Practice philosophy - Improving lives by the application of skill
As a barrister, I am part of a legal system that espouses fairness and balance in its dealings with all people, as do I.
I profoundly believe in the systems and institutions of our country. I believe that this country is founded on, and genuinely aspires to meet, expectations of fairness and respect, and to reflect the rights and obligations that bind our peoples as a nation with an abiding sense of community.
In that context, people are entitled to be defended and protected when things go badly for them, no matter that their actions may offend against the expectations of the community. Serious outcomes may still befall them, but if those are the product of a fair process, they are acceptable consequences, a sanctioned community response and not arbitrary harm.
I have chosen to practice in the field of tax law because:
1. A tax system which is regarded as fair and reasonable contributes to a strong economy and social cohesion.
2. However, the taxing powers of the State can be wielded severely and it is not sufficient to rely on the goodwill of the State for fairness in tax matters. The monetary needs of the State create too great a conflict of interest.
3. The taxing powers of the State therefore have to be balanced by knowledge, skill, courage and tenacity, which many people cannot deploy in their own defence.
4. By exercising knowledge, skill, courage and tenacity on my clients' behalves I preserve a fundamental fairness in our society, which still marks out New Zealand as special in the world, and I thereby contribute to the robustness of our country's economy and community.
5. Each instruction gives me the opportunity to achieve a better outcome in the difficult circumstances my clients face, than they could have achieved without my help.
6. That improves their lives...
G D Clews