MALLON, Jillian Maree
HIGH COURT JUSTICE JILLIAN MALLON
Position & Titles: Honorary Fellow, Victoria University
Judge of: High Court, Wellington, since 2006
Specializations and Professional Interests:
Commericial Litigation, competition law, media and public law, insurance defence
As independent of judge you can get in New Zealand. Justice Mallon generally appears to take her duty of dispensing fair, reasoned and impartial justice seriously (unusual in New Zealand judicial appointees).
From the Bell Gully listing: “Jillian Mallon is a litigation partner specialising in commercial litigation, competition, media and public law. Jill’s extensive experience includes representing clients in competition and fair trading investigations, applications and cases. She teaches competition law at Victoria University law school (where she has been appointed an honorary fellow). . Jill provides media law advice and representation to publishers. She provides public law advice to decision makers and those affected by statutory decisions. She advises a crown entity on its disputes with suppliers and represents it in mediations and litigation. She advises and represents insurers and insured on professional indemnity matters. .Her commercial litigation experience includes contract, corporate, fiduciary duty and negligence claims. As well as claims before courts and tribunals she also advises on arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution options. .Jill receives mention for her insurance expertise in Asia Pacific Legal 500 2004.2005. It comments that she is among partners singled out for praise and is “a pleasure to work with”.
In May 2008, Mallon J gave a courageous and landmark decision in the ‘Berryman’ case heard before her eight months earlier. Mallon J ruled that the Coroner’s report into the death of Kenneth Richards which blamed Keith and Margaret Berryman as a result of the bridge collapse leading to their property, was inaccurate. It had been an open secret that the Office of the Solicitor General and various judges before Mallon J in the thirteen year long court case had suppressed evidence that the NZ Army had improperly constructed the bridge and that it was this that largely caused the collapse of the 8 year old bridge – not the Berryman’s as the Crown had alleged and prosecuted. Because so many judges before her were eager to sanitise the facts to protect the Government, Mallon J was under tremendous pressure to tow the company line. Much to her credit, she did the right thing, in a situation where she will likely be frowned upon by her fellow judges for doing so.
In 2009, on a Judicial Review of a decision to allow police to re-classify rifles under a more restrictive firearms prohibition, Mallon J again showed her independence and fortitude in overruling the oppressive restraints.
Background / Education:
Mallon J graduated LLB Hons from Otago University in 1988 and LLM from Cornell University in 1993. She joined the litigation team at Bell Gully in Wellington in 1988, becoming a partner of the firm in 1998. Justice Mallon specialised in general commercial litigation at Bell Gully with most recent emphasis on competition, media and public law. In addition, she taught competition law at Victoria University from 1999 to 2005 and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2005. Justice Mallon was appointed a judge of the High Court in July 2006 and she is based in Wellington.
Degrees: LLB (Hons.) Otago, 1988, LLM Cornell Univ. (U.S.) 1993
Admitted to the Bar: 1988
Company Involvements:Shareholder Bell Gully Guarantee Company Ltd (From Bell Gully)
Born: 1963 Sex: Female
Married: 19 Children:
Interesting Relationships and Coincidences: