Auckland barrister Anna-Marie Skellern has been appointed as an Acting District Court Judge with jury and Family Court warrants to sit in Hastings, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Judge Skellern is of Ngāpuhi and Pākehā descent. She was admitted to the bar in 1985. She has practised both as a Barrister sole and in partnership at Bergseng & Co in Rotorua and Auckland since 1992. Her legal career commenced as a law clerk and then staff solicitor at Williamson & Co, Mangere. She then went on to specialise in Family Law as an associate at Cairns Slane. In 1987 she commenced practice in Rotorua, firstly with O’Sullivan Clemens before becoming a partner at Rotorua’s Bergseng & Co.
As well as family proceedings and relationship property matters in the Family Court, Judge Skellern undertook civil and criminal matters in the District Court and High Court. Judge Skellern has also regularly received instructions from the Court to appear as Lawyer for Children and Lawyer to Assist the Court.
Judge Skellern completed her LLM thesis earlier this year, entitled “Children and the Property (Relationships) Act 1976” - achieved with Distinction. She has also guest lectured to law students and presented to the profession on aspects of Family law. She serves on the NZ Law Society Family Violence Standing Committee.
Judge Skellern will be sworn in on 9 November 2012 at Rotorua.