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Women lawyers now in the majority

The New Zealand Law Society has reported that of the 13,103 lawyers currently practising in New Zealand, 6553 are women and 6550 are men. While the number of women have been admitted has exceeded men since the early 1990s, the newest numbers show that now women outnumber men among lawyers in practice as well. While the overall total of women in the legal profession has surpassed that of men, women remain under-represented when it comes to holding positions of seniority in the profession. Read the Law Society’s announcement here:

Government reform of employment law begins

The new Labour government has announced a series of employment law changes to be brought into effect by new legislation. The changes include restricting the availability of a 90 day trial period for new employees to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, and to reform the law of collective bargaining. For more information see

Grumpy Cat wins $710,000 for intellectual property infringement

A company formed to protect the intellectual property of the owners of a beloved cat popularly known as Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce) has successfully sued a former business partner. Grumpy Cat Ltd filed proceedings against Grenade Beverage in the Federal Court in California, alleging that Grenade has exceeded the terms of a deal permitting Grenade to use Grumpy Cat’s image in marketing materials. The jury found in favour of Grumpy Cat, awarding $710,000 in damages for copyright infringement, trade mark infringement and breach of contract. Grumpy Cat was present during the trial but not for the delivery of the jury’s verdict. For more information see

New District Court judges announced

Two new District Court judges were announced on 18 January 2018. Judge Wharepouri and Judge Kelly will both exercise criminal and civil jurisdiction. Before becoming a judge, Judge Wharepouri worked at Kensington Swan, Russell McVeagh and Meredith Connell. Judge Kelly previously worked as a government legal advisor, working with a range of government departments including the Office of Treaty Settlements, Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police and Ministry of Economic Development. For more information see the notice in the New Zealand Gazette here:

By Jack Oliver-Hood