Mourners gathered after the funeral service for lawyer Greg
King at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. New Zealand
Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell
Prominent Wellington lawyer was described as a man
dedicated to the law, who was passionate about representing the
underdog and generous to a fault, at his funeral
His wife, Catherine Milnes-King, said the depth of her grief
in losing her soul-mate was like a black hole.
About 800 mourners packed out the Wellington Cathedral of St
Paul today to farewell the 43-year-old, who died suddenly
next to his car in suburban Newlands a week ago.
In an emotional tribute to her husband of 15 years, Ms
Milnes-King said he was gentle, loving, affectionate.
"He felt enormous empathy at human suffering and he carried
the responsibility of others' burdens."
Among those at the service were members of the legal
community, police, journalists, emergency workers and gang
National MP Tony Ryall, who has been a friend of Mr King's
for 13 years, said his death was a great loss to New Zealand.
"He was more than just a brilliant lawyer, more than this
thoughtful and driven man. He was a sports fan and art
collector, a wine connoisseur, a fellow admirer of shirts
that made a statement and he had a great sense of timing and
Mr King's legal achievements were lauded.
He was recognised as New Zealand lawyer of the year in 2007
and a few months ago he took up the Eisenhower Fellowship and
was writing essays comparing the New Zealand and United
States legal systems.
His plain pine coffin was draped with his court robe, wig and
trusted initialled blue bag that always held his robe.
Justice William Young said Mr King was known for the empathy
he felt for victims of crime.
Crown prosecutor Simon Moore said Mr King was "scrupulously
"If Greg said it was so, it was, because his word was his
It was a tribute to Mr King that people representing all
aspects of the legal profession as well as victims of crime
felt a keen loss at his death.
Robert Lithgow, QC, said Mr King was admired among the legal
fraternity because he was the type of lawyer who always made
an effort and added value to the predicament people got
"He was one of those lawyers who could find something good
even in the most unsatisfactory of people."
Judith Ablett-Kerr had hired Mr King when he was starting out
in the profession.
She said his talent knew no boundaries and his energy was
Mr King's father, Jeffrey King, said he and his wife were the
most fortunate people in the room because they had known
their son for 43 years.
His son hadn't left them - he could see Greg King in his two
"In the eyes of Pippa and Millie's just a character."