Anna Adams is a national-level expert in public, health and regulatory law. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in advisory work and litigation that has ranged from large-scale public cases through to small, personal matters. 


  • LLM – Yale Law School – 1998 
  • LLB (Hons) / BA (Political Science) – University of Auckland – 1995 
  • Admitted to New York State Bar and US Federal Court (NY) – 1999
  • Admitted as a New Zealand Barrister and Solicitor – 1996

Additional credentials

  • Harvard Business School Global Women’s Leadership Forum
  • Yale University Joseph W. Beatman Scholarship, New Zealand Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship in Law
  • Auckland University Senior Prizes in Law and Political Science, David R. Mummery Prize in Constitutional Law, Brooker and Friend Prize in Employment Law, Robert Chapman Prize in Political Science


Anna Adams is a national-level expert in public, health and regulatory law. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in advisory work and litigation that has ranged from large-scale public cases through to small, personal matters. 

Anna’s experience includes public, administrative and local government law (particularly Auckland’s legislation and infrastructure), judicial review, medico-legal proceedings and health law, coroners’ inquiries, human rights and vulnerable persons’ law, education law, privacy and information law including online safety issues. She has a particular skill in medical evidence and healthcare-related matters including concerns arising from patient, practitioner and hospital, professional discipline, medicines, mental health and capacity, and the treatment environment.

Anna has extensively advised on public policy and regulatory systems, governance, probity and anti-corruption issues in large organisations. She has conducted large-scale reviews, legislative and regulatory reform processes, and served as a board member of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the Auckland Medico-Legal Society governing committee. 

Anna is a seasoned litigator in civil matters and prosecutions. She has appeared as lead counsel in well over a hundred civil and criminal cases before the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal as well as in coronial inquests, watchdog inquiries and a range of tribunals.  

Anna is a strategic thinker, skilled in constructive problem-solving that serves clients’ needs and values. She is comfortable engaging with private clients, public officials, experts and international parties with interests in New Zealand. 

Before joining Bankside Chambers Anna was a partner at law firm Meredith Connell for over fifteen years, including chair of the firm’s board for four years, and a Crown prosecutor. Prior to this Anna conducted commercial litigation in federal and state court in New York and was a Judge’s Clerk at the New Zealand Court of Appeal.  

Anna is a member of the New Zealand and the New York Bars and a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Auckland, where she was the recipient of prizes in law and politics.  She is an associate member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Case Highlights

Public law and judicial review

Counsel in judicial reviews – for example:

Mt Wellington Race Park v Auckland Council, Auckland Transport & Independent Traffic Control Ltd (HC 2020) – decided local government obligations when changing use of park land and commercial land

Urban Auckland v Auckland Council & Ports of Auckland Ltd (HC 2015) – reviewed legality of council’s decision to consent the Auckland Port to extend Bledisloe Wharf into the Waitemata Harbour

Medico-legal and health law matters

Counsel in health law matters before the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court, tribunals and regulatory bodies – for example:

Gill v Attorney-General (Ministry of Health) (HC -CA 2009 -2011) – leading case on seizure of doctor-patient information in criminal investigation

B, C, A,  RL, AN, L v Auckland, Counties Manukau District Health Boards (HC - CA 2010-2017) – patients contesting mental health decision-making and compulsory treatment

Auckland District Health Board v Z, E, W (HC 2011-2013) – hospital applications for children needing urgent health care to be placed in the guardianship of the High Court

Director of Proceedings v Wilson (Human Rights Review Tribunal 2008) – action against doctor for breach of health and disability services code, performed vasectomy that resulted in unwanted pregnancy

Ryan v Auckland District Health Board (HC 2008) - negligence suit for transmission of disease through surgical instruments alleged

Representation of health professionals and regulatory bodies including psychologists, doctors, nurses, dentists in professional disciplinary processes 

Protection of Personal Property Rights Act welfare orders obtained including contraceptive treatment of disabled person to preserve her health and well-being, care arrangements for elderly persons with capacity and psychiatric concerns

Reviews and inquiries of public decision-making

Counsel in major reviews of decision-making in public-facing bodies including probity, conflict of interest, legislative compliance, government performance issues – for example:

Acted for Auckland Mayor in Mike Bush review of Auckland’s 2023 flood response

Advised NZTA in 2019-2021 review of imported light vehicle compliance

Advised Auckland Council 2012 inquiry into Westgate town centre development


Counsel in coronial inquiries and inquests into deaths of adults, adolescents and children – for  example: 

Accident (building site, cinema)

Suicide (employment bullying, mental health inpatients on leave, outpatients with psychiatric medication issues)

During medical treatment (misdiagnosis, medical overdoses, intensive care entry and treatment)

Inflicted injury (the Kahui twins after murder acquittal)

Complex civil and prosecutorial advocacy

Counsel in over a hundred prosecutions and civil litigations including public, regulatory, tort and criminal law in Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court and tribunals  – for example:

Senior Crown prosecutor in jury trials of violent drugs, sexual, property and regulatory offending 

R v Kumar (HC, CA 2013) - acting for hospital in leading case deciding disclosure of mental health records of sexual violation complainant in prosecution

X v AG & Auckland District Health Board - HC litigation 2017-2021 by former lawyer for breach of Bill of Rights in connection with health treatment and Police arrests 

Ellis v Counties Manukau District Health Board (HC 2007) - negligence suit by mental health patient who killed his father while legally insane

What Others Say

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023 – Public Law New Zealand:

"Anna is a lawyer at the top of her game. She can distil the most complex issues and make them simple."

"She has a great service and work ethic and is a true public lawyer. Anna looks at issues from all angles and advises accordingly."


Competing Conceptions of the Constitution: The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 in the Cooke Court of Appeal [1996] New Zealand Law Review 368-401

No items found.


  • New Zealand Institute of Directors – Associate Member 
  • New Zealand Bar Association – Member
  • New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority – Board Member 2017–2019
  • Auckland Medico-Legal Society – Governing Committee Member 2010–2018 and current Member