Degree(s) and university: BA, LLB (Otago)

Admitted: 11 December 1987

Contact details




Level 5
State Insurance Building
88 Division Street
Christchurch 8440
New Zealand


03 3663458


027 4882760


03 3664570


PO Box 8408
Riccarton 8440

DX WX11143

Elizabeth Bulger

Elizabeth Bulger

Liz graduated from Otago University with degrees in Law and Arts in 1987, immediately commencing practice in Dunedin in a small boutique law firm and undertaking primarily criminal work as well as some family law.

In subsequent years she worked for a sole practitioner, a medium sized firm and a large firm, all as an associate and specialising in criminal law, before moving to Christchurch to take up a locum position in January 2001.
That position soon became permanent and over the next five years Liz built up a solid criminal practice before moving to the independent Bar in September 2006 and joining Riverlands Chambers.

Liz continues to practise criminal law at all levels. She has maintained her Duty Solicitor involvement and conducts summary defended hearings, District and High Court jury trials, appeals, sentencings and Parole Board hearings, and from time to time is involved in inquests, both representing parties and assisting Coroners.

She has considerable experience in the mental health area and has conducted a large number of disability and insanity hearings.

Liz is also interested in broadening her previous experience in other areas, including quasi- criminal and regulatory prosecutions and prosecutions involving government departments and local authorities.

Liz has been a Youth Advocate since 2004 and in that capacity has been involved in the full range of Youth Court work.
She is experienced in attending Family Group Conferences and has been involved in many contested arguments over transfers of young persons to the District Court for sentencing.

She is also experienced in the Youth Drug Court and is currently listed on the Youth Advocate rosters for both Christchurch and Greymouth.

Areas of Practice

Criminal Law, Traffic, Youth Advocacy and Quasi-Criminal Proceedings

Liz’s practice is principally in the criminal area although she does undertake work in the Youth Court, the Coroner’s Court and in other quasi-judicial tribunals.
She also undertakes Parole Board assignments and has on several occasions been appointed as Counsel to assist the Court at Youth Court, District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal levels.

Law Society Involvement and Publications

Liz has considerable experience at local and national Law Society level, and has been fully involved in the Law Society in some capacity or other since her admission to the Bar.

She has been a member of the New Zealand Law Society Criminal Law Committee since 2002, a member of local Law Society Litigation, Complaints and Stakeholder committees and has been the New Zealand Law Society representative on the Inter-Agency Court Improvement Group, chaired by the Chief District Court Judge, since 2006.
Liz has held various other offices on District Law Society committees and has been a member of the Jury Liaison Judge’s Law Society, Courts and Criminal Bar Association Committee since 2005.

Liz has been a Faculty Member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Programme since 2000 and will be the Director in 2011.

She was a member of the Faculty of the New Zealand Law Society Introduction to Criminal Law Practice in 2004/2005 and 2007, and has been the Co-ordinator of the local Duty Solicitor Training Programme since 2001, the latter involving her in training duty solicitors locally and in the administration of the Programme nationally.

Liz has also been a member of various committees, sub-committees and projects administered by the New Zealand Law Society, the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Services Agency and the local Law Society, including undertaking work in relation to legal aid and legal aid remuneration, criminal procedure simplification, Duty Lawyer Implementation, Police Detention Legal Assistance Scheme remodelling and the administration of summary Court processes.
She was involved in a small group carrying out a Duty Solicitor materials rewrite in 2007 and has continued her involvement in that ongoing project.

She has presented papers at Criminal Law Symposia on two occasions and is about to get started on writing a chapter of the forthcoming Youth Advocate Manual to be produced by the New Zealand Law Society for the assistance of Youth Advocates.