Auckland lawyer Michael Heron has been appointed Solicitor-General, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

Mr Heron is a successful and respected lawyer. He was most recently a partner at Russell McVeagh between 2007 and June 2012.

From 1995 to 2007 Mr Heron was a lawyer and partner at Meredith Connell where he gained extensive court and advocacy experience, including as a crown prosecutor. He has appeared in court at every level, from the District and High Courts, to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

From 1991 to 1994 he was a solicitor at Allen and Overy, in London and Tokyo.

Mr Heron’s experience covers a broad mix of litigation and advice, including criminal, civil, commercial, human rights, health and public law.  He has advised the Crown and a range of government agencies and Crown entities, on complex commercial and litigation issues.  He is currently a panel counsel to the Serious Fraud Office, the Auckland Crown Solicitor and the New Zealand Law Society.

Mr Heron is the Chair of Drug Free Sport New Zealand and a member of the Council of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Law Society.

The Solicitor-General holds a critical constitutional role in New Zealand, performing a number of roles including principal counsel and principal legal advisor to the Crown and as Chief Executive of the Crown Law Office.  The Solicitor-General is responsible for a number of statutory functions.  The Solicitor-General has responsibility for prosecuting indictable crime and for identifying and managing whole of Government legal risk.

“Mr Heron’s experience and skills are directly relevant to the role of Solicitor-General and Chief Executive of the Crown Law Office,” Mr Finlayson said.  “Mr Heron will be required to implement the decisions arising from the recent review of the role and functions of the Solicitor-General and the Crown Law Office and a number of other reviews.”

“Michael Heron has been appointed to the position for a five year term commencing on 3 September 2012,” Mr Finlayson said. His appointment follows the appointment of the previous Solicitor-General, Dr David Collins QC, as a Judge of the High Court on 16 March 2012.

ENDS

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