Former student of both the Boys’ School and the College, John has fond memories of his time at Saint Kentigern. Growing up in Westmere, today he still lives in the area with his young family.
Swimming was a big part of John’s school memories, and during 1989 (his last year of College), he qualified for the Commonwealth Games and received the Saint Kentigern Dux Ludorum. After leaving school, John was offered a swimming scholarship at the University of Southern California in 1991. Holding New Zealand records for the 400m individual medley for almost a decade, John competed in the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games for New Zealand. After three years in the States, John returned to Auckland and began a law degree, graduating in 2000.
A natural interest in criminal law led John to open his own criminal law specialist chambers, Sentinel Chambers, in Auckland CBD in 2009. Today the business employs three staff and is busy year-round, often representing high-profile people and cases. Representing clients across the full spectrum of criminal offences, John likens the experience of being in court to the competitive atmosphere he remembers from his swimming days. John particularly enjoys working with young defendants, where he has the ability to ‘help change their path in life, as it’s a good time to try and change their behaviour because they are still impressionable and they can learn and take on things.’
Law is a popular study path to travel down, as it leads to so many different avenues and vocations. John’s advice to others studying law who might be interested in the practise of criminal law, ‘be prepared to take the knocks, work late nights and under pressure with little thanks, but be passionate about the pursuit of justice and working in an area that is very challenging but incredibly rewarding when justice is served.’