John D. McKenzie

Barrister and

Consulting & ADR Services




John McKenzie is an experienced international lawyer and Barrister as well as an international consultant, and Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner.

After growing up in Australia and traveling in Europe for a year, John spent two years living in the United States before returning to Australia in 1981 to undertake legal studies through the Solicitors and Barristers Admission Board examinations. He received his Diploma of Law in 1985 and was later that year admitted to practice as a Barrister by the New South Wales Supreme Court. Subsequently, John was also admitted to practice before the High Court of Australia. After working for the Director of Public Prosecutions in Sydney, John also spent some time with the NSW Government Insurance Office before taking the opportunity to return to the United States with his wife and family in 1987.

John attended the William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree cum laude in 1989. After passing the Minnesota State Bar Examinations, and the Multi-State Bar Exam, John was admitted to practice as an Attorney by Minnesota Supreme Court and later the United States Federal District Courts for Minnesota and the Western District of Wisconsin.

In early 1990, John co-founded an international business law firm in Saint Paul and practiced successfully in that arena, including acting as a contributing author, responsible for all the international legal materials, for the multi-volume book "Advising Minnesota Corporations and Other Business Organizations"; published by Butterworths in 1995.

In 1992, John formed his own law firm and practiced civil litigation with a primary focus on professional errors and omission litigation. Additional practice areas: criminal law, intellectual property, contracts, public interest and civil rights litigation, including Appellate Court representation and international contract negotiations and drafting.

In 2000, John was head hunted by Northland Insurance Company to head their legal malpractice and professional liability claims defense unit. This entailed responsibility for all aspects of the management, defense and resolution of professional liability law suits and claims. This was a multi-state practice and John traveled extensively throughout the U.S. to more than 20 states to conduct more than 150 Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings, arbitrations, mediations, and settlement conferences as well as to supervise and direct trial counsel.

                                                                                                   The Sleeping Lady - Lelu Harbour, Kosrae, FSM

The Island of the Sleeping Lady - KosraeIn 2005 an opportunity, that was too good to pass up: to fulfill a life-long ambition to live and work in the tropical Pacific, presented itself. John and his wife moved to the island of Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, where John accepted an appointment as the Legislative Counsel for the Kosrae State Legislature. Over the next 5½ years, John drafted more than 300 legislative measures including new solid waste recycling laws and regulations, and a new domestic violence code; both of which have been used as models for other Pacific states and nations. Provided legal advice to the members of the Kosrae State Legislature concerning State and National laws, and international treaty issues and advised on national tax reform legislation.

John also provided general legal issue analysis and briefing for the Legislature on economic, financial and social issues. Some of his other duties included the supervision of paralegal staff, computer software and hardware maintenance, web site creation and maintenance and professional training for paralegal and clerical staff. During this same period, John also began to provide services as a consultant in the areas of legislative strengthening and the improvement of governance.

In November 2010, John  and his wife said a sad good bye to Kosrae and moved to be closer to their children and extended family in Port Macquarie, New South Wales.  Since that time, John has continued to accept consulting opportunities and has conducted an active Alternative Dispute Resolution practice serving the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales. John is also retained as Special Advisor to Governor Lyndon H. Jackson of Kosrae State and has assisted the State of Kosrae with issues relating to recruitment of executive level staff and acting as personal counsel to the Governor's Office.

Whale Watching at Port Macquarie


Whale Breching

Since returning to Australia, John has resided in Port Macquarie, NSW and  practiced successfully as an Alternative Dispute Practitioner. He conducted more than 200 mediations  and continued to work overseas as a consultant - most recently in 2014 when he spent three months working for the State of Kosrae reviewing and recommending major changes to the Kosrae State Public Service System and then again in 2015, when he spent three months in Kosrae working on a major tax improvement project.

In 2015 John decided to return to practice at the New South Wales Bar. After passing the Bar Examinations (making the fourth set of Bar Exams he has completed!) he received his Barrister's Practicing Certificate in May 2016.





© John McKenzie 2016