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Gaeline Phipps
Gaeline graduated from Victoria University, and worked for the Public Service for a year where she gained valuable insight into the state sector.

She then secured a position at Rainey Collins as staff solicitor. Established in 1919 Rainey Collins has a strong reputation for its litigators, including Sir Thaddeus McCarthy, Richard (Dick) Collins and Dr David Collins QC (now New Zealand’s Solicitor-General).

During Gaeline’s time at Rainey Collins she gained extensive Court experience, primarily in the Criminal and Family jurisdictions. She increasingly specialised in professional law as result of the firm being the New Zealand agent for the Medical Defence Union (one of two major indemnifiers to the medical profession in New Zealand).

Gaeline became an Associate, then a Partner of Rainey Collins. She expanded her litigation experience by appearing before New Zealand’s Court of Appeal and the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. Gaeline has also been instructed extensively by the Medical Protection Society in all the jurisdictions associated with professional practice.

Gaeline joined the Independent Bar in 2000, and has practised as a barrister since then. Her specialty interests are defence and prosecution work before regulatory bodies, including the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, the Judicial Committee of the Veterinary Council and the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

In addition, she has assisted a number of professional jurisdictions to draft their governing Acts, and associated Rules and Regulations. Gaeline practice includes appearing before Coroners and in the Courts for cases arising in the professional disciplinary field.

Gaeline is the author of a monthly column for NZ Doctor, and is regularly asked to speak at conferences on topics relating to the regulatory environment, with emphasis on practical guidance to assist participants with their day-to-day practices, dealing with complaints, and the legal processes that can arise from professional practice. Gaeline also maintains her interest in the Family Court jurisdiction.

A protection model for victims of abuse

As a result of prosecuting the case against the Principal at the school where Mr James Parker (known as New Zealand’s worst paedophile) was employed, Gaeline became keenly interested in developing effective tools and a model of practice to assist professional leaders and others in workplaces to detect and safeguard vulnerable persons (such as patients and children) from abuse.

The model draws on her experience in prosecuting and defending professionals who allegedly abused others, along with research on grooming behaviour. The paper was presented at the ANZELA Conference in Brisbane, Australia, in September 2015 and included a segment by Katie Laidlaw from the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Gaeline is aware that the information from this paper is being used in practices and is interested in receiving feedback.

ANZELA cover

Click here to view a PDF of Gaeline's PowerPoint presentation to the September 2015 ANZELA Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

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New Zealand

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