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The Judicial Conduct Commission has begun an investigation into a Supreme Court judge who ruled in favour of a close friend's client.

Justice Bill Wilson was one of three Court of Appeal judges who, in 2007, overturned a High Court ruling that would have given a group of wool growers a share of the former Wool Board's financial reserves.

Justice Wilson's friend and business partner, Alan Galbraith, represented the Wool Board.

The two men co-owned land in Waikato and breed horses together.

At the time of the ruling, Justice Wilson was reportedly indirectly financially indebted to Mr Galbraith.

North Canterbury wool grower Peter Radford complained that Justice Wilson's hearing of the case had an appearance of bias.

He was yesterday interviewed by Commissioner Sir David Gasgoigne and former Australian High Court chief judge Murray Gleeson, the Dominion Post reported.

Mr Radford's lawyer, Sue Grey, was also interviewed.

The three hours of "detailed questioning" was very encouraging, she said.

The commission can dismiss the complaint, refer it to Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, or ask the attorney-general to set up an inquiry panel.

- NZPA