Kate Davenport QC


Telephone: +64 9 307 8789

Mobile: +64 21 637 503

[email protected]

Post: PO Box 141, Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1140.

Kate is a civil and commercial litigator with more than 30 years experience at the independent bar.  She is also a qualified mediator.  Kate practises primarily in civil and commercial litigation including cases involving contracts and torts, equity and trusts, insolvency and company law, land law, construction law, relationship property and health law.

Kate was admitted to the Bar in 1983 and became a Barrister sole in 1990.  Kate took Silk in 2013. Kate was awarded NZ Lawyer Barrister of the Year Award in 2013. Kate was admitted to the UK Bar by the Middle Temple in July 2015.  Kate was made a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2019.

Kate is the New Zealand Bar Association’s President.

Kate has a special interest in professional regulation.  Until recently Kate was deputy chair of Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.  She was for 9 years Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Kate is a member of the prosecution panel for the New Zealand Law Society.

Kate is a past President of the Film & Literature Board of Review.

Kate is past Chair of the National Ethics Committee on assisted reproduction technology (ECART).

Kate writes extensively in the area of Trust Law and is a contributing editor to LexisNexis Law of Trusts.

Kate was part of the High Court pilot mediation panel and was a member of the Weathertight Homes Mediation panel.

Kate has a post graduate certificate in Ethics.

Kate is a mentor for the New Zealand Bar Association and responsible for the NZBA’s development of its gender equity policy, now called Gender Engagement and Equitable Instruction policy in collaboration with the New Zealand Law Society.

Recent and Notable Cases

In 2020 Kate appeared as intervener for the New Zealand Bar Association in the Supreme Court case in Southern Response v Ross (decision awaited).

In 2019 Kate and Jennifer Batrouney QC (Australia) intervened for the Charity Law Association of Australian and New Zealand (CLAANZ) in the Family First v Commissioner of Charities case in the Court of Appeal (decision awaited).

In 2015 Kate appeared in the ground breaking right to die case Seales v AG [2015] NZHC 1239.

In 2012 Kate successfully appeared for the appellant in the Privy Council in Descendants of U & A Tumu v Descendants of I Tumu [2012] UKPC 34.

Kate also appeared for the appellant in the Privy Council in Baudinet v Tavioni [2012] UKPC 35.

These 2 cases were the first cases heard by the Privy Council from the Cook Islands.

Other recent cases of interest:

  • McCallum v McCallum Beddoe [2020] NZHC 907
  • Family First decision awaited
  • Dawson v Snedden  [2019] NZHC 736.
  • Dawson v Snedden (As Purported Trustees of Gallais Family Trust) [2019] NZHC 1208.
  • RHH Ltd v Anderson [2018] NZHC 2177
  • Ormerod v Ormerod [2018] NZHC 527C
  • Kiwi Trustee Ltd v Lin [2017] NZHC 1342
  • McCallum v McCallum [2017] NZHC 1218
  • Butterfield v Public Trust [2017] NZCA 367
  • Re Burnett Mount Cook Station Charitable Trust [2017] NZHC 169 [February judgment].
  • da Silva v da Silva [2016] NZHC 2064
  • Re Burnett Mount Cook Station Charitable Trust [2016] NZHC 2214 [September judgment].
  • Re Burnett Mount Cook Station Charitable Trust [2016] NZHC 2669 [November judgment].
  • Re Clapham [2015] NZHC 210.
  • Body Corporate 198900 Ltd v Bhana Investments Ltd [2015] NZHC 1620.
  • A v Standards Committee 2 of the NZ Law Society [2015] NZHC 1896.
  • Seales v AG [2015] NZHC 828.
  • Carrington v Carrington [2014] NZFLR 571.
  • S v D [2013] NZHC 2839; S v D [2013] NZHC 1617.
  • Carmine v Ritchie [2012] NZHC 1514; [2012] NZHC 2279.

Qualifications and Career

LLB (Honours) Auckland University.  Master of Jurisprudence (Distinction) Auckland University.  Post Grad Cert in Health Science (Ethics) (AUT 2011).

Governance Training 

  • CCMau – Massey University Governance Training May 2008
  • Massey University 2009 – NZRAB Training