There are five permanent judges headed by the Chief Judge. Usually one judge alone presides. However where cases raise important questions, the Chief Judge may elect to have a full court with at least three judges sitting.
His Honour Chief Judge G L Colgan
Judge Graeme Colgan graduated with the degree of LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, and was admitted to the Bar in 1976. He practised as a staff solicitor and partner in a firm in Auckland in the fields of criminal, family, and employment law, and in general civil litigation, until going to the Independent Bar at Southern Cross Chambers in 1987.
Judge Colgan was appointed as a judge of the Labour Court in 1989, becoming a judge of the Employment Court in 1991 and, since 2005, has been the Chief Judge.
Her Honour Judge C C Inglis
Judge Christina Inglis was sworn in as an Employment Court Judge in 2011.
Prior to that time she was a District Court Judge, sitting in South Auckland. She holds an LLM (Hons) from Victoria University and an MA (Hons) from Canterbury University. She was a Crown Counsel at Crown Law for many years, with a primary focus on civil litigation, public law and employment law. Most recently she led the Human Rights Team at Crown Law. While in practice she appeared in most Courts and Tribunals. She is currently on the Advisory Board of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice.
His Honour Judge M E Perkins
Judge Mark Perkins attended Auckland Law School, University of Auckland. He was admitted to the Bar in 1970 and graduated LLB in 1971. He became a litigation partner of the Wellington firm Macalister, Mazengarb, Parkin & Rose in 1975. While a partner in that firm, he later attended Victoria University of Wellington Law School, graduating LLM in 1984. He later moved to partnership in the Auckland firms Cairns Slane and subsequently Hesketh Henry.
He was appointed as a District Court Judge in 1999 based at Napier. He was subsequently transferred to the District Court at Auckland in 2002. While serving as a District Court Judge he also served as a temporary judge of the Employment Court in 2006–2007 and 2009–2011.
Judge Perkins was appointed as a permanent judge of the Employment Court based at Auckland in 2013.
His Honour Judge B A Corkill
Judge Bruce Corkill was appointed an Employment Court Judge in 2014.
He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand in 1975 where he practiced briefly. He then worked in England until 1982, becoming a Solicitor of England and Wales. After returning to New Zealand and practicing in general litigation in two law firms, he commenced practice as a Barrister in 1997, taking Silk in 2007.
His specialist areas of practice included employment, civil and professional disciplinary work. He was Chairperson of the Health Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal from 2006 to 2014.
His Honour Judge K G Smith
Judge Kerry Smith was appointed an Employment Court Judge in 2016.
He graduated with an LLB degree from Canterbury University in 1982 and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1983.
He worked for two law firms in Christchurch before joining a firm that eventually became Buddle Findlay, joining the partnership in 1991. He remained in that partnership from 1991 until December 2015.
His specialist areas of practice were employment, resource management, civil litigation, and health and safety.
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