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Justice O’Gorman was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court of Aotearoa New Zealand on Thursday 26 October by Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann. Speakers including Solicitor-General Una Jagose, on behalf of the Government of Aotearoa New Zealand and Frazer Barton, President of the New Zealand Law Society, on behalf of the legal profession. Many Bankside members attended to honour Laura’s appointment to the bench and her valuable contribution to chambers.

Justice O’Gorman was praised as a highly effective litigator who is strongly principled, kind, calm with a strong sense of morality and social justice.

“All who know you are quick to comment on your intellect”, stated Mr Barton, “you are known to settle for only the highest standards; the public can be confident that you’ll go above and beyond.

Justice O’Gorman graduated from the University of Auckland in 1996 with a BCom/LLB (Hons) and worked as a law clerk, then a solicitor, with Buddle Findlay until 1998.

During her speech, Justice O’Gorman observed that as a summer clerk applicant, litigation was the last area she was interested in, but she soon realised while working alongside Buddle Finlay’s top litigators that it was her calling.

In 1999, Justice O’Gorman moved to the United Kingdom where she obtained an LLM from the University of Cambridge and worked at a law firm in Jersey. Two years later, she returned to New Zealand and to Buddle Findlay as a senior solicitor. In 2005 she became a partner.

In 2019 Justice O’Gorman joined Bankside Chambers. Her practice included a broad range of commercial litigation, with specialist expertise in insolvency, competition law, judicial review and statutory appeals, conflict of laws, company law and contractual disputes. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2021.

“I have loved being surrounded by barristers, arbitrators and mediators of the highest calibre”, shared Justice O’Gorman. “Thank you to all the members at Bankside Chambers for welcoming me so warmly, and providing friendship and collegiality throughout these recent years”.

Justice O’Gorman acknowledged the support of her family, especially of her husband and daughter. 

Mr Barton thanked Justice O’Gorman for her “long and considerable service to the profession”, concluding that “Aotearoa New Zealand’s judicial system will be stronger for you being elevated to serve on this Bench.”

On behalf of all members at Bankside Chambers, we wish Justice O’Gorman all the very best.

Bankside Chambers members with Justice O'Gorman. Photography: Sean McCabe