Jo Murdoch

Special Counsel 

Jo is a senior Crown lawyer in our Crown Specialist Group with a background in prosecuting and defending serious crime at trial and appellate level. 

She has prosecuted a significant number of criminal jury trials for the Crown in the District Court and High Court including historical sexual offending, violence, fraud and drug offending. Jo has represented the Crown in the Court of Appeal and during her time at Crown Law, in the Supreme Court. 

As defence counsel, Jo regularly appeared for clients on all matters of serious crime as a Legal Aid lead provider. 

  • Prosecuted co-defendants convicted of Prostitution Reform Act charges, sexual violation and drugs supply charges relating to underage victims. (R v ASL & AM)
  • Acted in the case of an intellectually disabled client charged with 15 arsons in South Auckland. The case was resolved by way of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act. (R v Mau)
  • Acted in the case of historical sexual offending involving charges of rape, attempted rape and indecencies over an eight-year period. This case involved s44 (prior sexual experience) issues. The client was acquitted. (R v Taulalo)

LLB (Hons)/MA (Hons), University of Otago

Other credentials:

  • Jo was clerk to the Right Honorable Dame Sian Elias, the Chief Justice of New Zealand and Presiding Judge of the New Zealand Supreme Court, from 2004-2005
  • Jo was a New Zealand Pegasus Scholar to the UK in 2008 
  • Jo is a Faculty Member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Course, and the Meredith Connell Litigation Skills Course
  • Jo regularly teaches law students through the Otago Law Faculty Summer School programme including Forensic Law and Criminal Procedure