Philip graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 1984. He initially practised in commercially orientated firms in Christchurch. He has specialised in general litigation over the last 30 years.
Philip’s approach to litigation is that it is something that often cannot be avoided, but other solutions should be investigated if they are feasible. Philip’s approach to litigation similarly involves a practical results based view, bearing in mind what the client requires and what can be obtained.
He is able to attend on instructing solicitors either at their office or liaise directly with their client.
Over the last 30 years Philip has gained experience in commercial litigation, litigating in tort contract, equity and public law. He has litigated at all levels from the District Court to the High Court to appellate level.
The last 20 years were spent as a partner at Raymond Donnelly & Co. the Crown Solicitors of Christchurch. Throughout the course of that time he conducted a number of commercial/general civil/public law cases on behalf of the Crown. He also appeared as amicus curiae on a number of matters to assist with the High Court and District Court.
Similarly throughout that time, he held the role of senior Crown counsel and conducted various prosecutions on behalf of the Crown. Throughout his time as a partner at Raymond Donnelly, Philip prosecuted in excess of 20 murder trials and numerous other manslaughter cases.
He was also involved in a number of significant conspiracy trials as well as trials alleging significant dishonesty. Again on behalf of the Crown he has appeared in all jurisdictions from the District Court to the High Court to appellate level. He has also undertaken litigation for local bodies and regional councils.
As part of his private practice throughout the time with the Crown, he also conducted cases involving relationship property, employment law and did opinion work for various instructing solicitors.
Philip has also appeared in a number of disciplinary tribunals both as a prosecutor and as a defence lawyer.
Other Legal Experience
Philip has also been involved in mentoring younger practitioners, particularly young litigators and is keen to see young litigators from instructing solicitor firms enter the court room and have sufficient guidance and instruction to feel comfortable in that arena.
Philip has also been involved with the University of Canterbury in assisting and judging moot competitions and witness examination competitions. He has also on occasion assisted with taking tutorials.
He has in the past been a member of the teaching faculty of the New Zealand Law Society litigation skills course which teaches less experienced lawyers court skills. He is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association.