Bill is an experienced commercial and civil litigator, having appeared as counsel before all levels of courts and tribunals. He has over 20 years’ experience in medico-legal and health law, and has represented countless medical and health practitioners facing investigation and disciplinary processes.
Bill is passionate about his health law practice. In particular he enjoys the challenge of working with professionals in such a diverse range of disciplines.
Georgia is a junior barrister, admitted to the Bar in 2021. She began working in a barristers chambers as a legal PA in 2015, while completing her law degree. She now works alongside Bill Manning at Park Chambers. Over the years Georgia has been exposed to a wide range of medico-legal issues and is particularly interested in the challenging intersection of professional, ethical and moral boundaries, which often arises in health law.
Maree began practice in 2002 and has always specialised in civil and commercial litigation. In her first law firm she was regularly instructed by a Health Board and has always had an interest in medicolegal work, this has continued throughout her career.
In 2004 she was appointed the first ever Disputes Tribunal referee in Queenstown and Alexandra and was the youngest ever referee appointed. In dealing with over 1,000 cases over 5 years she honed her negotiation and decision-making skills. In addition to this work, Maree is a qualified mediator with AAMINZ and is therefore well versed at negotiating on both sides of the fence and resolving issues with her client’s best interests at heart.
Maree has appeared in many Coroner inquests, various courtrooms and disciplinary forums around New Zealand and her pragmatic no nonsense approach as well as being able to empathise and undertake difficult cases, stands her in good stead.
Maree joined Michael Parker in 2011 undertaking various civil and commercial litigation and was an introduction into the world of insurance litigation. Her years of being mainly plaintiff lawyer and decision-maker, helped round her skills. Michael E Parker went on to become Parker Cowan Lawyers in 2013 when Maree joined Michael in partnership and the firm has grown from there. Parker Cowan maintains a small client-centric focus, working behind the scenes on many cases and resolving matters as pragmatically as possible for clients.
Michael began practice as a barrister in London and then immigrated to New Zealand, where he joined the Crown Solicitor’s office in Auckland (Meredith Connell), became involved in medico-legal work and joined the Auckland Medico-Legal Society.
Over the past 25 years in the course of a civil and commercial litigation practice, has specialised in insurance-law based defence work which has includes substantial defence work for medical practitioners, psychologists, dentists and other health professionals in response to civil claims, complaints to professional bodies, and to the Health and Disability Commissioner, as well as representation at Coroner’s Inquests and associated judicial review proceedings.
Michael operated as a sole practitioner on moving to the South Island, previously having been a partner based in Auckland in a trans-Tasman legal firm. He was fortunate to be joined in the practice by Maree Cowan and the firm became Parker Cowan Lawyers in 2013 when Maree joined Michael in partnership. Parker Cowan has an international insurer client base, acting on behalf of insured professionals and companies, resolving claims and complaints largely by alternative dispute resolution processes, but representing those insured clients at trial in the civil courts at all levels, and in various disciplinary processes and tribunals when required.
Michèle Stanton is a Director of Health Professional Legal Services Limited. The firm established in 2011 specializes in medico-legal and health law. Michele’s background includes advocacy, research ethics, and the ethics of assisted reproductive technologies, occupational regulation and quality assurance in the financial services, education, and health sectors. Michèle has a Bachelor of English from the University of Canterbury (1981); a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Canterbury (1984); a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Auckland (1988); and a Diploma in Business Studies from Massey University (1998). Michele was admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1988.
As a medico-legal lawyer I enjoy a wide variety of work from general advice for health practitioners through to handling complaints, regulatory issues and investigations, disciplinary matters, and inquests. The work is intellectually and emotionally challenging. It requires empathy and support and good listening skills but also objectivity.
It is a privilege to work in the health sector. I believe that I am making a difference in assisting health practitioners as they strive to achieve the best possible outcome for the situations in which they find themselves, and also in working with the profession to improve standards and to help create a safer environment for patients.
Sarah has extensive experience in medico-legal matters, having acted for DHBs, ACC, the Ministry of Health, and medical professionals for over 20 years, both here and for the equivalent agencies in the UK. Sarah has appeared a number of times in the Coroner’s Court, and appears frequently in the Senior Courts. Sarah has a particular interest in working together with medical professionals to find a practical, and non-confrontational, law-based solution. Sarah finds medico-legal matters fascinating, and has significant respect for the daily challenges facing front-line staff.