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Hon Paul Heath QC was called to the New Zealand Bar in 1978, practised as a barrister and solicitor until 1998, when he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In March 2002, after serving for five years as a consultant and member of the New Zealand Law Commission, Paul was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand. Between 2003 and 2017, he sat as an ad hoc member of the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions. Paul retired from the Bench in April 2018, when he joined Bankside Chambers. He is also an Associate at South Square in London, the leading set of insolvency and restructuring chambers.

Education

  • LLB - University of Auckland, 1978
  • Fellow, Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc, 1996
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, 1996
  • Chartered Arbitrator, 2000

Bio

Hon Paul Heath QC was called to the New Zealand Bar in 1978, practised as a barrister and solicitor until 1998, when he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In March 2002, after serving for five years as a consultant and member of the New Zealand Law Commission, Paul was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand. Between 2003 and 2017, he sat as an ad hoc member of the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions. Paul retired from the Bench in April 2018, when he joined Bankside Chambers. He is also an Associate at South Square in London, the leading set of insolvency and restructuring chambers.

Paul practises primarily as an arbitrator, both in domestic and international arbitrations. He also provides commercial mediation services and strategic advice in complex disputes, particularly in his specialist field of insolvency and restructuring. Paul is the co-consulting editor of Heath & Whale on Insolvency. He is one of 10 members of Bankside Chambers who also have rooms at Maxwell Chambers in Singapore.


Paul’s specialist area of insolvency practice is cross border insolvency. He was New Zealand’s delegate to Working Group V of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and chaired two of its meetings when holding the position of Vice Chair. He has been involved in much judicial education in this area; most recently on assignments from the World Bank and INSOL International in both Mauritius and India. Paul has also been engaged by the Asian Development Bank as a consultant on court related projects in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.


Paul is currently President of the Court of Appeal of the Pitcairn Islands and a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Kiribati. He is on the Panel of Arbitrators for the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the New Zealand International Arbitration Centre and a list member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. In June 2019, he was appointed as a member of P.R.I.M.E Finances Panel of Experts for Dispute Resolution.

Work Highlights

High Court Judge

Hon Justice Heath Judge of the High Court of New Zealand for 16 years, from 2002 until 2018.


Member of the Law Commission Commissioner

Engaged primarily in commercial law reform from 1997-2002 (particularly insolvency law reform, arbitration reform and electronic commerce) but also involved in other projects such as evidence law, recommending civil unions for same sex couples, and Maori and Treaty of Waitangi issues.


Privy Council

Appeared on three occasions as sole or lead counsel in the Privy Council between 1990 and 2001.


International work

Judicial education work for World Bank and Asian Development Bank in Myanmar, Mauritius, India and Sri Lanka.


Arbitration

Appointment as sole arbitrator in 20 domestic/international arbitrations since re-entering practice in 2018.


International recognition

Elected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in 2000; at that stage only the 19th non-American to be elected and I remain the only New Zealander.

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Publications

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Memberships

  • NZLS
  • NZBA
  • AMINZ (Council member, 2018-2020), AMINZ (Fellow)
  • CIArb (Fellow)
  • RITANZ (Life Member)