Augusta Chambers is named after Dame Augusta Wallace, the first female Judge in New Zealand in 1975. She worked in across Auckland District Courts in service to the community. Prior to this Dame Augusta worked as a lawyer, at a time when only 2% of lawyers were women. She worked when pregnant and with a young baby, which was unprecedented at the time. She is survived by one daughter, who is also a lawyer.
Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias noted Dame Augusta’s special place in the history of the law in New Zealand and her importance as a role model for other women lawyers: the fact that Dame Augusta had “discharged her responsibilities with complete professionalism was particularly important in the move to gain acceptance for women in legal practice and, following her lead, on the bench”.
Dame Augusta was the ultimate feminist, but her approach to being described as a trailblazer was to entirely reject it. This resonated. Julie-Anne Kincade KC and Emma Priest are heads of chambers. Having a strong, female lead chambers fits with the name.
The barristers of Augusta Chambers aspire to provide excellence to our clients, to lead in the law and to serve the community. We hope that Dame Augusta would approve.