Fiona Cleary Barrister

Contact Fiona


+64 21 919 751


Fiona Cleary


Practice area:  Criminal, regulatory

Fiona is an experienced jury trial advocate and criminal law specialist.  She regularly appears in the Youth Court, District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Parole Board on cases which range from low level driving matters to crime at the highest level.

Fiona graduated from Victoria University in Wellington with a BA/LLB(Hons) in 2006. She began her legal career at Russell McVeagh in Wellington as a civil litigator where she worked on several high-profile commercial proceedings before leaving in 2009 to pursue her goal of becoming a criminal lawyer.

In 2009 Fiona joined the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Hawkes Bay and Gisborne where she prosecuted serious crime on behalf of the Crown, conducted regulatory prosecutions, civil asset recovery proceedings for the Commissioner of Police, as well as representing the Hastings District Council and other private clients on a range of civil matters (including in the High Court of Fiji).

In 2012 she was seconded to the Crown Law Office in Wellington where she regularly appeared in the Court of Appeal in respect of appeals against conviction and sentence and provided legal opinions on complex areas of law to various Government agencies.

In 2020 she accepted a role at the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Wellington – Luke Cunningham Clere as a Principal.

Fiona joined the independent bar in 2023 and is a door tenant at Aurora Chambers in Wellington.

Although based in Wellington, Fiona practises throughout New Zealand and is always particularly keen to travel back to Hawkes Bay, her tūrangawaewae.

Qualifications and appointments

LLB (Hons), BA (Spanish and Political Science), Victoria University of Wellington, 2006
Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 2007
Legal Aid Provider New Zealand – criminal provider approval levels PAL 1 – 4

Awards and memberships

Russell McVeagh School Scholarship, 2001
Member, New Zealand Criminal Bar Association
Member, New Zealand Bar Association | Ngā Ahorangi Motuhake o te Ture