Greg King Scholarship

Greg King

1969 – 2012


Greg King was a dedicated, outstanding criminal defence lawyer.

Greg graduated from the University of Otago and was admitted to the bar in 1993. His first role was junioring for leading criminal defence lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr ONZM QC. In his first year, Greg assisted in over 30 trials and soon after appeared on his own. After three years with Judith, Greg moved to Wellington to start his own practice. At 27, he was New Zealand’s youngest lawyer approved to appear in murder trials.


Over 19 years, Greg was counsel in approximately 350 trials and 200 appeals including 3 appeals to the Privy Council. He was awarded Barrister of the Year at the 2007 New Zealand Law Awards and the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2012. Greg often went beyond his role as a defence lawyer to educate and inform the public on the law. He created and hosted ‘The Court Report’ – a popular television programme which went ‘behind the headlines’ of legal news stories. He was also an active participant in the New Zealand Law Society where he served on numerous committees and helped draft and present over 20 submissions to Parliamentary Select Committees. In 2012, Greg released a paper “A New Kind of Court”, in which he called for the establishment of a ‘Management Court’ in New Zealand to rehabilitate offenders.


Greg was motivated by the injustices caused by the criminal justice system. He was relentlessly committed to each of his clients and their fundamental right to a fair trial.




The Greg King Scholarship is awarded every two years to a promising lawyer to junior on a criminal trial with a senior defence lawyer.

The first scholarship will be awarded in 2021. Details of how to apply will be provided closer to the time.