainly in High Court civil cases. He also lectured part-time in public law at the University of Auckland from 2006 to 2008.

Stephen Hunter, QC
Stephen Hunter, QC

Julie-Anne Kincade:

Kincade was admitted in New Zealand in July 2007 and began her legal career in London, working as a criminal lawyer from 1991 until her departure to New Zealand in 2005. She started working at Meredith Connell as a Senior Solicitor in 2007 where she prosecuted criminal matters at all levels.

Kincade joined the independent bar in 2013 and spent the next three years at Verus Chambers where she mainly worked on the Lundy case. She is currently based at Blackstone Chambers.

Julie-Anne Kincade, QC
Julie-Anne Kincade, QC

Simon Foote:

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Currently a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington, Foote was admitted in September 1993 and began working at Russell McVeagh as a litigation solicitor. After a stint in London in 1997 he returned to New Zealand, joining Ben Vanderkolk & Associates in Palmerston North where he worked as a Crown Prosecutor and civil litigation solicitor. In 2001 he returning to Russell McVeagh, before moving to the bar at City Chambers in Auckland. He joined Bankside Chambers in 2008, and practises in commercial and civil litigation and arbitration, Crown panel work, and regulatory criminal defence matters. He is a co-author of the New Zealand Bar Association's 2018 Report on Access to Justice.

Simon Foote, QC
Simon Foote, QC

Nicolette Levy:

Admitted to the Bar in November 1990 Levy was soon employed as a law clerk at Bell Gully Buddle Weir, before becoming a staff solicitor working in litigation. Since 1994, Ms Levy has worked as a barrister sole, specialising in civil litigation and criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Levy has appeared in more than 90 criminal appeals funded by legal aid.

Karen Feint: Having been admitted in 1990, Feint began her legal career as a solicitor at Bell Gully. After completing her LLM in 1994, she returned to New Zealand to work in the litigation department at Buddle Findlay. She has been practising as a barrister at Wellington's Thorndon Chambers since 2009, where she specialises in civil litigation, public and constitutional law, and Māori legal issues. She has particular expertise in the Treaty of Waitangi and is the author of a number of publications on Māori jurisprudence.

Karen Feint , QC
Karen Feint , QC

Leonard Andersen:

Anderson was admitted in December 1975 and his first legal role was as a teaching fellow in the Law Faculty at Otago University, before moving to Whakatane in 1976 to join Osborne Handley Gray & Richardson as a staff solicitor. Since 1991, Mr Andersen has been a barrister, sole practising in Dunedin. His practice is varied, ranging from civil and criminal litigation to Family Court cases, Employment Cases and Resource Management Act proceedings. He is a part time lecturer at Otago University since 1992, teaching courses in advocacy, criminal procedure, and forensic law.

Leonard Andersen, QC
Leonard Andersen, QC

Jonathan Temm:

After being admitted to the Bar in June 1993 Temm joined Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young as a law clerk and went on to work as a solicitor with a focus on litigation and property law. In 1995, he joined Davys Burton, Barristers and Solicitors in Rotorua as an associate, becoming a partner in 2000. Since 2005, he's taken on criminal defence work and civil litigation. In 2010 he became President of the New Zealand Law Society where he represented the national legal profession for three years. In 2013, he returned to his private practice where he continues to specialise in criminal and civil litigation.

Jonathan Temm, QC
Jonathan Temm, QC