'Brilliant lawyer' Greg King farewelled

Last updated 13:21 09/11/2012

Greg King's Funeral

Greg King
CRAIG SIMCOX/ Fairfax NZ
Greg King

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Greg King has been remembered as a brilliant legal mind and a wonderful man who kept friends from all facets of his life.

Eight hundred mourners packed Wellington Cathedral of St Paul for his funeral this morning.

King, 43, who recently successfully defended Ewen Macdonald against a charge of murdering his brother-in-law Scott Guy, was found dead next to his car in Dungarvan Rd, Newlands, on Saturday.

A plain wooden casket arrived at St Paul's in a black Rolls-Royce hearse at 9.35am. On top of it were King's white wig, black gown and distinctive blue bag.

Speaking at the funeral, MP Tony Ryall said: "Greg's death is a great loss to New Zealand."

Ryall said he first met King as Justice Minister about 13 years ago.

He remembered him as a determined man with a great sense of timing and humour and a "brilliant legal mind".

Justice William Young said King was part of a rare group of trial lawyers who were successful in the court of appeal.

"He was wonderfully persuasive."

Justice Young said King had an "obvious empathy" for victims of crime.

King's father Jeff King said his son was a keen sportsman who loved collecting watches.

"He always had friends through all the facets of his life who were really special to him.

"He moved on and got new friends, but he never left those friends behind.

"I can't remember Greg making a poor choice until last Friday.

"I want to thank you for being my son Greg."

Jennifer King said of her son: "Greg was a wonderful son and I'm privileged to be his mum. Rest in peace."

King's wife Catherine Milnes-King said he was her best friend and "soul mate".

"Greg you are my stars, you are my moons, you are my universe. You are my everything."

Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC, said she first met King 20 years ago when he applied for a job as a clerk at her firm.

"His talents seemed to know no boundaries and his energy was limitless as he searched for the stars."  

Among the hundreds of mourners was singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser - who is the daughter of King's close friend, former All Black Bernie Fraser.

Also attending were King's junior Liam Collins, Sir Robert Jones, former TVNZ boss Ian Fraser, MPs Nick Smith and Simon Power, Crown prosecutor Simon Moore and Labour MP Trevor Mallard.

Other mourners included Police Association president Greg O'Connor and a number of police staff including Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson and Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam.

Judges Bruce Davidson and Peter Hobbs, Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar and Lawyer Barry Hart were also there.

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- The Dominion Post

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