Attorney-General announces two acting District Court Judge appointments

by NZ Lawyer16 Jun 2014
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson has announced the appointment of two new acting District Court Judges.

Tauranga lawyer Belinda Pidwell has been appointed as an acting District Court Judge, with a Family Court warrant to serve in the Waitakere District Court.

 Pidwell has practiced in litigation since her admission to the Bar, with a strong focus on criminal and family law. In 2004 she joined the independent Bar concentrating on family law, where she regularly acted as lawyer for the child and counsel to assist the Court as well as taking private referrals.

From 2009 to 2011 she was a prosecuting trial attorney for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Pidwell is currently acting as a consultant to a Tauranga law firm practicing solely in family law.

Judge Pidwell will be sworn in on 25 July, 2014 in Tauranga

Hamilton lawyer Simon Menzies has also been appointed as an acting District Court Judge with a jury warrant to serve in the Hamilton District Court.

Menzies was admitted to the Bar in 1974 and started his legal career with RA Young Hunter & Co in Christchurch in 1973, before joining Harkness Henry in Hamilton in 1975.  He was made a managing partner at that firm in 2007. His practice has comprised criminal, civil and family jurisdictions with regular court appearances including Court of Appeal appearances some as lead counsel.

Since the early 1990s, there has been more focus on resource management and employment law and he now heads those teams.

Menzies served on the Hamilton Boys High School Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2002, the last year as chair and chaired the Waikato/Bay of Plenty District Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal from 2005 to 2009.