Family of Lawyers

22 October 2012

Benedict Tompkins LLB 12173SeptGrad-147
Benedict Tompkins

When Benedict Tompkins walked across the stage at the University’s October graduation to receive his LLB, he became the third generation in his family to graduate from The University of Auckland Law School, and the fourth generation to graduate in Law. His forbears include Supreme Court Judge, Arthur Lance Tomkins (his great grandfather), Sir David Tompkins, QC and High Court Judge in Auckland (his grandfather), and Arthur Tompkins, District Court Judge (his father).

A stellar Law School student, Benedict has a line of major academic achievements in his wake - The highlight for him being winning the Stout Shield; the supreme prize for mooting at the Auckland Law School. Benedict also won the Best Oralist award for the moot. His win saw him compete in the Nationals held in Hamilton last year, and his team’s subsequent success saw it reach the semi-finals at the world’s largest and most prestigious moot court contest – The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition held in Washington DC in late March 2012. The Auckland team was narrowly beaten in the semi-finals by Columbia University (New York) on a split decision.

Growing up in a family of legal professionals, Benedict says he never really considered anything else for a career. His great grandfather, Arthur Lance Tompkins (known as Lance Tompkins), studied extramurally at the Auckland Law School (then part of the University of New Zealand before World War I, and on returning from the war, completed his studies at the Law School. He graduated in 1921 with an LLB, and in 1922 founded Hamilton firm ‘Tompkins Wake’ with Barry Wake. Lance Tompkins was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1958, and appointed a Supreme Court Judge in 1963, retiring in 1969.

Sir David Tompkins (his grandfather), studied from 1947 to1952 and graduated from the then University of New Zealand with an LLB. He was subsequently a partner in Tompkins Wake in Hamilton, was made a QC, and then sat as a High Court Judge in Auckland.

Benedict’s father is Arthur Tompkins. He graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Canterbury and an LLM (Hons) from Cambridge. Following practice as an Auckland barrister, he was appointed a District Court Judge in 1997. In the 1990s he also taught the Law of Evidence part-time at the Auckland Law School, and has since given the occasional guest lecture.

Benedict has been working at the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Wellington as a junior prosecutor since April 2012.