'Fiercely ambitious' Killeen caught in alleged SFO email smear
Insiders say barrister Anita Killeen’s rise up the legal pole has been meteoric.
She is regarded as fiercely ambitious and an accomplished self-promoter.
But after about seven years at the Serious Fraud Office, including a stint as chief prosecutor, it was said her face didn’t fit when Adam Feeley took over and she was “restructured” out the door.
Ms Killeen is due to appear in Auckland district court on Wednesday charged in relation to an alleged forged email smear against her former boss, Mr Feeley.
After she was identified in other media, the National Business Review confirmed from a reliable independent source that police had charged Ms Killeen, who is represented by leading Queen’s counsel Paul Davison.
She is charged in relation to allegedly forged emails sent to various media – including NBR – this month in an attempt to make Mr Feeley look bad.
Detectives from the financial crime unit obtained email material from NBR on Friday morning after executing a search warrant.
Depending on the nature of the charges, a person convicted could face up to three or ten years in jail.
Ms Killeen has been a member of Queen’s counsel John Haigh’s City Chambers since April last year where she says she specialises in financial crime, fraud, civil and criminal litigation.
Ms Killeen’s profile on nz.linkedin.com says she holds a variety of governance roles in the legal, financial and non-government organisation sectors.
These include being a Visiting Justice to prisons (appointed this month), a member of the legal aid tribunal (appointed in July), a director of the Auckland regional amenities funding board (appointed in August) and a director of the Auckland SPCA from January 2009.
Educated at Harvard business school and the London school of economics, she graduated from Auckland university with an LLB and a senior law scholar prize.
She worked as a commercial litigator at Phillips Fox for two years from 1998 to 2000 and as a judge’s clerk at Auckland High Court for two years from 2001 to 2003 before moving to the SFO under then director David Bradshaw in 2003.
In 2005 Ms Killeen assisted the late Justice David Morris on a ministerial review into the killing of Cadet Grant Bain. She also undertook secondment to the Crown prosecution service in London and the US Attorney’s office in New York.
She is a member of the Auckland district law society’s criminal law committee, a member of international association of prosecutors, a former executive member of the Auckland women lawyer’s association and an ambassador for the yellow-eyed penguin trust.