4 Nov 2012

Tributes paid to 'brilliant, gifted' defence lawyer

2:37 pm on 4 November 2012

Members of the legal profession are paying tribute to high profile criminal defence lawyer Greg King who died on Saturday.

Mr King, 43, was found dead in Wellington on Saturday. The death has been referred to the coroner.

Greg King had been a barrister since 1993 and recently led the successful defence of murder-accused Ewen Macdonald.

Others he defended were Scott Watson and Clayton Weatherston who were both convicted of murder.

Law Society president Jonathan Temm said Mr King was naturally bright and a gifted orator, and someone who took very difficult cases with unpopular clients whom he defended with vigour and brilliance.

Robert Lithgow QC said his friend and colleague was good natured and well liked by all groups within the justice system including court staff, judges, opposing counsel and the police.

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson said Mr King had already achieved a huge amount in his career and his early death is very sad. He said Mr King was a lawyer in the finest traditions of the criminal bar.

Barrister and media law specialist Steven Price said Mr King would also be remembered for the ground-breaking TVNZ7 show The Court Report.

Mr Price, who worked with Mr King on the programme, said it was a step forward from any previous legal journalism.