A very rare law degree

A Queenstown lawyer’s completed a master of construction law degree that’s thought to be held by only half-a-dozen other Kiwis.

A senior associate at Mactodd Lawyers, Duncan Anderson obtained the degree — for which he took eight subjects, online, over three years — from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

It’s not available in New Zealand, he says, while the Melbourne university’s law school is highly regarded.

As part of his degree, he had two essays published in international construction law journals in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Anderson says his masters equips him to handle construction law issues not only in Queenstown but through out the South Island.

‘‘One of the enduring problems with the building industry is cashflow and limited margins.

‘‘Despite legislatures’ best intentions, those problems are difficult to resolve.’’

Anderson, who’s 57 and has practised law for 30-plus years, says he also undertook the degree as a latter-career ‘‘intellectual challenge’’ — and also because he could afford it, due to an inheritance.

‘‘I think there’s a temptation for some to slip into a comfort zone.

‘‘But, actually, if you galvanise yourself and you pull together all your skills you’ve learnt over the years, you can actually be better when you’re older than when you’re younger — not to put a slight on young people.’’

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