AUT Law graduate Charlie Piho is set to spend six weeks later this year working in the heart of the London legal community, having recently been awarded a Pegasus Scholarship.
Established in 1987, the Pegasus Scholarship aims to build links between legal professions across the world who work in the common law system. Open to litigation practitioners with less than five years’ experience in a practice, Charlie is one of three Pegasus Scholars from New Zealand who will work in some of the most distinguished barristers’ chambers in central London undertaking research, attending conferences, writing and reading cases, and attending court.
Charlie will travel to London in November, temporarily leaving his job as an intermediate Crown prosecutor at Kayes Fletcher Walker – a South Auckland law firm and the office of the Manukau Crown Solicitor, Natalie Walker. While in London, he is most likely to be shadowing Queen’s Counsel practising criminal law, he says.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the leading criminal barristers in London and to get to learn and observe how criminal trials and appeal hearings operate in a different Commonwealth jurisdiction,” says Charlie.
“I believe that the international experience will challenge me to look at things from a different perspective and broaden my skills with a completely different dimension. I am hoping to bring that different perspective and knowledge back to my home in South Auckland, and use it to further grow and develop as a trial lawyer.”
Charlie, who is of Cook Island descent and co-founded AUT’s Māori and Pacific Law Students’ Association, which has since become two separate associations, completed his law (hons) degree in 2012 before starting work at Kensington Swan. He has been at Kayes Fletcher Walker as a Crown prosecutor in South Auckland for nearly three years, and says he was attracted by the opportunity to try and build on the success already achieved before him by other Pacific Island lawyers from South Auckland – some of whom now sit on the bench at the Manukau District Court – by continuing to break boundaries and pave the way for the next generation of Pacific Island lawyers.
“I also love the diverse range of vibrant people and cultures you get to experience on a daily basis in living out here in South Auckland. And not to forget, my wife and I live locally so it’s a very handy commute for me to and from work each day.”
Professor Charles Rickett, Dean of the AUT Law School, is delighted by this further success in Charlie’s career development.
“Charlie is an outstanding young man with a great future ahead of him. He is a fantastic role model for any young and aspiring lawyers,” says Professor Rickett.