A little help saves lawyer's day in court

Allan Brent and his father, lawyer David, outside the High Court at Dunedin yesterday. Photos by Linda Robertson.
Allan Brent and his father, lawyer David, outside the High Court at Dunedin yesterday. Photos by Linda Robertson.
The long arm of the law saved the day for a new lawyer in Dunedin yesterday.

Moira Anderson was travelling from Auckland for her admission to the Bar in the Family Court at Dunedin yesterday, when her flight was delayed in Wellington by fog.

Counsel moving her admission, Dunedin lawyer David Brent, immediately contacted former Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland, who was in Wellington and on the same flight.

Mr Harland subsequently rang Mrs Anderson, whom he did not know, and offered her a ride from Dunedin airport to the Family Court, while Justice Graham Panckhurst agreed to a special court sitting, two hours after the scheduled 2.15pm ceremony.

Mrs Anderson, from Donegal, Ireland, said she wanted to be admitted to the Bar in Dunedin ''because it's so beautiful''.

''But I didn't realise it would be such a mad dash to get here,'' she added.

''A career path in law can bring the unexpected,'' Justice Panckhurst observed.

Justice Graham Panckhurst has a word with Moira Anderson, after her admission to the Bar yesterday.
Justice Graham Panckhurst has a word with Moira Anderson, after her admission to the Bar yesterday.
''It has been quite a day for you and one you will remember, for all sorts of reasons.''

After thanking everyone for saving the day, Mrs Anderson and her husband, Andrew, then left Dunedin on a 6pm flight back to Auckland.

It was quite a day, too, for Gallaway Cook Allan lawyer David Brent, who moved his son, Allan, be admitted to the Bar yesterday.

Mr Brent (25) became the fifth generation of his family to be admitted to the Bar.

''It was nerve-racking. I haven't been that nervous in a very long time,'' he said.

''I'm very proud,'' Mr Brent senior said.

''I worked with my father, John Brent, in Dunedin at Brent Haggitt and Co.''

Dunedin has a long association with the law. In May, Lucy Mehrtens (24) was the first New Zealander to become the sixth generation in her family to follow the law,

according to New Zealand Law Society information.

Her great-great-great-grandfather D'Arcy Haggitt practised in Dunedin in the early 1860s. Barristers and solicitors admitted to the Bar by Justice Panckhurst yesterday were Moira Mary Elizabeth Anderson, Allan Douglas William Brent, Karen Bernadette Culpeper, Paul Robert William Ellicott, Nathan Paul Graham, Jane Marguerite Guthrie, James Rawiri Meager and Kieran Jon Miller.

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

I'm confused!

So Mrs Anderson and Jim Harland were stranded in Wellington and David Brent rings Jim to advise him of this fact, Jim rings Moira and then drives her to Dunedin from the airport.

What is the story here, how was she getting from the airport into town in the first place and what does Jim have to do with this - now if he had driven her from Wellington to Dunedin due to the airport being closed that would have been a story.

The fog had nothing to do with her trip into town.

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