Russell McVeagh partner appointed as a judge of the High Court

Home Insights Russell McVeagh partner appointed as a judge of the High Court

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Published on: August 12, 2016


Russell McVeagh congratulates partner Sally Fitzgerald on her new appointment as a judge of the High Court.

Partner Sally Fitzgerald, on her appointment as a judge of the High Court, will leave Russell McVeagh as a widely respected and much-liked senior litigator. From starting her career and long tenure at Russell McVeagh as a Summer Clerk in 1990, Sally also gained international experience in both London and Sydney before being made a partner in the Auckland litigation team in December 2007.

Sally's practice has focused on complex commercial disputes and, while in England and Australia, cross border dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration. Since returning to the firm in 2007, her practice has been focussed on significant commercial disputes, with a spread between litigation and arbitration. In recent years, Sally has developed specialisations in regulatory investigations and proceedings, as well as tax litigation.

Sally has played key roles in anchoring relationships with major clients of the firm, including Spark, Vector, NZRPG and ANZ, and she has been described by clients as: “our hand’s down first choice for external support on any dispute or litigation”;epitomising their view of the perfect adviser”, and “the very best dispute resolution lawyer they have worked with”.

Sally has served on the Pro Bono Committee, the Recruitment team, as Practice Group Chair of the Auckland Litigation Group, two stints as a member of the Board of Management, and has been a member of the firm’s Ethics Committee. While on the Board she has played a key role in facilitating and leading the firm’s focus on diversity initiatives.

Sally has served on the NZLS Auckland branch council for a number of years and in late 2015 was appointed a member of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal. In 2015, Sally was also appointed to the Council (one of seven) of AMINZ, New Zealand's leading professional body of arbitrators and mediators.

Recognised internationally for her expertise, Sally was named Australasian Women in Business Law Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year in 2013, the only New Zealander to be nominated in this category, beating out all Australian nominees. Sally is consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in New Zealand in Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide and a Leading Individual in the Legal 500 rankings, including in both publications for 2016. Sally is also recognised in Best Lawyers® International Guide 2017 in both Litigation and Arbitration/Mediation for New Zealand. Most recently, Sally has been shortlisted for New Zealand Disputes Star of the Year at the 2016 Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards.

Russell McVeagh partner Graeme Quigley said, “Sally is a mentor and inspiration to many across the firm and in particular her team in litigation. We are proud of everything that she has achieved, know that she will be missed, and have no doubt that she will continue to make her mark as she moves forward to the next stage of her career.”

The Russell McVeagh partnership and employees would like to extend congratulations to Sally on this significant achievement.

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